During a darshan Osho says, “Whenever you start thinking of the future and the past too much, just relax and pay attention to your breathing.”
Marita, a teacher from Germany, is here for a short visit… or perhaps forever. She’s undecided about whether to return to her job on the twenty-fourth of January or to be here permanently.
Just do a few groups and enjoy these days. This is how the mind goes on destroying all possibilities; it goes on sacrificing today for tomorrow. When tomorrow comes, we will see. There is no need to decide right now, mm? – you can have twenty-four hours to decide. Start deciding on the night of the twenty-fourth. Up to the twenty-fourth be completely unworried; that thing can be decided easily. Live these few days as totally as possible.
Out of that totality will come the decision. Decision is good when it comes out of life; it is bad when it comes only out of the head. And when it comes only out of the head it is never decisive; it is always a conflict. The alternatives remain open and the mind goes on and on, from this side to that. That’s how the mind creates conflict. The body is always herenow, the mind is never herenow; that is the whole conflict. You breathe here and now, you cannot breathe tomorrow and you cannot breathe yesterday. You have to breathe this moment, but you can think about tomorrow and you can think about yesterday. So the body remains in the present and the mind goes on hopping between past and future, and there is a split between body and mind. The body is in the present and the mind is never in the present; they never meet, they never come across each other. And because of that split, anxiety, anguish and tension arise; one is tense – this tension is worry. The mind has to be brought to the present, because there is no other time.
So whenever you start thinking of the future and the past too much, just relax and pay attention to your breathing. Every day at least for one hour, just sit in a chair, relaxed, make yourself comfortable, and close your eyes. Just start looking at the breathing. Don’t change it; just look, watch. By watching it, it will become slower and slower and slower. If ordinarily you take eight breaths in one minute, you will start taking six, five, four, three, two….
Within two, three weeks you will be taking one breath per minute. When you are taking one breath per minute the mind is coming closer to the body. Out of this small meditation a time comes when for minutes the breathing stops. Three, four minutes pass and then one breath. Then you are in tune with the body and you will know for the first time what the present is. Otherwise it is just a word; the mind has never known it, the mind has never experienced it. It knows past, it knows future, so when you say present, the mind understands something in between past and future, in between something, but the mind has no experience of it.
So for these twenty-four days, for one hour every day, relax into breathing and let the breathing go…. It goes automatically. When you walk it goes automatically. Slowly, slowly there will be gaps and those gaps will give you the first experience of the present. Out of these twenty-four, twenty-five days, suddenly the decision will arise, whatsoever it is; if the decision says go back then go back… and you will be happy in going. If the decision says stay you will be happy in staying.
It is not material what decision comes up. The most important thing is from where it comes, not what it is, but from where. If it comes from the head it will create misery. You can decide to go, and the head, half of the head, will go on saying, ‘You are doing nonsense. You should have stayed.’ You can decide to stay and half of the mind will say, ‘What are you doing? You are losing your job, you will suffer later on you will get into trouble. It is better to go.’
But if some decision arises from your totality then you never never repent for a single moment. A man who lives in the present knows nothing of repentance; he never looks back, he never changes his past and his memories and he never arranges his future.
Decision from the head is an ugly thing. The very word ‘decision’ means ‘de-cision’; it cuts you off. It is not a good word. It simply means it cuts you off from reality. The head continuously cuts you off from reality.
Right now put it aside and do a few groups. If the decision comes to stay then I will give you a few more, mm? If the decision comes to go, that’s perfectly good; I will say good-bye! Good!
Osho, The Open Door, Ch 26