Osho on Discipline
Osho speaks on Discipline on his discourse series give at Osho Commune, Pune, India during spring and summer of 1980 (Excerpted from the book “Walking in Zen Sitting in Zen”).
Osho, you say: Go beyond the mind. Do not listen to its chatter. Discipline it and make it a servant. Do not be its slave. But how to know when the mind is being disciplined and when it is being repressed? Also, when I took sannyas the other night you said not to get hooked on you. I have to tell you that you are closing the stable door after this particular horse has already bolted.
– Prem Lisa
The difference is so great that it is impossible to miss it. Repression happens through fighting with your mind. Discipline happens through being watchful, aware, alert. In discipline, there is no fight implied. In discipline, there is no condemnation, no evaluation. One simply looks at the mind silently, seeing the whole traffic, without saying what is right and what is wrong, what should be and what should not be, just as, standing by the side of the road, you watch the people walking by – saints and sinners, beautiful people, ugly people, good people, bad people – but you are unconcerned. It has nothing to do with you; you are out of it.
That’s exactly the meaning of the English word “ecstasy”. Ecstasy means to be out of the mind. You are just looking, as one looks at the clouds moving in the sky or at the river flowing by – cool, detached. Neither are you trying to cling to something nor are you trying to push something away from you.
This is pure awareness: you are only a mirror. And in just being a mirror, the miracle happens – the miracle of discipline. Slowly slowly, the traffic starts disappearing. Less and less thoughts are moving on the road, less and less pictures are appearing on the screen, less and less memories, fantasies. Gaps start appearing.
A mother was telling her child, “Be very careful when you go to school because the traffic is dangerous at rush hour time.”
The child said, “Don’t be worried. I always wait by the side of the road. When a gap comes by, then I cross the road.”
“When a gap comes by…” As you are looking at your mind you will be surprised: gaps come by, intervals when there is nothing to be seen. The observer remains alone and because it is alone it is no longer as observer either. You can’t call it an observer because there is nothing to observe. The mirror is there, but it is not reflecting anything. There is no duality of the seen and the seer. In these intervals discipline arises.
The word “discipline” is also beautiful. It is sometimes very significant to go to the roots of words. “Discipline” comes from a root which means learning. When you are looking at a gap, learning happens. Learning about what? Learning about yourself, because there is nothing else. You are full of awareness. You are just full of your own being, overflowing. And this experience of just being yourself, overflowing, undistracted by anything, undisturbed by anything, is the greatest learning, the greatest possibility of knowing the truth. This is discipline.