The higher the altitude, the easier is the meditation


“That’s why so many people used to go to the Himalayas: not for the mountains – for the altitude,” says Osho in darshan.

Osho in Darshan ca 1977

[Osho speaks to Satyam, a German sannyasin and pilot who is visiting Pune for some weeks. ]

Something to say about yourself?

Well, I’d like to tell you a bit about my Nadabrahma meditation. I have been doing this consistently since April. And I did everything you suggested at that time.

I have a small room of my own, and I have been listening to tapes and reading besides this. I also used the humming part (of the meditation) during my job as a pilot, and this has been a bit surprising because during the very very long trips it is really a source of energy.

It is. It is a great source of energy. We don’t know our own sources and we don’t know how to connect with those sources. When you are humming a sound you fall into harmony. The sound becomes a vibration in your body/mind and by and by, slowly, the body and mind fall into a rapport. Their conflict ceases; in that cessation of the conflict, energy is saved.

Energy is being wasted continuously, because there is continuous conflict. The body wants to do one thing – the mind wants to do something else. One moment the mind wants to do this – another moment it wants to do that.

The body and mind are almost like two enemies, and the so-called religions help this antagonism. They have not dissolved it – in fact they have created it more and more. They have made it almost unbridgeable, because they all condemn the body; they are all against the body. They think that the body is the sin, so the body has to be crushed, controlled, disciplined. The body has to be forced to be a slave and the mind has to declare its mastery. The mind is the real culprit – the body is innocent; the body has never done anything wrong.

It is the mind that has led humanity into wrong paths, but the so-called religions are in favour of the mind and against the body. They have created a conflict inside and that conflict is continuously on – waking, sleeping, the conflict continues. And that conflict, naturally, dissipates much energy. Great energy is wasted and nothing is achieved out of that friction, because man can achieve only when there is a unity.

United you are victorious. Divided you fall – united you stand.

Humming is one of the basic secrets to bridge the body/mind, because sound is the basic element of both. When you are humming, the body is humming – subtle layers of the body vibrate and the mind is humming. By and by they both start falling into one step, into harmony, into a deep love affair – a sort of orgasmic state between body and mind. Then energy is saved and that energy is great. When this energy is saved you have the right to ask for more.

Jesus says, ‘Those who have, more shall be given to them, and those who don’t have, even that which they have will be taken away.’ So when you have the energy and you are saving the energy you become capable of receiving more and more. When you are losing the energy you become incapable of receiving, so whatsoever you have is lost and you don’t get any more.

The universe supplies only when somebody is using it rightly, creatively using it – then the universe is tremendously compassionate. It gives you as much as you need, more than you need; it is very extravagant. If you are destroying its energy, it is very miserly: it will not give you, and whatsoever you have — even that will be taken away.

This saying of Jesus is one of the most important sayings ever uttered by any man anywhere… very paradoxical, very significant.

So when this harmony happens in your body and mind, or in a state of song, rhythm, rapport, you are showing that you are capable – more can be given to you. You deserve more, and more will be flowing.

You have the source of the infinite, deep hidden in your core, in your centre. When the body/mind are flowing in a rhythmic harmony, from your own innermost core energy is supplied. The innermost core is happy and wants to give many gifts to you.

And more will be coming…. Continue. You will forget what tiredness is. You will never feel exhausted – sometimes maybe spent, but never exhausted, and these are two different things.

The feeling of exhaustion is of great frustration, futility; something has been wasted without any purpose, without any goal, without any meaning and significance.

When you feel spent that is a totally different feeling – beautiful. After one has done a good job one feels spent. The energy has been used, creatively used; one feels happy. A painter when he has painted, a poet when he has written the poem that was haunting him for months or for years….

It is said about Gibbon, that when he completed his history – the great history of the world which took thirty years for him to complete…. The night he completed it he wept… out of joy. His wife could not believe what he was doing, why he was crying and weeping. She thought he was unhappy or something. He was tremendously joyful. He said, ‘I feel spent, but I am happy. My energy has been used – it has not been in vain.’

Your work is of a tremendous import. There are very few pilots who really understand their work. It is the most adventurous work… it is one of the most poetic, one of the most aesthetic. So don’t do it just as a job. It is not a job at all – it is a great creative activity. Just to be on the winds in the vast sky is a tremendous joy – it has a certain spiritual quality in it and the beauty of the sky and the clouds, and the sun and the sunrays, and the rains, and the stars in the night, and the oceans below, and the infinite blue…. It is very meditative. To be a pilot is to be fortunate.

And the more you enter into meditation, the more you will enjoy. There is risk but all joy has risk. In the risk is the thrill. The pilot is always between life and death – and that’s the beauty of it. The pilot cannot become dead and dull. If he becomes dead and dull it is his own responsibility; he has forgotten what he is doing.

It is a great adventure; take it as an adventure and start loving it. Make it more and more meditative.

It is one of the experiences of all the meditators of the world that the higher the altitude, the easier is the meditation. That’s why so many people used to go to the Himalayas: not for the mountains – for the altitude. The higher you go, the less is the pull of gravitation. The less the pull of gravitation, the less you are a body. You start feeling a little bodilessness… you become more weightless.

As I conceive it, sooner or later spaceships will become the most useful places for meditators. They are completely out of the grip of gravitation, and man has no weight; he can float like a balloon inside of the ship. Those will become great experiences for meditators.

So the higher the altitude, the lesser is the grip of the earthly, the earth, and you are closer to the sky. You are less tethered to the instinctive, to the heavy, and you are more open and available to grace.

So down the centuries meditators have travelled to the Himalayas. It was risky, very risky, but once they started meditating there it was difficult for them to come back – it was so easy there. Just the very altitude changes the whole chemistry of your body, and the changed proportion of the oxygen makes a lot of difference.

The more oxygen that goes into your being, the more pure the atmosphere, the less the carbon dioxide, the lighter you will feel. The same happens through fasting – it changes the quantity of oxygen. The same thing happens through Dynamic Meditation – it changes the quantity of the oxygen. All yoga breathing is nothing but an effort to change the chemistry, but on higher altitudes it changes naturally.

If some day it becomes more and more possible that more and more people can go into spaceships, there will be a great explosion of meditators in the world. The first space explorers all felt this. Their diaries, their memoirs about their experiences, are tremendously religious. They all felt a certain religious quality happening to them… and they were not religious people.

One explorer wrote in his diary, ‘I have never been in the church and I have never been interested in god, but out here in space it is so silent, so eternally silent that I suddenly feel god exists. The very silence clicks something in me.’ And he wept out of joy: god is!

Another explorer wept out of joy because for the first time he could see the earth as one: no Russia, no America, no India, no China – just one! With the very feeling that the whole earth is one, at that moment he became a universal man: neither Christian nor Hindu, nor white nor black – simply a dweller of the earth. That too is a great experience of religiousness.

My feeling is that these experiences came because of the state of no gravitation.

So start loving your work. Make it a meditation – go on humming, be meditative. Love your work: it is one of the best that one can happen to have.

Osho, What Is, Is, What Ain’t, Ain’t, Ch 3

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