We live in strange times. A few decades ago, we enjoyed reading great literature—classics of Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Gorky, Shakespeare and Kalidas. We relished the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. We spent hours listening to classical music. We had an educated young generation, culturally rich and thriving. We had time for everything great that makes life really rich. Ask any young person today about all these things and, in most cases, he will not show any interest in them.
Why? He has no time for all this, as he has to compete and survive in today’s world that’s moving at mind-boggling speed. He has to do all kinds of odd jobs, in odd times, which is not natural for his health and his family. He has to earn a lot to live comfortably with all the attractive technological gadgets. He has very little time for anything else. Most of his time is spent in things like sending and receiving text messages. He has no time to express tender feelings of love in long letters to his beloved. Most of his relationships are really empty and short-lived. There’s so much activity and running around but no zest in love. Today’s youth is being sucked into unhealthy mechanical jobs, day in and day out, being thus deprived of love from family and friends.
Osho reminds us, “People have forgotten the language of commitment, involvement. People don’t know the joy of dedication. They don’t know what it means to be utterly dedicated to something. It means giving birth to a soul in you. It integrates you, gives you a backbone. People who don’t have any experience of commitment—in love, in trust—are spineless and lousy. They are not really men. They have not yet arrived at that dignity of being men. To be a man means to be committed, involved and ready to go to the very extreme of some experience. If it appeals to you, convinces you, converts you, then you have to be ready to go wherever it leads you into the unknown, into the charted. Yes, there are many fears and challenges, but this is how one grows and matures.”
Osho says, “Millions of people in the world remain immature for the simple reason that they don’t know how to commit themselves. They remain rootless. And when a tree is rootless, you can well imagine what is going to happen to it. Slowly, all the juice will disappear from the tree, because it is no longer connected to any source of juice. The sap will not flow in it, it will lose its greenness, and it will not be young and alive any more. It will lose luster, grandeur, brilliance. It will lose all luminosity and it will not bloom. Springs will come and go, but it will just remain dead and dry. That’s what has happened to millions of people. They have lost their soil… man has lost one quality—zestfulness. And without zest, what is life but just waiting for death? It can’t be anything else. Only with zest do you live; otherwise you simply vegetate.”
Spring will come and go, but it will just remain dead and dry.
Enjoy it, feel blissful, allow it, receive it, welcome it — don’t will it.
Shake off Your Stress
Life in the fast-paced lane gets on everybody’s nerves. An increasing number of young people are under tremendous stress and distress, which creates numerous physical and mental problems. Stress has been linked to hypertension, heart attacks, diabetes, asthma, chronic pain, allergies, headaches, backaches, skin disorders, cancers and immune system weakness. Some people escape stress by drinking alcohol or consuming drugs but there are others who do not see any relief in this. As a result, many young people are turning to meditation as a solution to the stress in their lives.
Indeed, meditation has been shown to be effective in reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, alleviating anxiety, reversing heart disease, curbing the desire to smoke, facilitating weight loss, combating eating disorders, countering addictions, boosting immunity, dealing with negative emotions and improving scholastic and sports performance.
Osho’s insight into stress is that we should not take it as something negative. Whenever we think of stress as negative, thoughts come into our minds. Most of us think that stress is akin to worry, tension, failure, sadness, pressure—everything negative.
However, what we need to do is simply shake it off in an “Osho Active Meditation,” called Kundalini. This meditation is done in the evening after office hours. It removes mental blocks and makes you come alive with showers of inner energy. It is particularly beneficial for young and middle-aged women. It has four stages.
Stage I: 15 minutes
Be loose. Let your entire body shake. Feel the energies move up from your feet. Let go everywhere. Become the shaking. Your eyes may be open or closed.
Osho says, “Allow the shaking; don’t do it. Stand silently, feel it coming on. When your body starts trembling, help it but don’t do it. Enjoy it, feel blissful, allow it, receive it, welcome it—don’t will it. If you force it, it will become an exercise. Then it will be there just on the surface, it will not penetrate you. You will remain solid, stone-like. You will remain the manipulator, the doer; the body will just follow. The body is not the question—you are. When I say shake, I mean your solidity, your rock-like being should shake to its very foundation. Such that it becomes liquid, fluid, such that it melts, flows. And when the rock-like being becomes liquid, your body will follow. Then there is no shake, only shaking. Then nobody does it; it simply happens.”
Stage II: 15 minutes
Dance, any way you feel. Let your entire body move as it wishes to. Again, your eyes can be open or closed.
Stage III: 15 minutes
Close your eyes. Be very still, sitting or standing. Observe and witness whatever is happening, inside and outside.