Osho on Yoga Awareness

Osho – Asanas, pranayama — there are so many methods through which energies can be made to flow inward. When they flow inward they become one, because at the center there cannot be more than one. So the more energy goes inward, the more harmony there is. Conflicts drop. In the center there is no conflict. There is an organic unity of the whole. That is why bliss is felt.

Another thing: asanas and pranayama are bodily helps. They are important, but they are only physical helps. If your mind is in conflict then they will not be of much help, because body and mind are not two things really. They are two parts of one thing. You are not body and mind; you are body/mind. You are psycho/somatic or somato/psychic. We talk about the body as one thing and the mind as something different, but body and mind are two poles of one energy. The body is gross and the mind is subtle, but the energy is the same.

One has to work from both polarities. For the body there is hatha yoga: asanas, pranayama, etcetera; and for the mind there is raga yoga and other yogas that are basically concerned with your mental attitudes.

Body and mind are one energy. For example, if you can control your breath when you are angry, the anger will die. If you can go on breathing rhythmically, anger cannot overpower you. In the same way, if you go on breathing rhythmically, sexual passion cannot overpower you. It will be there, but it will not become manifest. No one will know it is there. Not even you will be able to know it. So sex can be suppressed; anger can be suppressed. Through rhythmic breathing you can suppress them so much that you yourself will not even be aware of it. But the anger or sex will still be there. The body has suppressed it, but it remains inside, untouched.

One has to work with both the body and the mind. The body should be trained through yogic methodology, and the mind through awareness. You will require more awareness if you practice yoga because things will become more subtle. If you are angry, you can ordinarily become aware of it because it is so gross. But if you practice pranayama, you will need more awareness, more acute sensitivity to be aware of anger, because now the anger will become more subtle. The body is not cooperating with it so there will be no physical expression of it at all.

If people practice awareness techniques and simultaneously practice yogic methods, they will know deeper realms of awareness. Otherwise they will be aware only of the gross. If you change the gross but do not change the subtle, you will be in a dilemma. Now conflict will assert itself in a new way.

Yoga is helpful, but it is only one part. The other part is what Buddha calls mindfulness. Practice yoga so that the body becomes rhythmic and cooperative with your inner movements, and simultaneously practice mindfulness.

Be mindful of breathing. In yoga, you have to change the breathing process. In mindfulness, you have to be aware of the breathing as it is. Just be aware of it. If you can become aware of your breathing, then you can become aware of your thought process; otherwise not.

Those who try to become aware of their thought process directly, will not be able to do it. It will be very arduous, tedious. Breathing is the door to the mind. If you stop your breathing for a single moment, your thoughts will also stop. When breathing stops, the thought process stops. If your thinking is chaotic, your breathing will be chaotic. Breathing will simultaneously reflect your thought process.

Buddha talks about anapanasati: the yoga of awareness of the incoming and outgoing breath. He says, “Begin from here.” And that is the correct beginning. One should begin from breathing and never from the thought process itself. When you can feel the subtle movements of breath, only then will you be able to feel the subtle movements of thought.

Awareness of the thought process will change the quality of the mind; asanas and pranayama will change the quality of the body. Then the moment comes when your body and mind are one, without any conflict at all. When they are synchronized, you are neither body nor mind. For the first time, you know yourself as the Self. You transcend.

You can transcend only when there is no conflict. In this harmonious moment when body and mind are one, with no conflict, you transcend both. You are neither. Now you are nothing in a sense: no-thing. You are simple consciousness. Not conscious of something, but just awareness itself.

This awareness without being aware of anything, this consciousness without being conscious of anything, is the moment of explosion. Your potential becomes actual. You explode into a new realm: the ultimate. This ultimate is the concern of all religions.

Source – Osho Book “The Psychology of the Esoteric”

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