LISTEN TO OSHO SPEAK ON THIS MEDITATION
UNMINDING MIND, KEEP IN THE MIDDLE --
Only this much is the sutra. Just like
any scientific sutra it is short, but even these few words can
transform your life totally.
UNMINDING MIND, KEEP IN THE MIDDLE --
KEEP IN THE MIDDLE... Buddha developed
his whole technique of meditation on this sutra. His path is known as
MAJJHIM NIKAYA -- the middle path. Buddha says, "Remain
always in the middle -- in everything."
One Prince Shrown took initiation,
Buddha initiated him into sannyas. That prince was a rare man, and
when he took sannyas, when he was initiated, his whole kingdom was
just amazed. The kingdom couldn't believe it, the people couldn't
believe that Prince Shrown could become a sannyasin. No one had ever
even imagined it, as he was a man of this world -- indulging in
everything, indulging to the extreme. Wine and women were his whole
Then suddenly Buddha came to the town,
and the prince went to see him for a
DARSHAN -- A spiritual encounter.
He fell at Buddha's feet and he said, "Initiate me. I will leave
this world." Those who had come with him were not even aware...
this was so sudden. So they asked Buddha, "What is happening?
This is a miracle. Shrown is not that type of man, and he has lived
very luxuriously. Up to now we couldn't even imagine that Shrown is
going to take sannyas, so what has happened? You have done
Buddha said, "I have not done
anything. Mind can move easily from one extreme to the other. That is
the way of the mind -- to move from one extreme to another. So Shrown
is not doing something new. It is to be expected. Because you do not
know the law of the mind, that is why you are so much taken
The mind moves from one extreme to
another, that is the way of the mind. So it happens every day: a
person who was mad after wealth renounces everything, becomes a naked
fakir. We think, "What a miracle!" But it is nothing -- just
the ordinary law. A person who was not mad after wealth cannot be
expected to renounce, because only from one extreme can you move to
another -- just like a pendulum, from one extreme to the other.
So a person who was after wealth, mad
after wealth, will become mad against it, but the madness will remain
-- that is the mind. A man who lived just for sex may become a
celibate, may move into isolation, but the madness will remain. Before
he was living only for sex, now he will be living only against sex --
but the attitude, the approach, remains the same.
BRAHMACHARI, a celibate, is not
really beyond sex; his whole mind is sex-oriented. He is against, but
not beyond. The way of beyond is always in the middle, it is never at
the extreme. So Buddha says, "This could have been expected. No
miracle has happened. This is how mind works."
Shrown became a beggar, a sannyasin. He
BHIKKHU, a monk, and soon other disciples of Buddha observed
that he was moving to the other extreme. Buddha never asked anyone to
be naked, but Shrown became naked. Buddha was not for nakedness. He
said, "That is just another extreme."
There are persons who live for clothes
as if that is their life, and there are other persons who become naked
-- but both believe in the same thing. Buddha never taught nakedness,
but Shrown became naked. He was the only disciple of Buddha who was
naked. He became very, very self-torturing. Buddha allowed one meal
every day for the sannyasins, but Shrown would take only one meal on
alternate days. He became lean and thin. While all the other disciples
would sit for meditation under trees, in the shade, he would never sit
under any tree. He would always remain in the hot sun. He was a
beautiful man and he had a very lovely body, but within six months no
one could recognize that he was the same man. He became ugly, dark,
Buddha went to Shrown one night and
asked him, "Shrown, I have heard that when you were a prince,
before initiation, you used to play on a
VEENA, a sitar, and you were
a great musician. So I have come to ask you one question. If the
strings of the veena are very loose, what happens?" Shrown said,
"If the strings are very loose, then no music is possible."
And then Buddha said, "And if the strings are very tight, too
tight, then what happens?" Shrown said, "Then too music
cannot be produced. The strings must be in the middle -- neither loose
nor tight, but just exactly in the middle." Shrown said, "It
is easy to play the veena, but only a master can set these strings
right, in the middle."
So Buddha said, "This much I have
to say to you, after observing you for the last six months -- that in
life also the music comes only when the strings are neither loose nor
tight, but just in the middle. So to renounce is easy, but only a
master knows how to be in the middle. So Shrown, be a master, and let
these strings of life be just in the middle -- in everything. Do not
go to this extreme, do not go to that one. Everything has two
extremes, but you remain just in the middle."
But the mind is very unmindful. That is
why the sutra says,
UNMINDING MIND... You will hear this, you will
understand this, but the mind will not take note. The mind will always
go on choosing extremes.
The extreme has a fascination for the
mind. Why? Because in the middle, mind dies. Look at a pendulum: if
you have any old clock, look at the pendulum. The pendulum can go on
moving the whole day if it goes to the extremes. When it goes to the
left it is gathering momentum to go to the right. When it goes toward
the right, do not think that it is going toward the right -- it is
accumulating momentum to go toward the left. So the extremes are
Let the pendulum stay in the middle,
then the whole momentum is lost. Then the pendulum has no energy,
because the energy comes from one of the extremes. Then that extreme
throws it toward another, then again, and it is a circle... the
pendulum goes on moving. Let it be in the middle, and the whole
movement will then stop.
Mind is just like a pendulum and every
day, if you observe, you will come to know this. You decide one thing
on one extreme, and then you move to another. You are angry; then you
repent. You decide, "No, this is enough. Now I will never be
angry." But you do not see the extreme.
"Never" is an extreme. How
are you so certain that you will never be angry? What are you saying?
Think once more -- never? Then go to the past and remember how many
times you have decided that "I will never be angry." When
you say, "I will never be angry," you do not know that by
being angry you have accumulated momentum to go to the other extreme.
Now you are feeling repentant, you are
feeling bad. Your self-image is disturbed, shaken. Now you cannot say
you are a good man, you cannot say that you are a religious man. You
have been angry, and how can a religious man be angry? How can a good
man be angry? So you repent to regain your goodness again. At least in
your own eyes you can feel at ease -- that you have repented and you
have decided that now there will be no more anger. The shaken image
has come back to the old status quo. Now you feel at ease, you have
moved to another extreme.
But the mind that says, "Now I
will never be angry," will again be angry. And when you are again
angry, you will forget completely your repentance, your decision --
everything. After anger, again the decision will come and the
repentance will come, and you will never feel the deception of it.
This has been so always.
Mind moves from anger to repentance,
from repentance to anger. Remain in the middle. Do not be angry and do
not repent. If you have been angry, then please, at least do this: do
not repent. Do not move to the other extreme. Remain in the middle.
Say, "I have been angry and I am a bad man, a violent man. I have
been angry. This is how I am." But do not repent; do not move to
the other extreme. Remain in the middle. If you can remain, you will
not gather the momentum, the energy to be angry again.
So this sutra says,
KEEP IN THE MIDDLE -- UNTIL. And what is meant by
UNTIL? Until you
explode! Keep in the middle until the mind dies. Keep in the middle
until there is no mind. So,
UNMINDING MIND, KEEP IN THE MIDDLE --
UNTIL there is no mind. If mind is at the extremes, then the middle
will be no-mind.
But this is the most difficult thing in
the world to do. It looks easy, it looks simple; it may appear as if
you can do this. And you will feel good if you think that there is no
need for any repentance. Try this, and then you will know that when
you have been angry the mind will insist on repenting.
Husbands and wives continue to quarrel,
and for centuries and centuries there have been counsellors, advisors,
great men who have been teaching how to live and love -- but they go
on quarreling. Freud, for the first time, became aware of the
phenomenon that whenever you are in love -- so-called love -- you are
also in hate. In the morning it is love, in the evening it is hate,
and the pendulum goes on moving. Every husband, every wife knows this,
but Freud has a very uncanny insight. Freud says that if a couple has
stopped fighting, know well that love has died.
That love which existed with hate and
fight cannot remain, so if you see a couple never fighting, do not
think that this is the ideal couple. It means no couple at all. They
are living parallel, but not with each other. They are parallel lines
never meeting anywhere, not even to fight. They are both alone
together -- parallel.
Mind has to move to the opposite, so
psychology now gives better advice. The advice is better, more deep,
more penetrating. It says that if you really want to love -- with the
mind -- then do not be afraid to fight. Really, you must fight
authentically so you can move to the other extreme of authentic love.
So when you are fighting with your wife, do not avoid it; otherwise
the love will also be avoided. When the time for fight is there, fight
until the end. Then by evening you will be able to love: the mind will
have gathered momentum. The ordinary love cannot exist without fight
because there is a movement of the mind. Only a love which is not of
the mind can exist without fight, but then it is a different thing
A Buddha loving... that is a different
thing altogether. But if Buddha comes to love you, you will not feel
good because there will be no fault in it. It will be simply sweet and
sweet and sweet -- and boring, because the spice comes from fight. A
Buddha cannot be angry, he can only love. You will not feel his love
because you can feel only opposites; you can feel it only in contrast.
When Buddha came back to his home town
after twelve years, his wife wouldn't come to receive him. The whole
city gathered to receive him except his wife. Buddha laughed, and he
said to his chief disciple, Ananda, "Yashodhara has not come. I
know her well. It seems she still loves me. She is proud, and she
feels hurt. I was thinking that twelve years is a long time and she
might not be in love now, but it seems she is still in love -- still
angry. She has not come to receive me. I will have to go to the
So Buddha went. Ananda was with him; it
was a condition with Ananda. When Ananda took initiation he made a
condition with Buddha, to which Buddha agreed, that he would always
remain with him. He was an elder cousin-brother, so Buddha had to
Ananda followed him into the house,
into the palace, so Buddha said, "At least for this you remain
behind and do not come with me, because she will be furious. I am
coming back after twelve years, and I just ran away without even
telling her. She is still angry, so do not come with me; otherwise she
will feel that I have not even allowed her to say anything. She must
be feeling to say many things, so let her be angry, do not come with
Buddha went in. Of course, Yashodhara
was just a volcano. She erupted, exploded. She started crying and
weeping and saying things. Buddha stayed there, waited there, and by
and by she cooled down and realized that Buddha had not even uttered a
single word. She wiped her eyes and looked at Buddha, and Buddha said,
"I have come to say that I have gained something, I have known
something, I have realized something. If you become cool I can give
you the message -- the truth that I have realized. I have waited so
much in order that you could go through a catharsis. Twelve years is a
long affair. You must have gathered many wounds, and your anger is
understandable; I expected this. That shows that you are still in love
with me. But there is a love beyond this love, and only because of
that love have I come back to tell you something."
But Yashodhara could not feel that
love. It is difficult to feel it because it is so silent. It is so
silent, it is as if absent. When mind ceases, then a different love
happens. But that love has no opposite to it. When mind ceases,
really, whatsoever happens has no opposite to it. With the mind there
is always the polar opposite, and mind moves like a pendulum. This
sutra is wonderful, and miracles are possible through it:
MIND, KEEP IN THE MIDDLE -- UNTIL.
So try it. And this sutra is for your
whole life. You cannot practice it sometimes, you have to be aware
continuously. Doing, walking, eating, in relationship, everywhere --
remain in the middle. Try at least, and you will feel a certain
calmness developing, a tranquility coming to you, a quiet center
growing within you.
Even if you are not successful in being
exactly in the middle, try to be in the middle. By and by you will
have the feel of what middle means. Whatsoever may be the case -- hate
or love, anger or repentance -- always remember the polar opposites
and remain in between. And sooner or later you will stumble upon the
exact middle point.
Once you know it you can never forget
it again, because that middle point is beyond the mind. That middle
point is all that spirituality means..