[A visitor says he has been meditating here but prefers passive meditations – like TM that he has been doing for some time. He wonders if he should keep using a mantra or just watch his breath: I feel just as good not using a mantra – to do it with my breath is just as good.]
Osho – Then using just the breath is far better, because a mantra is again an arbitrary thing, an artificial thing. It is better to drop artificial things. The breath is more natural. It is the mantra of life itself, it is god’s mantra. So no need to create any mantra, there is no point, because with the mantra comes the mind.
When you are repeating a mantra you are using the mind, you are using the memory – and the whole point is to go beyond memory, beyond the mind. Using the mind continuously you cannot get beyond it. It will soothe the mind, it will give a certain tranquility… and it has nothing to do with any specific mantra.
If you repeat any sound continuously – blah, blah, blah – that will also give the same result, because when you repeat one sound monotonously, continuously, it helps to create a sort of subtle sleep. You start getting into the alpha waves, because when your mind is engaged with the mantra it cannot think many thoughts. The mind cannot think two thoughts together; that’s the whole trick of the mantra. To give a mantra to the mind is just like giving a toy to a child.
When the child is engaged with the toy he will not do anything else; he cannot do two things together. So if the father is reading the newspaper and the child is disturbing him – coming again and again and asking questions – it is better to give him a toy so the child enjoys the toy and forgets the father, and the father can read his newspaper or do whatsoever he wants to.
The mantra is a very childish thing; it is a toy, a sound toy. You give a toy to the mind and the mind gets involved in it, it cannot think many thoughts. Because the mind cannot think many thoughts you will feel a certain tranquility, a stillness, a quiet. If the mantra is dropped you will go far deeper, because breathing is more natural.
Source: From Osho Book “This is It”