Osho is asked, “Surely meditation is for mystics. Why do you propose it for ordinary people and their children?”
There is no one ordinary, and children are the most capable. They are natural mystics. And before they are destroyed by the society, before they are destroyed by other robots, by other corrupted people, it is better to help them to know something of meditation.
Meditation is not a conditioning, because meditation is not indoctrination. Meditation is not giving them any creed. If you teach a child to become Christian you have to give him a doctrine; you have to force him to believe things which naturally look absurd. You have to tell the child that Jesus was born out of a virgin mother – that becomes a fundamental. Now you are destroying the natural intelligence of the child. If he does not believe you, you are angry, and of course you are powerful and you can punish the child. You can torture the child in many ways. If he believes you it goes against his intrinsic intelligence. It looks like nonsense to him, but he has to compromise with you. And once he has compromised he starts losing his intelligence, he becomes stupid.
If you teach a child to be a Mohammedan, then again you will have to teach him a thousand and one absurdities. And so is the case with Hinduism and with all kinds of creeds, dogmas. If you teach a child meditation you are not indoctrinating him. You don’t say he has to believe anything, you simply invite him to an experiment in no-thought. No-thought is not a doctrine, it is an experience. And children are very, very capable because they are very close to the source. They have just come from God! They still remember something of that mystery. They have just come from the other world, they have not yet forgotten it completely. Sooner or later they will forget, but still the fragrance is around them. That’s why all children look so beautiful, so graceful. Have you even seen an ugly child?
Then what happens to all these beautiful children? Where do they disappear to? Later in life it is very rare to find beautiful people. Then what happens to all beautiful children? Why do they turn into ugly persons? What accident, what calamity happens on the way?
They start losing their grace the day they start losing their intelligence. They start losing their natural rhythm, their natural elegance and they start learning plastic behaviour. They no longer laugh spontaneously, they no longer cry spontaneously, they no longer dance spontaneously. You have forced them into a cage, a strait-jacket. You have imprisoned them.
The chains are very subtle, they are not very visible. The chains are of thought – Christian, Hindu, Mohammedan. You have chained the child and he cannot see the chains, so he will not be able to see how he is chained. And he will suffer his whole life. It is such an imprisonment. It is not like throwing a man into a jail. It is creating a jail around a man, so wherever he goes the jail continues around him. He can go to the Himalayas and sit in a cave, and he will remain a Hindu, he will remain a Christian – and he will still think thoughts.
Meditation is a way to go within yourselves to that depth where thoughts don’t exist, so it is not indoctrination. It is not teaching you anything, in fact, it is just making you alert to your inner capacity to be without thought, to be without mind. And the best time is when the child is still uncorrupted.
Osho, Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 1, Ch 10, Q 1 (excerpt)