Close your eyes…
and feel your body to be completely frozen.
This is the right moment
to enter into your inner world.
Gather all your energy,
your total consciousness,
and rush towards the center of your being.
It is exactly two inches below your navel, inside.
A great urgency is needed,
as if it is going to be your last moment.
Faster, with great intensity…
Rush faster and faster… deeper and deeper.
As you are coming closer
to the center of your being,
a great silence descends over you,
just like soft rain falling.
You can feel the coolness.
The whole night is becoming silent with you.
A little closer to the center,
and you are surrounded in a cloud of peace –
peace that passeth understanding.
Move a little closer,
and you feel a great blissfulness
you have not known before,
a tremendous power which is harmless,
a light that is filling your very being.
You are luminous.
In this luminosity
you can see the center perfectly well.
Step into the center,
and you will start feeling
a divine drunkenness, a great ecstasy.
You have heard these words –
this is a direct experience.
Here you will find your original face.
The face of Gautam the Buddha
has been accepted in the East
as a symbol of everybody’s original face.
Everybody is born with the potential
of becoming a buddha.
As you step into the center, you disappear.
Only the buddha remains,
only your awareness, alertness, consciousness.
Buddha has only one quality,
that is the very meaning of the name “Buddha” – witnessing.
Witness that you are not the body,
witness that you are not the mind,
and finally, witness that you are only a witness.
Suddenly a door opens into the cosmos.
You see from where your life has been coming.
You see you are no more, only existence is.
This pure nothingness,
this shunyata is the only religious experience there is.
To make your witnessing deeper,
Sink into your very sources of life.
Dissolve yourself in this ocean of consciousness.
Gautama the Buddha Auditorium
is turning into an ocean of consciousness.
Ten thousand buddhas are disappearing
into one oceanic feeling, into one oceanic experience.
This is pure Zen.
This is the beginning of an endless journey.
Gautam Buddha is reported to have said,
“Ignorance has no beginning but an end.
Enlightenment has a beginning but no end.”
You are taking the first step into enlightenment.
These are the three steps.
The first step is: you will find Gautam Buddha as your shadow,
but very luminous, very solid, almost tangible.
You will feel a tremendous compassion surrounding you.
In the second step, Buddha will come in front of you
and you will become his shadow.
Your shadow of course is dark; it is only a false entity.
As the buddha becomes more and more radiant
in front of you, your shadow starts dissolving.
The second step is followed by the third.
Your shadow has dissolved into the buddha.
Only a pure witnessing buddha remains,
utterly transparent, so he cannot make any shadow.
This is your pure life eternal. This life is cosmic.
You have entered into the womb of existence.
You are no more on the one hand;
on the other hand you are all that is alive.
And the whole existence is alive, throbbing.
You can hear existence’s heartbeat,
you are so close to it.
Now gather all these experiences, the bliss,
the ecstasy, the peace, the silence, the serenity,
and persuade the buddha to come behind you.
He has to become a constant companion to you
in your acts, in your gestures, in your day-to-day affairs.
This is the first step.
The second and third will follow in their own time.
You have just to wait in deep trust.
If the first has happened,
the second is bound to happen.
It is really the growth of the first.
The third is the growth of the second,
and the third is the final step.
Once you have become enlightened,
you are free from birth and death,
you are free from all bondages,
you are even free from yourself.
This is the ultimate freedom: freedom from oneself.
And only a man who has attained the ultimate freedom
can dance, and there will be no dancer but only dance;
can celebrate, but now celebration will be arising
from the very depths of existence itself;
can laugh, but now it will be a totally different laughter –
it will be existence laughing through you.
All your actions will become existential;
they will have a great grace and beauty
and truth and authenticity.
Now come back, and bring all these experiences
and the buddha following you.
With great grace, with silence,
sit down for a few moments,
just to remember the golden path that you have followed,
and the opening into ultimate space,
into nothingness, into shunyata
and the great moment when you had disappeared
and only existence was there.
Soon it will become your twenty-four-hour experience.
Inch by inch you will be transformed into a Gautam Buddha.
That is everybody’s birthright.
Osho, The Zen Manifesto: Freedom From Oneself, Ch 2