Precepts, Principles, Rules

by Osho

 Why do you seek precepts and principles? You may not have observed why. It is because with precepts you need not be alert. Suppose I make a precept out of non-violence and then I stick to it, or I make it a precept to be truthful and I stick to it. Then it becomes a habit and there is no need to be alert. I cannot speak lies because a habit, a principle, will always create a barrier.

 Society depends on principles, on inculcating and educating the children with principles. Then they become incapable, really, of being otherwise. If a person becomes incapable, he is dead. Your truth can be alive only if it comes through alertness, not through precepts and principles.

 Each moment, you have to be alert in order to be true. Truth is not a principle; it is something born out of your alertness. Non-violence is not a principle; if you are mindful, you cannot be violent. But, that is difficult. You have to transform yourself. It is easy to live according to principles, rules and regulations. Then you need not worry about being more alert and aware; you can follow the principles. Then you are just like a railway train running on the tracks. Those tracks are your principles. You are not afraid because you cannot miss the path. Really, you don't have any path; you have just iron rails on which your train is running. You will reach the destination, you need not be afraid. You will be asleep and the train will reach it. It is running on dead paths.

 But, practice says that life is not like that, it is more like a river. It is not running on iron rails. The path has not even been charted before. As the river flows, the path is created. The river will reach the sea, and this is how life should be. Life is like a river. There is no pre-charted way; there are no maps to be given to you which are to be followed. Just be alive and alert, and then, wherever life leads, you go with full confidence in it. Trust in the life force. Allow it to lead you towards the sea.

 Just be alert, that is all. While life leads you towards the sea, just be alert so that you don't miss anything. If you are alert, this life will be bliss. The very movement of the river is bliss in itself. Passing through the valleys, through the rocks, falling down from the hills, moving into the unknown is itself bliss. The river is not simply going to meet the sea, it is "growing" to be the sea, and this is possible only through rich experience, alert experiences, moving, trusting. This is the human search. Of course, it is dangerous. If rivers could be run through predetermined paths, there would be less danger, fewer errors. But the whole beauty of aliveness would be lost.

 So don't be a follower of precepts. Just be a creator of more and more awareness. The principles will happen to you, but you will never feel enclosed in them.

True Meditation

by Krishnamurti

Man, throughout history, has been seeking in so many ways something beyond ordinary life. He has done everything possible -- fasted, tortured himself, accepted the authority of others -- engaged in every form of neurotic behavior. Man wants to find something that is both rational and has depth, a full meaning; and he has always, from ancient days, sought it out. You must have observed all this in different ways. Life seems to lack beauty, so we want romantic, mystical legends. Though we may even worship them, all the structures man has built, psychologically as well as physically, have nothing to do with reality.

You have probably heard the word "meditation" or read something about it or you may have followed some guru who tells you what to do. I wish you had never heard that word; then your mind would be fresh to enquire. Some people have been to India but I don't know why they go there. Truth isn't there; there is romance, but romance is not truth. Truth is where you are; it is not in some foreign country. Truth is what you are doing, how you are behaving, not in shaving your head or in those stupid things man has done.

Meditation is not for the immature. The immature can play with it, as they do now, sitting cross-legged, breathing in a certain way, standing on their heads, in order to experience something original. But, using any system, you can never come upon that which is eternal, timeless. There is no short cut to all this. One has to work hard; one has to become very aware of what one is doing, what one is thinking, without any distortion.

You cannot empty the mind of the activity of the self by any method or by saying, "Tell me what to do." Therefore, if you are really interested in this, you have to find out for yourself your own activity of the self -- the statements, the gestures, the habits, the deceptions, the guilt that you cultivate and hold on to as though they were some precious things, instead of throwing them all away -- all the activities of the self. And that demands awareness.

Now, what is being aware? Awareness implies observation in which there is no choice at all, just observing without interpretation, translation or distortion. And that will not take place so long as there is an observer who is trying to be aware. You have heard that statement. You think, "What am I to do? How am I to be aware without the observer?" You want an activity. You are more concerned with action than with listening to the statement. If you listen to it completely, then you are breathing the perfume, the truth of it. And the truth acts, not the "me" who is struggling to act rightly. Have you got it?

You have to find out everything for yourself; nobody can tell you. What has been said in the past may be true, but, if you are serious, you have to find out what it means for yourself. Then, it is your truth and it is a living truth. You, yourself, in your freedom, have to see what is truth, what is false, and how to live a life in which there is no strife whatever. The whole of this is meditation.

For meditation, you must take a plunge into the water, not knowing how to swim. And, the beauty of meditation is that you never know where you are, where you are going, what the end is. You can do it all day, in the office, with the family, when you say to somebody, "I love you," when you are considering your children. But then, you educate them to become soldiers, to worship the flag, to kill -- to enter into this trap of the modern world. Watching all that, realizing your share in it -- all that is part of meditation. And when you so meditate, you will find in it an extraordinary beauty, you will act rightly at every moment. And, if you do not act rightly at a given moment, it does not matter -- you will pick it up again, you will not waste time in regret.

Meditation is the quality of the mind that is completely attentive -- and silent. Otherwise, you cannot observe, otherwise you cannot listen. When there is no movement of any kind in the mind, when it is naturally still, then there is only observation in silence, not an observer observing. In that quietness, you may see the nature of attachment, you may find out if there is something really sacred, or nothing at all.

If you set out to meditate, it will not be meditation; if you cultivate humility, it ceases to be. Meditation is the breeze that comes in when you leave the window open. But, if you deliberately keep the window open, deliberately invite the breeze to come in, it will never appear. Meditation is not a means to an end; it is both the means and the end.

To understand oneself, there must be observation and that can only take place now. Observation can only take place in the very doing of it -- when you are angry, when you are greedy, when you are in bliss -- to observe it as it is. Which means not to judge it, not to condemn it, but to watch it and let it flower and disappear. Do you understand the beauty of it? The very observation, with no observer in the background, brings about a change. In doing this, one becomes a light to oneself.