The feeling that it is five minutes to midnight is known to many by now, and is often referred to as the "Doomsday Clock." As the many crises faced by humanity and planet Earth gather and tumble toward an emergency, some have even reduced the time left to two and a half minutes. It is no wonder that we feel increasingly helpless and at a loss what to do.
Osho calls Zen not a teaching but an alarm to wake us up, because as individuals we are all deeply asleep, and this sleep has to be shattered. “For centuries, you have been asleep. Sleep has become your nature. You have forgotten what awareness is, what to be awake means.” He wants us to wake up…before it is too late.
Zen, more than any other religious or spiritual tradition, is relevant to such times as these, when none of our old approaches to solving problems will do. Immediate, urgent, and direct, Zen is not interested in answers or in questions, not interested in teaching at all, because it is not a philosophy. As Osho begins here, by quoting the great Zen master, Diae: “All the teachings of the sages, of the saints, of the masters, have expounded no more than this: they are commentaries on your sudden cry, ‘Ah, This!’”
In this series of talks, Osho unfolds a selection of classic Zen stories and responds to questions. Along the way, we learn how the tools of Zen can be used to embrace uncertainty, to be at ease with not-knowing, to act decisively and with clarity and awareness. To "get woke," in other words, so that we can use each moment between now and midnight for transformation.
About the Author
Osho is a contemporary mystic whose life and teachings have influenced millions of people of all ages, and from all walks of life. His often provocative and challenging teachings generate today more and more interest, and his readership is dramatically expanding around the world in more than fifty languages. People can easily recognize the wisdom of his insights, the broad sweep of his familiarity with both ancient and contemporary philosophical thought, and his ability to communicate in a way that is relevant to our lives and to the issues we are facing today. The Sunday Times (London) named Osho as one of the "1,000 Makers of the 20th Century." He is known around the world for his revolutionary contribution to meditation the science of inner transformation with the unique approach of his "OSHO Active Meditations" acknowledging the accelerated pace of contemporary life its unique challenges.
Read an Excerpt
Please, in the question “Who am I?” what does “I” mean? Does it mean the essence of life?
“Who am I?” is not really a question because it has no answer to it; it is unanswerable. It is a device, not a question. It is used as a mantra. When you constantly inquire inside, “Who am I? Who am I?” you are not waiting for an answer. Your mind will supply many answers and all those answers have to be rejected. Your mind will say, “You are the essence of life. You are the eternal soul. You are divine,” and so on, and so forth. All those answers have to be rejected. Neti neti, one has to go on saying, “Neither this nor that.” When you have denied all the possible answers that the mind can supply and devise; when the question remains absolutely unanswerable, a miracle happens. Suddenly the question also disappears. When all the answers have been rejected, the question has no props, no supports inside to stand on any more. It simply flops; it collapses, it disappears. When the question also has disappeared, then you know. But that knowing is not an answer. It is an existential experience. Nothing can be said about it, or whatever will be said will be wrong. To say anything about it is to falsify it. It is the ultimate mystery, inexpressible, indefinable. No word is adequate enough to describe it. Even the phrase “essence of life” is not adequate; even God is not adequate. Nothing is adequate to express it. Its very nature is inexpressible. But you know. You know exactly the way the seed knows how to grow. Not like the professor who knows about chemistry or physics or geography or history, but like the bud, which knows how to open in the early morning sun. Not like the priest who knows about God; about and about he goes, around and around he goes.
Knowledge beats around the bush. Knowing is a direct penetration. And the moment you directly penetrate into existence, you disappear as a separate entity. You are no more. When the knower is no more, then the knowing is. And the knowing is not about something: you are that knowing, itself. So I cannot say what I means in the question “Who am I?” It means nothing! It is just a device to lead you into the unknown, to lead you into the uncharted; to lead you into that which is not available to the mind. It is a sword to cut the very roots of the mind, so only the silence of no-mind is left. In that silence there is no question, no answer; no knower, no known; but only knowing, only experiencing.
Table of ContentsPreface
Chapter One: The Great Miracle of Zen
Chapter Two: A Path to Freedom
Chapter Three: The State of No-Mind
Chapter Four: Turning Inward
Chapter Five: The Art of Awareness
Chapter Six: The Liberation of Let Go
Chapter Seven: Already a Buddha
Chapter Eight: The Highest Peak
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