An Experiment: Mind Over Matter

Remembering Here&Now

Osho asks Maneesha, during a discourse, to find out the tremendous control that the mind has over the body

In the year after I had arrived in Pune, I had been attending darshan each night, in a particular role. When Osho wanted to check someone’s energy – for example, by shining his slim torch on their third eye – he would ask me to kneel behind them, touch their head gently placing my hands on their shoulders; or (if they were lying down) perhaps to place my hands on their feet. He had given me no instructions as to what to do at those times, so I had just closed my eyes and relaxed.

Alternatively, he would suggest a certain meditation technique to someone and, if he were introducing it to us for the first time, he would instruct me as to the steps and have me do it then and there. I enjoyed so much being in darshan, loved the feeling of being totally available and up for anything he might cook up. I don’t know if he saw in me a love of experimentation and was tapping into that, or if he kindled such a love in me, but my being a ‘guinea pig’ would continue right up to the last year or so of the ‘Pune 2 period,’ when he introduced us to the technique called ‘The Forgotten Language of Talking to the Body’. (More about those days of experimentation in Bhagwan: The Buddha for the Future.)


It was during one of the discourses in Uruguay that Osho spoke to us about the tremendous control that the mind has over the body. “You can try it some time,” he said: “Just put your fingers this way [demonstrating with his fingers interlaced], locked together, and repeat, ‘Even if I want to open them, I cannot.’ Just for five minutes go on repeating, ‘Even if I want to open them, I cannot open them.’ And after five minutes you say, ‘I will count up to seven, and then I will try to open them, and I know I cannot open them.’

Count up to seven and after seven try to open them and you will not be able to open them. At least thirty-three percent of people will not be able to open them. The more they try, the more they will find it impossible: the hands are completely locked.”

excerpt from Osho, The Path of the Mystic

Well, that was an experiment I was not going to let go unexplored! I practiced it alone in my room a couple of times and then, some days later, as the final question for that night I read out one of my own. I said that I had tried ‘the trick of locking my fingers together’ and that Osho had said to tell him if it worked, and that it had for me.

“That’s great!” responded Osho. “Try it here, before everybody!”

My mind instantly went into panic mode. I hadn’t foreseen this at all! What if I couldn’t do it? Perhaps, in the privacy of my room with no one to witness what I was doing, I’d been deceiving myself and now would be exposed as a fake! Now there was nothing for it but to consciously put aside my private reservations, shelve the self-doubts, and not give the remotest chance for my mind’s skepticism to enter. I had to make it happen.

I bent my head the better to focus as I clasped my hands together and began the process as I’d practiced it: telling myself that my fingers were becoming so tightly locked into each other that there was no way I could possibly unclasp them; tighter, tighter….they were becoming utterly fused. I can’t open them, I told myself; no way; impossible!

After a couple of minutes, as per the instructions I counted to seven and then tried to unlock them…and could not! I told myself, “You can relax now; you don’t need to pretend you are keeping them together: let them relax.” Apparently I had hypnotized myself because they were well and truly totally clasped together…in fact so completely that, as Osho said, with a chuckle, ‘Good, Maneesha’, without thinking I let them fall, as one into my lap.

Osho looked down at them, drawing my attention to the fact that I hadn’t finished the process. So I then reversed the hypnosis, telling my fingers that they could relax now, could loosen their hold on each other… and very slowly and tentatively they did, until my two hands were now freed up.

Osho beamed at me, said, ‘Very good!’ chuckled again, rose to namaste us all and then quietly walked from the discourse room (The Path of the Mystic).

Text by Maneesha for Osho News

When Maneesha joined Osho News she asked Punya what she should write about. The immediate suggestion which popped up was: “How was it to sit in front of Osho and read the questions? I would have been scared stiff.” The answer to this became a series of articles which we have published during our first year. Here are the links to all of them:

13 – Osho Making Fun of our Seriousness
12 – Women’s Jealousy
11 – The Barbarous Mind
10 – The Bursting of the Boil
9 – The Device
8 – An Old Sinner
7 – Living with a Contemporary Koan
6 – The Irreplaceable Melody
5 – The Incomparable Privilege
4 – Our Final Questions
3 – The Whispered Transmission
2 – An Experiment: Mind Over Matter
1 – Reading the Questions to Osho: How It All Started

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