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Introduction to Meditation

Question:

For me the most beautiful meditation is to sit in a corner and watch the children playing around the Ashram. But I'm in trouble: is this a meditation at all?

Osho:

Watching is meditation. What you watch is irrelevant. You can watch the trees, you can watch the river, you can watch the clouds, you can watch children playing around. Watching is meditation. What you watch is not the point; the object is not the point. The quality of observation, the quality of being aware and alert - that's what meditation is.
So perfectly good! Children are beautiful - pure energy dancing around, pure energy running around. Delight in it and watch it. I don't see why you are feeling yourself in trouble. The mind goes on creating trouble. Whatsoever you do, the mind goes on creating trouble.
Now the mind says: Is this meditation at all?
Remember one thing: meditation means awareness. Whatsoever you do with awareness is meditation. Action is not the question, but the quality that you bring to your action. Walking can be a meditation if you walk alertly. Sitting can be a meditation if you sit alertly. Listening to the birds can be a meditation if you listen with awareness. Just listening to the inner noise of your mind can be a meditation if you remain alert and watchful. The whole point is: one should not move in sleep. Then whatsoever you do is meditation - and don't be worried about it!
The mind constantly creates some anxiety. Many times people come to me. They say they are feeling very good, very high - but is this real? Now the mind is creating a new trouble: Is this real? The mind has never asked this before. When you have a headache, do you ask: Is this real? You trust in misery too much. A headache is necessarily real, but if you go high and you feel a peak of bliss, the mind starts creating a subtle anxiety: Is this real? You may be in a delusion, hallucination, imagination. You may be seeing a dream. Or if you cannot find anything else, then: Osho must have hypnotized you. You must be in hypnosis.
You cannot believe that you can be blissful, that you can be happy. Because of this tendency of the mind, the mind clings to the miserable. Mind is always seeking and searching for hell, because it can exist only in misery; in bliss it disappears. Only in misery does it have throbbing life; only in misery does its business go well. Whenever you are happy it is not needed; when you are blissful, who needs mind? - you have already gone beyond it. The mind feels left behind, neglected, it starts nagging you. It says: Where are you going? Are you hypnotized? What illusions are you seeing? These are all dreams!
Because of this tendency, millions of people have come to a meditative point some time or other in their life but they miss the door. The door comes but they cannot believe in it. Meditation is as natural a phenomenon as love. It happens to everybody! It is part of your being, but you cannot believe in it. Even if it happens, you somehow overlook it. Or even if you feel that something is happening, you cannot say to others that something is happening because you are afraid others will think that you have gone mad. Your own mind goes on saying that this is not possible; this is too good to be true. So you forget about it.
Remember again: in your childhood, or later on when you were young, there must have been a few moments. It is impossible that those moments were not there; they have been there in everybody's life. Just try to recollect again and you will remember there have been moments when something was opening, but you closed it, afraid.
Sometimes, sitting on a silent night, looking at the stars - and something was going to happen and you shrank; apprehensive, frightened, you started doing something else. It was too good to be true. You missed an opportunity. Sometimes, in deep love, just sitting by the side of your beloved, something started happening; you were moving in some unknown direction. You became scared, you pulled yourself back to earth.
Sometimes, for no reason at all, just swimming in the river, or running around in the hot sun, or just relaxing on the beach and listening to the wild roar of the ocean, something started happening inside you, some inner alchemical change, as if your body was creating LSD. Something inside... and you were moving in a totally unknown dimension - as if you had wings and you could fly. You became afraid, you started clinging to the earth.
It has happened many times when people come to be initiated into sannyas. Sometimes, if I see very perceptive people, very receptive, and I touch their head, immediately they become scared. Just a few days ago the daughter of Ashok Kumar, one of the very famous film actors, took sannyas. The moment I touched her head she started crying, "Stop, Osho! Stop! Stop!" And her whole body was shaking. She started clinging to the earth. A door was very, very close. Something tremendously valuable could have happened, but she became afraid.
Many times in each person's life, such moments come; but those moments are not aggressive, they cannot force anything against you. If you are ready you can move, drift into them, slip into them, float with them, to the farthest end of existence. If you are afraid you cling to your shore, and you miss the boat. The boat cannot wait for you.
So don't be disturbed by the mind. Watching children playing around is a beautiful meditation - because watching is meditation. But remember, don't think about it. If children are dancing, running around, playing, shrieking, jumping, jogging, don't start thinking - just watch. Watch without any thought. Be aware, but don't think. Remain alert - just seeing, a pure seeing, a clarity, but don't start thinking about it; otherwise you have already moved away. Watching children, you can remember your own child back home. Then you have missed, then you are not watching these children. Some memories are floating in your mind. A film starts moving; then you are in a daydream. Simply watch!

(Osho in The Search #7)