Mindfulness: An Individual Revolution

— Swami Chaitanya Keerti

"Few of us ever live in the present. We are forever anticipating what is to come or remembering what has gone", said Louis L' Amour, the best-selling author of The Lonesome Gods and other fiction books. I am sure he read some of Osho's books while Osho was in USA.

Meditation, living each moment with total awareness, in a relaxed way, has always been the central message of Osho discourses. Such insights of mindfulness have touched the hearts of many creative people around the world. This is indeed a modern term for meditation that has been known to spiritual seekers since the time of Gautama the Buddha, who practiced and taught Vipassana and Anapansatiyoga. It might have been there even before him, since the time of Upanishads and Lord Shiva. But what can be said very conclusively is that Gautama the Buddha was the first spiritual scientist, who articulated it in such a way that the modern scientific world, without any blind faith, understands it and does research on it also. Recently the international Time magazine published a cover story on this subject. It was titled: The Mindful Revolution.

Gautama the Buddha is reported to have said in one of his gathas: Once a man came unto me and denounced me on account of my observing the way and practicing great loving kindness. But I kept silent and did not answer him. The denunciation ceased. I then asked him, if you bring a present to your neighbor and he accepts it not, does the present come back to you? The man replied, it will. I said, you denounce me now, but as I accept it not, you must take the wrong deed back upon your own person. It is like an echo succeeding sound, it is like shadow following object. You never escape the effect of your own evil deeds. Be therefore mindful and cease from doing evil.

One stops doing any evil when one is mindful, in a state of meditation each moment. In such a state we do not react, we simply respond meditatively. Reaction is most of the time very mechanical and automatic. Response takes place when there's relaxed awareness, a watchfulness, a passive alertness. Response is from a state of consciousness, which is rooted in freedom. Reaction is born out of tension and leading to more tension. It creates entanglement, chain of actions and bondage. Mindfulness means being responsive to every situation in life each moment with total awareness.

Osho elaborates: So whenever there is a need to respond, the first thing, is become mindful, become aware. Remember your center. Become grounded in your center. Be there for a few moments before you do anything. There is no need to think about it because thinking is partial. There is no need to feel about it because feeling is partial. There is no need to find clues from your parents, Bible, Koran, Gita... there is no need. You simply remain tranquil, silent, simply alert -- watching the situation as if you are absolutely out of it, aloof, a watcher on the hills. This is the first requirement -- to be centered whenever you want to act. Then out of this centering let the act arise -- and whatsoever you do will be virtuous, whatsoever you do will be right. Buddha says right mindfulness is the only virtue there is. Not to be mindful is to fall into error. To act unconsciously is to fall into error.

Mindfulness brings about a revolution in the life of an individual, who walks the path of life with full attentiveness. He is able to relax into his awareness and enjoys his freedom by not reacting unconsciously.

To conclude, let us remember Louis L' Amour who wrote in one of his books: "Long since, I had learned that one needs moments of quiet, moments of stillness, for both the inner and outer man, a moment of contemplation or even simple emptiness when the stress could ease away and a calmness enter the tissues. Such moments of quiet gave one strength, gave one coolness of mind with which to approach the world and its problems. Sometimes but a few minutes were needed."

About the Author
Swami Chaitanya Keerti was initiated into Osho's Neo Sannyas movement in 1971 and ever since has been dedicatedly associated with the world of meditation.

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