Music Comes Closest to Meditation


Music comes closest to meditation. Music is a way towards meditation and the most beautiful way.

Meditation is the art of hearing the soundless sound, the art of hearing the music of silence — what the Zen people call the sound of one hand clapping.

When you are utterly silent, not a single thought passes your mind, there is not even a ripple of any feeling in your heart, then you start, for the first time, hearing silence. Silence has a music of its own. It is not dead; it is tremendously alive. In fact, nothing is more alive than silence. Music helps you from the outside to fall in tune with the inner.

Music is a device; it was invented by the buddhas. All that is beautiful in the world, all that is valuable in the world has always been discovered by the buddhas. Only they can discover because they have travelled the inner country — the inner, immeasurable universe. Whatsoever they have found and experienced in the inner world, they have tried to make something similar on the outside for those who can only understand that which is objective, who are not yet able to enter the interior of their own being, who are not yet even aware that there is an inner world.

Osho with String Instrument

Devices can be created on the outside which can help. Listening to great music you suddenly become silent — with no effort. Falling in tune with the music you lose your ego with no effort. You become relaxed, you fall into a deep rest. You are alert, awake, and yet in a subtle way drunk.

[…] Whenever any art is perfect it ends in meditation — it has to end in meditation. If it is not leading you towards meditation then something has gone wrong. That’s why much of modern art is not art.

That’s why much of the modern art is not art, it is insanity. Much modern music is not music; it simply makes you sexually excited. It is just the opposite of real music. Real music helps you to transcend your biology, your physiology, your psychology. Real music takes you to the world of the beyond — what Buddha calls the farther shore, even beyond the beyond.

Gurdjieff used to call real art “objective art.” Modern art is not, in that sense, objective art. In the past the awakened masters have used all kinds of devices: painting, sculpture, music, dance, drama. Every kind of device has been used to help you, because there are different types of people who can be helped in different ways: somebody through music, somebody through painting, somebody through poetry.

And that’s my function here: to create a buddhafield, a commune where all kinds of devices are used. But the purpose is one, the purpose is single, one-pointed. All these paths are leading you to the same goal — to your own inner being.

You have come to the right place. I am not a teacher of music because I don’t teach you the technique of music, but I am certainly the master of the inner music. I have heard it and I can help you to hear it — not only to hear it but to be it.

And to be it is to be for the first time. To be it is to be reborn. To be it is to know what bliss is and benediction is.

Osho, The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha Vol. 12, Ch 4, Q 2 (excerpt)

Related discourse The 3 M’s: Mathematics, Music, Meditation

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