Osho – To be asleep means to live a life in which awareness has no place. You are doing something, but your mind is somewhere else. You are walking along the street, your body is there in the street, but your mind is having a conversation with your wife, or may already have reached the office ahead of your physical arrival there. Your mind is already making arrangements in the office while you are still walking along the street. Mind in one place, body in another, is the characteristic of lack of awareness. Mind accompanying body is the characteristic of awareness.
You are here, listening to me. In these moments of listening, if your hearing is all, if only your hearing remains and your mind wanders nowhere else but is here and now, if hearing is the only thing happening, as if the rest of the world has disappeared, as if nothing else remains. Here, I am the speaker, there, you are the listener and a bridge is created between us. Your mind does nothing else, it falls silent, utterly silent; it hears, only hears. When only hearing remains, you experience awareness. For the first time, you discover what meditation is.
Meditation means being in the moment, not leaving this moment. Someone asked Buddha, ”How shall we meditate?”
Buddha replied, ”Whatsoever you do, do it with awareness; this is meditation. Walking, walk attentively, as if walking is everything; eating, eat with awareness, as if eating is everything; rising, rise with awareness; sitting, sit with awareness; all your actions become conscious, your mind does not travel beyond this moment, it remains in the moment, settles in the moment – this is meditation.”
Meditation is not a separate process. Meditation is simply the name for life lived with awareness. Meditation is not an hour-a-day affair where you sit for one hour and then it is over till tomorrow. No, if twenty-three hours are empty of meditation and only one hour is meditative, then it is certain that the twenty-three hours will defeat the single hour. Non-meditation will win, meditation will lose. If you are living twenty-three hours a day without awareness, and only one hour with awareness, then you will never attain to the state of buddhahood. How can this single hour triumph over the other twenty-three hours?
There is something else that also has to be understood. How can one be aware for one hour if in the remaining twenty-three hours one is not aware? How can you be healthy for one hour if you are sick the other twenty-three hours of the day? Health and sickness are the result of an internal flow. If you are healthy for twenty-three hours of the day, you will be healthy for all twenty-four hours, because the internal flow cannot suddenly be broken for just one of those hours. The current that is flowing goes on flowing.
Meditation cannot come about just because you visit a temple or mosque or gurudwara.. If you were not awake in the shop, in the marketplace, or at home, how can you all of a sudden be awake in the temple? Nothing is going to come about suddenly, when it is not part of an internal flowing. This is why Buddha has said that meditation can happen only if you are meditative for twenty-four hours a day.
So understand well that meditation is not just one of life’s innumerable activities. It is not just one link in the chain of man’s endless doings. It is like the thread on which all the flowers of a garland have been strung. Meditation is a lifestyle, not an activity. If one is meditative in everything one is doing, if the thread is running through each of the flowers, only then a garland is created. The thread is not even visible, it is hidden underneath the flowers. Nor can the meditator be seen; he is present, but hidden behind all the activities being done through him. An individual is awakened the day when he begins to live meditatively. While he lives nonmeditatively, he sleeps.
Someone asked Mahavira what was the definition of a sadhu. Nobody else has ever given the answer that Mahavira gave. He said, Asutta muni, sutta amuni – the one who is not asleep is a sadhu, the one who is asleep is no sadhu”. Who is not asleep? The one whose every action is meditative is not asleep. Religion, liberation, is an experience that happens in such a wakeful consciousness
Source – Osho Book “Nowhere To Go But In”