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Osho on Zen Master Yoka Saying "Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen"

Osho - I love the statement that the "man of Zen walks in Zen and sits in Zen" for the simple reason that meditation cannot be just a part of your life. You cannot make a fragment of your life meditative; it is not possible to be meditative for one hour and then non-meditative for twenty-three hours. It is absolutely impossible. If you are doing that, that means your meditation is false.

Meditation can either be a twenty-four-hour affair or it cannot be at all. It is like breathing: you cannot breathe for one hour and then put it aside for twenty-three hours, otherwise you will be dead. You have to go on breathing. Even while you are asleep you have to go on breathing. Even in a deep coma you have to go on breathing.
Meditation is the breath of your soul. Just as breathing is the life of the body, meditation is the life of the soul.

Osho Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen

The people who are not aware of meditation are spiritually dead. George Gurdjieff used to say that very few people have souls -- and he is right. One is born not with a soul but only with a seed which can grow into a soul -- which may not grow. It will depend on you. You will have to create the right soil, the right climate for it to grow, to bloom. You will have to provoke the spring into coming to you so that your soul can flower, otherwise you are just a body-mind. The soul is only an empty word. Meditation makes it a reality. Meditation is the climate in which the soul happens.

Zen is another name for meditation. The word zen comes from the Sanskrit root dhyan -- it has traveled far. Dhyan means a state of absolute silence, of thoughtless silence, but full of awareness. Even the thought that "I am aware" is enough to distract you from your meditation. Even to know that "I am in meditation" is enough to destroy it.
A state of meditation is an innocent, silent state. You are blissfully unaware of your awareness. You are, but you are utterly relaxed. You are not in a state of sleep; you are fully alert, more alert than ever. You are alertness, rather.

Dhyan is the greatest contribution of the East to the evolution of humanity. Buddha himself never used Sanskrit; he used a language that was used by the masses of those days, he used Pali. In Pali, dhyan becomes jhan. When Buddha's message reached China, jhan became chan. And when it traveled from China to Japan, it became zen. But it originates from dhyan. Dhyan means meditation, but the English word "meditation" does not have that flavor, it has a long association with contemplation. The English word "meditation" means meditation upon something; there is an object of meditation.

And in Zen there is no object at all, only pure subjectivity. You are aware, but not aware of something. There is nothing to be aware of; everything has disappeared. You are not even aware of nothingness, because then nothingness becomes your object, then nothingness becomes your thought. You are not aware of emptiness either. You are simply aware; there is no object to your awareness. The mirror is empty, reflecting nothing, because there is nothing to reflect.

You have to remember it, otherwise "meditation" can give you a wrong impression. Whenever the word "meditation" is used, immediately the question arises, "On what?" That question is irrelevant. If you are asking, "On what?" then you are asking what to think about, contemplate about, concentrate on -- and that is not meditation.
Concentration is not meditation, concentration is an effort of the mind to focus itself. It has certain purposes of its own. It is a method in science -- useful, but it is not meditation.

Contemplation is a little vague, more abstract. In concentration, the object is more visible; in contemplation, the object is abstract. You concentrate on a flame of light; you contemplate on love. And in Christianity, contemplation and meditation have become synonymous.

Meditation should be given a new meaning, a new fragrance -- the fragrance of Zen. Concentration is of the mind, meditation is not of the mind at all, and contemplation is just in between, in a limbo. It is something of the mind and something of the no-mind, a mixture; a state where mind and no-mind meet, the boundary.

One has to reach to the absolute state of awareness: that is Zen. You cannot do it every morning for a few minutes or for half an hour and then forget all about it. It has to become like your heartbeat. You have to sit in it, you have to walk in it. Yes, you have even to sleep in it.

Ananda, one of Gautam Buddha's chief disciples, asked Buddha, "One thing always puzzles me and I cannot contain my curiosity anymore although my question is irrelevant. The question is that when you go to sleep you remain the whole night in the same posture. Wherever you put your hands, your feet, whatsoever side you lie on, you remain exactly the same, like a statue. You don't move, you don't change your side, you don't move your hands,. your feet -- nothing changes. You wake up in the morning in exactly the same posture that you had gone to sleep in. One night, just out of curiosity, I looked at you the whole night -- not a single movement. Are you controlling yourself even in your sleep?"

Buddha said, "There is no question of control. I am awake, I am in meditation. I sleep in meditation. Just as I wake up early in the morning in meditation, every night I go to sleep in meditation. My day is my meditation, my night too. I remain absolutely calm and quiet because deep down I am perfectly aware. The flame of meditation goes on burning smokeless. That's why there is no need to move."


This is of great significance for you all. Meditation has to become something so deep in you that wherever you go it remains, abides with you; whatsoever you do it is always there. Only then can your life be transformed. Then not only will you be meditative in your life, you will be meditative in your death too. You will die in deep meditation.
That's how Buddha died. That's how all the Buddhas have always died: their death is something exquisitely beautiful. Their life is beautiful, their death too. There is no gap between their life and death. Their death is a crescendo of their life, the ultimate peak, the absolute expression.

When Buddha died he was eighty-two years old. He called his disciples together -- just as he used to when he talked to them every morning. They all gathered. Nobody was thinking at all about his death.

And then Buddha said, "This is my last sermon to you. Whatsoever I had to say to you I have said. Forty-two years I have been telling you, saying to you... I have poured out my whole heart. Now, if somebody has any question left he can ask, because this is the last day of my life. Today I leave for the other shore. My boat has arrived."

They were shocked! They had come just to listen to the daily discourse. They were not thinking that he was going to die -- and without making any fuss about death! It was just a simple phenomenon, a simple declaration that "My boat has come and I have to leave. If you have any question left you can ask me, because if you don't ask me today, I will never again be available. Then the question will remain with you. So please, be kind and don't be shy," he told his disciples.

They started crying. And Buddha said, "Stop all this nonsense! This is no time to waste on crying and weeping! Ask if you have something to ask, otherwise let me go. The time has come. I cannot linger any longer."

They said,'We have nothing to ask. You have given more than we would have ever asked. You have answered all the questions that we have asked, that we could have asked. You have answered questions which for centuries will be fulfilling for all kinds of inquirers."
Then Buddha said, "So I can take leave of you. Good-bye."

And he closed his eyes, sat in a lotus posture, and started moving towards the other shore. It is said: the first step was that he left his body, the second step was that he left his mind, the third step was that he left his heart, the fourth step was that he left his soul. He disappeared into the universal so peacefully, so silently, so joyously. The birds were chirping; it was early morning -- the sun was still on the horizon. And ten thousand sannyasins were sitting and watching Buddha dying with such grace! They forgot completely that this was death. There was nothing of death as they had always conceived it. It was such an extraordinary experience.

So much meditative energy was released that many became enlightened that very day, that very moment. Those who were just on the verge were pushed into the unknown. Thousands, it is said, became enlightened through Buddha's beautiful death. We don't call it death, we call it Mahaparinirvana, dissolving into the absolute -- just like an ice cube melting, dissolving into the ocean. He lived in meditation, he died in meditation.

Source - Osho Book "Walkin in Zen, Sitting in Zen"

Related Osho Discourses on Zen:
Why is Zen Paradoxical
Osho on Ten Bulls of Zen
What is the Zen Approach towards Sex?

Osho on Zen Swordsmanship as a Meditation method
Beloved Osho, How does the Man of Zen take his Tea?
Zen Koans are for meditation to help you to go beyond mind
Zen is a very creative experience; it is not like other religions
Rather than Nyogen Senzaki and Paul Reps, listen to your own heart
Osho on Zen paintings - Watching a Zen painting you will feel uplifted
Osho on Kakuan Ten Bulls of Zen Paintings, Story of Zen Ten Bulls Paintings
Osho - I am sitting silently doing nothing, and the weeds are growing all around me
Osho on Zen Master Ekido - Ekido's tradition is one of the most significant traditions in Japan

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