“The meditation I am talking about is not a meditation on something: rather, it is a state of meditation. So this is what I mean when I am talking to you about meditation as a state. Meditation does not mean remembering someone. Meditation means to drop everything which is in one’s memory and to come to a state where only consciousness remains, where only awareness remains.
“If you light a lamp and remove all the objects surrounding it, the lamp will still go on giving light. In the same way, if you remove all objects from your consciousness, all thoughts, all imagination, what will happen? – only consciousness will remain. That pure state of consciousness is meditation. You don’t meditate on somebody. Meditation is a state where only consciousness remains.
“When only consciousness remains without an object, that state is called meditation. I am using the word meditation in this sense.
“What you practice is not meditation in the real sense; it is only a concept. But meditation will happen on its own through this. Try to understand that what you are practicing at night, exercises involving the chakras, and in the morning, exercises involving the breath, is all a discipline, it is not meditation. Through this discipline a moment will come when the breath will seem to have disappeared. Through this discipline a moment will come when the body seems to have disappeared and thoughts have also disappeared. What will remain when everything has disappeared? That which remains is meditation. When everything has disappeared, that which is left behind is called meditation.”
You will ask, “Wouldn’t it be better if we practiced a discipline using the idea of God? Wouldn’t it be better if we practiced a discipline with an idol?”
That would be dangerous. It is dangerous because while you practice a discipline with an idol, the state which I am calling meditation will not happen. Practicing a discipline with an idol, there will only be the idol and nothing else. And the deeper the discipline goes with the idol, the more the idol will be there and nothing else.
It happened to Ramakrishna. He used to meditate on the mother goddess Kali; this was his discipline. Then slowly, slowly it happened that he started seeing Kali within himself. Closing his eyes, the idol became alive and he became very blissful, very joyous. But one day a sage came to see him. The sage said to him, “What you are doing is only imagination, it is not a meeting with God.” And Ramakrishna said, “It is not a meeting with God? But I see Kali alive!” The sage replied, “Seeing Kali alive is not a meeting with God.” Some see a Kali, some see a Jesus, some see a Krishna – all these are fabrications of the mind. God does not have any visible form. The divine does not have a face, a manner, a shape. The moment consciousness enters the formless, it enters the divine. You don’t encounter the divine, you become one with it. There is no face-to-face encounter where you are standing on one side and God is standing on the other side. A moment comes when you merge with the infinite existence, just as a drop falls into the ocean. And the experience of that moment is the experience of the divine. You don’t encounter or see God, you experience the merging with existence just as a drop feels when it falls into the ocean. So the sage told him, “This is a mistake. It is only imagination.” And he said to Ramakrishna, “Now, in the same way as you created this idol within you, cut it into two pieces. Raise an imaginary sword and smash the idol in two!” Ramakrishna said, “Sword? Where will I find a sword?”
The sage said, “The way-you create the idol is imagination. You can also imagine the sword and cut the idol with it. Let imagination destroy imagination. Whe n the idol falls down nothing will be left behind. The world has already disappeared, and now only an idol remains – let go of that too. And when there is only empty space you will encounter the divine. What you are thinking is the divine is not the divine.
This is a last barrier to God. Destroy that too!” It was very difficult for Ramakrishna. He had meditated on this idol for years and nurtured it with so much love that it had started to appear to be alive. It was going to be very difficult to destroy it. He closed his eyes again and again but came back saying, “I cannot do this brutal act!” But the sage said, “If you cannot do it, you cannot become one with the divine. Then your love for the divine is less than your love for the idol. Are you not ready to destroy an idol for the sake of the divine? Your love for the divine is not sufficient – you are not ready to get rid of an idol for it!” You also don’t have much love for the divine. You are also keeping idols between you and the divine – holding on to sects, holding on to religious scriptures – and you are not ready to let go of them. The sage said, “You sit in meditation, and I will cut your forehead with a piece of glass. And when you feel me cutting your forehead with the piece of glass, gather some courageand cut Kali in two.”
Ramakrishna found the courage, and when he had done it the idol had been cut in two. Whe n he came back he said, “Today, for the first time, I have attained to samadhi. Today,for the first time, I have come to know what truth is. For thefirst time I am free of imagination and I have entered truth.
Osho, The Path of Meditation, Talk #6
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