Beloved Master, how can hypnosis and meditation come together?
Amrit Nirjan, hypnosis has been condemned by all kinds of ignorant people. They don’t understand anything about it, but you will find people everywhere condemning it. The word is used without knowing even the meaning of it. People will say to you, “You are hypnotized, that’s why you go to Osho!” But just ask them what hypnosis is. They cannot even tell you the literal meaning of it, nor can they tell you what is the technique of it. Just the word is enough to condemn anybody, “You are hypnotized.”
Hypnosis is a tremendously beautiful art, and there is nothing wrong in it. But everything can be used in a wrong way or in a right way. You can have a sword and cut somebody’s head. That is not the fault of the sword; the sword is neutral. With your sword you can prevent somebody from raping a woman. But the sword is absolutely neutral, neither good nor bad; every energy is neutral.
Hypnosis is a tremendous source of energy. The word itself means deliberate sleep. You know ordinary sleep, you sleep every day; because it is ordinary sleep, it does not go deep enough. Its function is to help your body to recover its energy lost in the day-to-day work, so tomorrow morning you can get up fresh, again able to work. The ordinary sleep only goes so deep that it can help your body to recover, rejuvenate.
Deliberate sleep is the meaning of hypnosis. It is a simple thing, but it goes as deep as you are ready to go. It refreshes your body, it silences your mind, it cleanses your heart, it can reach to your very being. It all depends on your willingness — nobody can hypnotize you against your will. That also is a greatly fallacious idea prevalent in the world, that somebody can hypnotize you against your will. That is impossible. Nobody can hypnotize you against your will.
Simple methods are used by the hypnotist. He will tell you to relax and concentrate on something shiny, without moving your eyelids; just keep your eyes open as long as you can, and only when it is almost impossible for you, when the eyelids close by themselves — you cannot do anything, you cannot stop — only then… You are relaxed, lying down in a silent place, looking at a very strong light which tires the eyes, staring at it. The hypnotist is repeating, “Your eyelids are becoming very heavy, the light is too strong and you are going to fall asleep soon.” And he will go on repeating it.
It takes not more than three to five minutes before you will start feeling your eyelids have become heavier, and heavier, and heavier. And a moment comes when you cannot keep them open, they simply close. Then the hypnotist starts telling you, “You are going deeper, deeper. And you will hear only my voice and nothing else.” Your total willingness is needed. If you are reluctant, if you don’t want it, then the hypnotist is absolutely helpless. It is not a power of the hypnotist as it is understood in the world, it is the willingness of the hypnotized that brings that deep kind of deliberate sleep.
If you follow, cooperate with the hypnotist, he can take you deeper, deeper, deeper… the mind has become silent. And the moment he says anything, it simply sinks into your being. Your heart is dancing with harmony — no tension, no thought. You have entered into the innermost shrine of your being; now relax there.
But this is possible only, and I am saying categorically only, if you are willing to go into it. But it is tremendously helpful, because you find it very difficult on your own to go into that deep silence where the world is left far behind. And if the hypnosis is going to be used for meditative purposes… It can be used for many kinds of purposes, it can be used for healing.
Seventy percent of your diseases are just mind diseases, they are not really there. You simply believe they are there, and because you believe, they are there. It is because of this there are so many `pathies’: allopathy, homeopathy, naturopathy, ayurveda, unani. There are so many ‘pathies’, Chinese, Japanese… and all function perfectly well, but only for seventy percent.
Only allopathy is a scientific methodology; it functions on one hundred percent of your diseases. But every pathy… homeopathy is nothing but sugar pills, but it works, and the work is not small — seventy percent. For seventy percent of sicknesses it is perfectly good. Naturopathy works, and naturopathy is very simple, for example, having a mud bath. Fill your bathtub with mud and lie down in the mud, and it cures many things. It has been found that seventy percent of diseases are in your own hands.
I had a doctor who was a fake doctor. He was my friend. He had no degrees, but his board was full of degrees — all kinds of degrees, from inside India, from outside India. And he made a lab. As you entered into his clinic, first you would pass through a tremendous lab, which was all just bogus — great machines that you have never seen, which have nothing to do with medicine — and he would impress you in this way.
When you reached his office you would be surprised. He never used an ordinary stethoscope; he had a very special arrangement. He was a genius although he was a fake. But he was a genius! You would have to lie down on the table, and above your head there were many big bottles with colored water, joined with a tube. That tube he would attach to the stethoscope, and the water would jump. You would see the water jumping — whether red water is jumping or green water is jumping. You have never seen such a thing!
It created great trust in the man: “That man is not ordinary.” And he was just watching the water…! That could have been done by anybody, by an ordinary stethoscope; it was nothing… your heart is jumping, so the water is jumping. Everything was special! He had almost cured the person by the time he was out of his clinic, and he was simply giving water, colored water, to people.
He was caught by the police. As I heard that he had been caught, I went immediately to the police station and I told those people, “He is fake, but he has helped hundreds of people — you should also consider that. It is absolutely unjust to harass him. It is true that those degrees are false, but those degrees are not given by any university, any medical college; so what is wrong if he has used the alphabet and he has made his degrees himself? Your concern should be how many people he has helped. And those are the people whom nobody could help.”
People used to go to him only as a last resort, because his fees were very high. Naturally, he had such a great establishment, his fees were almost eight times more than any qualified doctor. And he said to me, “Even taking eight times the fees helps the patient. When he pays so much, he gets well quickly. When he pays so much, he believes that the doctor is not ordinary. So it is not only a question of getting more money, it is a question of helping the patient. It is part of treatment.”
But the police were not ready to listen to me; he was presented before the magistrate. I went there too, and I said, “You should look at the record of how many people he cures. And those are the incurable people. They have been to allopathy, they have been to ayurveda, they have been to homeopathy. Nothing helps, but this man manages to help them. Now the real criterion should be how much service, how much help he has given, but you are simply bothering about certificates.”
The magistrate said, “I can understand you, but I have to follow the law.”
So the poor doctor is behind the bars. But I was continually talking to him, and he was very open and clear. He said, “I have arranged this whole thing as a hypnotic strategy. Once the patient is hypnotized, is ready to cooperate with me, once he trusts me… and he has to trust because he has paid so much money, and he has to trust because I am the last resort. He has been to all kinds of doctors. If I fail, then he has no hope, so naturally he has to trust me. And he can see that it is not an ordinary doctor’s clinic. It is so extraordinary that it is impossible for the doctor to fail.”
If somebody is not willing, the hypnotist has to create the willingness. Hypnotism is not some power in the hands of the hypnotist. That idea I want to criticize absolutely, without any conditions attached to it. It is thought all over the world that it is a power in the hands of the hypnotist. It is not; it is your power.
The hypnotist is only a help to awaken you to your own power, and then it can be used for many things: for healing, for making you live longer, for changing your harmful habits, smoking, drinking. It can do tremendous work.
It can be used as an educative methodology. You can learn in hypnosis better than you can learn ordinarily, because everything is silent and you are hearing only one voice. Even if somebody else comes and talks, you will not hear, you are open only to a small narrow way to the hypnotist. He can teach you any new language. He can teach you any new science. He can teach you arithmetic, anything within minutes for which people take hours and days to learn.
And it can be used for meditation too. As far as I am concerned hypnosis is simply a relaxed, deliberate sleep with a small opening, a little window, to the person who hypnotized you. He can tell you that your meditation will go deeper every day, and if this thought gets in your unconscious, your meditation will start going deeper. Just a few sessions and he can give you the last post-hypnotic suggestion: now you don’t need any hypnosis; your meditation will go deeper on its own accord.
Hypnosis has not been used in the whole of history for meditation, but it can be used, and it can be used with tremendous power, because you have to fight so much with your thoughts unnecessarily. That whole struggle with your mind can be dropped by hypnotic sessions without much effort.
Hypnosis is also capable of giving you a post-hypnotic suggestion, if you want to hypnotize yourself, by a simple strategy: count from one to one hundred, and from one hundred back to one. By the time you have reached back to one, you will fall into deep hypnosis. And you can tell yourself before going into hypnosis — because you will be alone — “The state of hypnosis will last only for fifteen minutes. After fifteen minutes I will come out of it.” This is auto-hypnosis.
Hetero-hypnosis means somebody is helping you. In the beginning it is good to take help. But you have to be very willing, in a very loveful atmosphere.
An old man was torturing his family continuously with this disease, that disease. And he was reading the encyclopedia and finding diseases. He was reading medical magazines and finding new diseases that have just been discovered, and he would immediately start torturing his family, “I am suffering from this disease.” It was a way of remaining in power. He was retired. Nobody cared about him; in fact, he was a burden. But even if you are a burden, you don’t want to be neglected. His method not to be neglected and not to be ignored was to create new diseases.
Doctors were tired because they said, “That man is strange, he has no disease. He just goes on reading and finding diseases from encyclopedias, and then we have to treat something which he has not got — and that may unnecessarily create trouble.” Medicine which is given to a person who has no disease may cause some trouble, particularly allopathic medicines which are almost all based on poison. So the doctors were saying, “We are tired, just…”
Then one doctor said, “It will be good if you go to a hypnotist. I have a friend who is a very good hypnotist, perhaps he may be helpful.” Now the old man is saying that he is suffering from sleeplessness, so the hypnotist will be perfectly the right person. He will give him sleep. He will also give him the the post-hypnotic suggestion, “You will go to sleep — just drink hot milk before you go to bed and immediately you will fall asleep.” He will associate sleep with the hot milk, and once it gets associated in the mind, it works.
Every child knows that the teddy bear works; you take the teddy bear away, and the child cannot sleep. And everybody has his own methods of creating teddy bears. You will find somebody clutching his blanket. If you don’t allow him to clutch his blanket, he cannot sleep. Everybody has a certain posture of sleeping. If you don’t allow him that posture, he cannot sleep. These are natural ways of auto-hypnotizing yourself.
So the hypnotist was brought, and the old man was told, “Now you forget… all your diseases will be finished. We have found the greatest hypnotist.” The old man lay down, and the hypnotist said, “Just as I say you are falling asleep, asleep… and your eyelids are becoming heavy, so heavy, mountainously heavy so that you cannot keep them open… ” And soon the old man was fast asleep.
The doctor took away his bag, slipped silently out, took his fees, and the family was very happy that this is the right man. But as the son came back, the old man opened one eye and said, “Has that crank gone or not?” He was not willing; he was just pretending. Immediately the moment he said, “Your eyes are becoming heavy,” he closed his eyes, listened to the whole thing, and knew that this is stupid. How can this create sleep?
Your willingness is absolutely needed. It is you who creates the hypnosis, not the person who hypnotizes you. But it is good in the beginning if you can help each other. There is nothing much to it; anybody you trust can help you and take you deep into hypnosis. And when you are in deep hypnosis he can check whether you are in deep hypnosis or not. He can push a needle in your hand; you will not feel it. He can take your hand up and leave it, and it will fall because you are not awake and you cannot keep it that way. So there are just a few small things he can try to find out if you are really in hypnosis.
Then he can tell you about meditation: whenever you sit to meditate, take a bath, make a special room for your meditation. Don’t do anything in that room so that it remains vibrating with your meditativeness. Burn incense, bring roses and flowers, sit silently. Close your eyes, watch your thoughts and you will immediately go into deep silence; thoughts will disappear. This can happen without hypnosis but it takes a longer time. Hypnosis is a short cut.
Your question is significant, Amrit Nirjan. You are asking, “How can hypnosis and meditation come together?” They can come together very easily. Hypnosis can be used for many purposes — it can be used for meditation. And the people who said you are being hypnotized by me are, in a way, right. Just because I don’t use methods of hypnotizing you, that does not mean that hypnosis is not created by you.
I am not hypnotizing you, but you love me, you trust me — that’s enough. And then when I stop for a moment, you also stop with me. When I am not speaking… just a gap, and you are also in a gap. Slowly, slowly your heart starts the same rhythm as my heart. My words start having a certain music, a certain solacing, a certain relaxing quality. All depends on love, all depends on trust, but you are creating it.
I am not hypnotizing — I am not a hypnotist.
I don’t need to be, I am myself. My presence is hypnotizing. So I don’t need to tell you, “Lie down and I will move a crystal… ding-dong, ding-dong. You are falling asleep, ding-dong…. ” I have told you the story…
A sex maniac was being hypnotized by a ding-dong hypnotist, and the sex maniac jumped; he said, “Doctor, it works! My ding-dong is asleep!”
I am not a ding-dong hypnotist!…
I love you. I want to share my truth with you for no other reason except that I am so full of it, I cannot contain it. I want to share; I want to unburden myself. And if you are ready on the other end to receive it, hypnosis will happen automatically. And with hypnosis, because my insistence is continuously on meditation, you will find it easier to meditate here with me than anywhere else — in the beginning at least.
Later on, when you have developed on your own and you are more confident that you can fly in the silent spaces of your heart, then you will be able to create the same state anywhere; I will not be needed.
I don’t want you to be addicted to me — because I am not a drug, and I don’t want you to be addicted to anything. But you can use things which have been condemned by ignorant people, not knowing what they are saying. You can use them for tremendous benefit, for your spiritual growth.
Just an innocent heart is needed for meditation. And hypnosis can cleanse your heart and can bring you into the state of a small child.
Little Roger was frightened of the large bulldog that occupied the yard next to his home. One day, feeling adventurous, Roger climbed the fence. The huge bulldog rushed up to him and licked his face. The boy began to scream and his mother came running to his side.
“Did he bite you, darling?”
“Not yet,” whimpered Roger, “He just tasted me.”
That is the simplicity of a child.
Old Sam Rosenbaum was seventy-five, really very old, and finally got his nerve together to take a flight in a small airplane. As he climbed out after the ride, he turned to the pilot and said, “Sir, I wish to thank you for both those rides.”
“What are you talking about?” said the pilot, “You had only one ride.”
“Oh no I didn’t,” said old Sam. “I had two: my first and my last!”
In old age also, if people have lived rightly they come back to the same innocence of a child. And according to me, unless an old man becomes again a child, he has missed the opportunity of growing in the spiritual dimension; he has wasted his life in trivia. He has been collecting only seashells and colored stones on the sea beach, but he has not been able to discover the treasure of consciousness, awareness, enlightenment.
Hypnosis can be certainly used. Here we are going to create a school for hypnosis, where you will be able to learn how to auto-hypnotize yourself so you don’t have the dependence on the hypnotist. And then you can use that auto-hypnotizing process for meditation.
This is a pioneer effort to bring hypnosis and meditation together for the first time. But together they can be tremendously great. They can bring you so much light, so much blissfulness — and so easily. I like to repeat Chuang Tzu’s statement, “Easy is right; right is easy.” I don’t want you to become unnecessarily self-torturing, following unnecessarily long, arduous ways to come to yourself.
You don’t have to go anywhere.
I want to teach you the great pilgrimage from here to here. I want you to learn the art of reaching to God singing, dancing, rejoicing.
Laugh your way to God.
In essence that is my teaching.
And it is possible, with the help of hypnosis, to make meditation the easiest process. But drop any idea of condemnation of hypnosis, which you may have gathered because all the world, the whole world, is afraid of being hypnotized. There have been people, highly intelligent, who wanted to come to see me but they finally decided not to because they were afraid they may be hypnotized. Nobody can hypnotize you against your will.
Millions of people would like to come. They are reading my books, they are listening to my tapes, they are seeing the videos, but they are afraid to come close to me. A fear has been created by the so-called religious leaders that they will be hypnotized.
It happened that one famous but ugly and pornographic magazine, STERN, from Germany, had sent a reporter. He became so interested because he wanted to write an inside story. So he meditated, he listened to me, he did everything that sannyasins are doing here. He became so joyful and blissful that he became a sannyasin! He wrote the story, he went back. The STERN editorial board was very annoyed. The first thing they said was, “You have been hypnotized. We cannot publish your article. You have written it under hypnosis.”
He said, “What nonsense you are talking!”
They did not publish his article. On the contrary, they fired him. And they managed to distort his article the way they wanted: they left out everything that was positive, they inserted their own interpretations, and colored the whole thing in such an ugly and negative way that even he was surprised, because when they fired him… and he was one of their most important chief reporters.
He had come to live here, then he lived in the commune in America, and I think soon he will be coming back. Wherever he will be, he will be a sannyasin. He has tasted the experience himself. It is no more a borrowed knowledge; it has entered into his being, but it is not hypnosis. He was wrongly understood, and he was wrongly condemned.
Journalists come, but they always are spectators. They will not know what is happening to people in their inner being. Unless they become insiders, their reports are worthless. Many other people come, just as spectators to see what is happening.
This place is not for spectators.
This place is only for those who have courage to participate in this tremendous experiment of consciousness awakening.
Osho, The Great Pilgrimage: From Here to Here, Ch 1, Q 2