The mind doesn’t stop. YOU stop
When I was first invited to try meditation, I was utterly ignorant about it. I had a vague idea that it was something to do with sitting in a rather torturous position and doing unnatural things with your breathing. (OK, it was the early seventies when ‘meditation’ was definitely considered something weird and exotic).
I didn’t have a clue what it was supposed to do for you, and in fact it seemed a lot easier just to take drugs for a weird and exotic effect. But I was pretty desperate at the time (I was on major stress overload in my work and feeling massively under-supported in my marriage), so I thought why not give it a try.
My first experiences were with Dynamic meditation in a London basement. It was done naked, with blindfolds – I guess this was an aberration of the London meditation leader, because I have never heard of that happening anywhere else. I came every evening straight from my executive publishing job, so I felt a bit schizophrenic taking off my business suit and hopping up and down shouting ‘hoo’, stark naked.
I used to get very angry – I didn’t realise it was my own repressed emotions coming up – and I think I probably wouldn’t have returned after the first experience if I hadn’t already paid for a 2-week course of Dynamic. So I kept going, and very quickly I started to see the changes in my life. To my surprise (I was a lawyer and successful business woman, so was quite sceptical) I felt more grounded, less split inside, and definitely less neurotic. I quit my job and my husband, and started a whole new life. I have never looked back. And I can truly say that each year seems more and more incredible.
The beginning was certainly frustrating – it was easier to take off my clothes than take off my mind. I used to think that everyone else had a silent mind when they were meditating – just me, my mind seemed to be going even faster. I tried so many ways to stop it forcibly – like visualising erasing the words, or pulling down blinds over the words – but nothing helped and I felt rather hopeless about ever achieving a silent mind. Then I heard Osho say (they played an Osho discourse every evening after the meditation) that the mind doesn’t stop – by its nature it cant stop – but you can step outside it and take some distance from it, as if you were watching a movie, or a stream of traffic on a distant road. It is a question of not being identified with the thoughts. Just letting them pass by without getting involved in them, as if they were someone else’s thoughts.
That was a great insight, a wonderful breakthrough. I stopped struggling and started enjoying watching my crazy mind, and then quite unexpectedly I started falling into silent gaps. What an experience – something beyond anything I had ever experienced on acid. And thus began an amazing exploration that is still continuing. An exploration in which different meditation techniques give me different experiences – experiences that I could never have dreamed about when I started. Experiences which have changed my life, especially my perceptions – not just of myself, but of others, of nature, and of the world. Experiences which change the quality of how I live my life, day to day.
an article by Anando published in the italian Osho Times