Buddha Story – Remain just in the middle

One Prince Shrown took initiation, Buddha initiated him into sannyas. That prince was a rare man, and when he took sannyas, when he was initiated, his whole kingdom was just amazed. The kingdom couldn’t believe it, the people couldn’t believe that Prince Shrown could become a sannyasin. No one had ever even imagined it, as he was a man of this world — indulging in everything, indulging to the extreme. Wine and women were his whole milieu.

Then suddenly Buddha came to the town, and the prince went to see him for a DARSHAN — A spiritual encounter. He fell at Buddha’s feet and he said, “Initiate me. I will leave this world.” Those who had come with him were not even aware… this was so sudden. So they asked Buddha, “What is happening? This is a miracle. Shrown is not that type of man, and he has lived very luxuriously. Up to now we couldn’t even imagine that Shrown is going to take sannyas, so what has happened? You have done something.”

Buddha said, “I have not done anything. Mind can move easily from one extreme to the other. That is the way of the mind — to move from one extreme to another. So Shrown is not doing something new. It is to be expected. Because you do not know the law of the mind, that is why you are so much taken aback.”

The mind moves from one extreme to another, that is the way of the mind. So it happens every day: a person who was mad after wealth renounces everything, becomes a naked fakir. We think, “What a miracle!” But it is nothing — just the ordinary law. A person who was not mad after wealth cannot be expected to renounce, because only from one extreme can you move to another — just like a pendulum, from one extreme to the other.

So a person who was after wealth, mad after wealth, will become mad against it, but the madness will remain — that is the mind. A man who lived just for sex may become a celibate, may move into isolation, but the madness will remain. Before he was living only for sex, now he will be living only against sex — but the attitude, the approach, remains the same.

So a BRAHMACHARI, a celibate, is not really beyond sex; his whole mind is sex-oriented. He is against, but not beyond. The way of beyond is always in the middle, it is never at the extreme. So Buddha says, “This could have been expected. No miracle has happened. This is how mind works.”

Shrown became a beggar, a sannyasin. He became a BHIKKHU, a monk, and soon other disciples of Buddha observed that he was moving to the other extreme. Buddha never asked anyone to be naked, but Shrown became naked. Buddha was not for nakedness. He said, “That is just another extreme.”

There are persons who live for clothes as if that is their life, and there are other persons who become naked — but both believe in the same thing. Buddha never taught nakedness, but Shrown became naked. He was the only disciple of Buddha who was naked. He became very, very self-torturing. Buddha allowed one meal every day for the sannyasins, but Shrown would take only one meal on alternate days. He became lean and thin. While all the other disciples would sit for meditation under trees, in the shade, he would never sit under any tree. He would always remain in the hot sun. He was a beautiful man and he had a very lovely body, but within six months no one could recognize that he was the same man. He became ugly, dark, black, burned.

Buddha went to Shrown one night and asked him, “Shrown, I have heard that when you were a prince, before initiation, you used to play on a VEENA, a sitar, and you were a great musician. So I have come to ask you one question. If the strings of the veena are very loose, what happens?” Shrown said, “If the strings are very loose, then no music is possible.” And then Buddha said, “And if the strings are very tight, too tight, then what happens?” Shrown said, “Then too music cannot be produced. The strings must be in the middle — neither loose nor tight, but just exactly in the middle.” Shrown said, “It is easy to play the veena, but only a master can set these strings right, in the middle.”

So Buddha said, “This much I have to say to you, after observing you for the last six months — that in life also the music comes only when the strings are neither loose nor tight, but just in the middle. So to renounce is easy, but only a master knows how to be in the middle. So Shrown, be a master, and let these strings of life be just in the middle — in everything. Do not go to this extreme, do not go to that one. Everything has two extremes, but you remain just in the middle.”

The Opening and Development of the Heart Center

ENLIGHTEN US ABOUT A FEW PRACTICAL POINTS FOR THE OPENING AND DEVELOPMENT
OF THE HEART CENTER.
The first point: try to be headless. Visualize yourself as headless; move headlessly. It sounds
absurd, but it is one of the most important exercises. Try it, and then you will know. Walk, and feel
as if you have no head. In the beginning it will be only ”as if.” It will be very weird. When the feeling
will come to you that you have no head, it will be very weird and strange. But by and by you will
settle down at the heart.
There is one law… You may have seen that someone who is blind has more keen ears, more musical
ears. Blind men are more musical; their feeling for music is deeper. Why? The energy that ordinarily
moves through the eyes now cannot move through them, so it chooses a different path. It moves
through the ears.
Blind men have a deeper sensitivity of touch. If a blind man touches you, you will feel the difference,
because we ordinarily do much work with touch through our eyes; we are touching each other
through our eyes. A blind man cannot touch through the eyes, so the energy moves through his
hands. A blind man is more sensitive than anyone who has eyes. Sometimes it may not be so, but
generally it is so. Energy starts moving from another center if one center is not there.
So try this exercise I am talking about – the exercise in headlessness – and suddenly you will
feel a strange thing: it will be as if for the first time you are at the heart. Walk headlessly. Sit
down to meditate, close your eyes, and simply feel that there is no head. Feel, ”My head has
disappeared.” In the beginning it will be just ”as if,” but by and by you will feel that the head has really
disappeared. And when you feel that your head has disappeared, your center will fall down to the
heart – immediately. You will be looking at the world through the heart and not through the head.
When for the first time Westerners reached Japan, they couldn’t believe that Japanese had
traditionally believed for centuries that they think through the belly. If you ask a Japanese child
– if he is not educated in Western ways – ”Where is your thinking?” he will point to his belly.

Centuries and centuries have passed, and Japan has been living without the head. It is just a
concept. If I ask you, ”Where is your thinking going on?” you will point toward the head, but a
Japanese will point to the belly, not to the head. And one of the reasons why the Japanese mind is
more calm, quiet and collected, is this.
Now this concept has been disturbed because the West has spread over everything. Now there
exists no East. Only in some individuals here and there, who are like islands, does the East exist.
Otherwise the East has disappeared; now the whole world is Western.
Try headlessness. Meditate standing before your mirror in the bathroom. Look deep into your eyes
and feel that you are looking from the heart. By and by the heart center will begin to function. And
when the heart functions, it changes your total personality, the total structure, the whole pattern,
because the heart has its own way.
So the first thing: try headlessness. Secondly, be more loving, because love cannot function through
the head. Be more loving! That is why when someone is in love, he loses his head. People say that
he has gone mad. If you are not mad and in love, then you are not in love really. The head must
be lost. If the head is there, unaffected, functioning ordinarily, then love is not possible, because for
love you need the heart to function – not the head. It is a function of the heart.
It happens that when a very rational person falls in love, he becomes stupid. He himself feels what
stupidity he is doing, what silliness. What is he doing? Then he makes two parts of his life. He
creates a division. The heart becomes a silent, intimate affair. When he moves out of his house, he
moves out of his heart. He lives in the world with the head, and only comes down to the heart when
he is loving. But it is very difficult, and ordinarily it never happens.
I was staying in Calcutta at a friend’s house, and the friend was a justice of the High Court. His wife
told me, ”I have only one problem to tell you. Can you help me?”
So I said, ”What is the problem?”
She said, ”My husband is your friend. He loves you and respects you, so if you say something to
him it may be helpful.”
So I asked her, ”What is to be said? Tell me.” She said, ”He remains a High Court judge even in the
bed. I have not known a lover, a friend or a husband. He is a High Court judge twenty-four hours a
day.”
It is difficult, it is difficult to come down from your pedestal. It becomes a fixed attitude. If you are
a businessman, you will remain a businessman in the bed also. It is difficult to accommodate two
persons within, and it is not easy to change your pattern completely, immediately, anytime you like.
It is difficult, but if you are in love you will have to come down from the head.
So for this meditation try to be more and more loving. And when I say be more loving, I mean change
the quality of your relationship: let it be based on love. Not only with your wife or with your child or
with your friend, but toward life as such become more loving. That is why Mahavir and Buddha have
talked about nonviolence. It was just to create a loving attitude toward life.

When Mahavir moves, walks, he remains aware not even to kill an ant. Why? Really, the ant is
not his concern. He is coming down from the head to the heart. He is creating a loving attitude
toward life as such. The more your relationships are based on love – all relationships – the more
your heart center will function. It will start working; you will look at the world through different eyes,
because the heart has its own way of looking at the world. The mind can never look in that way –
that is impossible for the mind. The mind can only analyze! The heart synthesizes; the mind can
only dissect, divide – it is a divider. Only the heart gives unity.
When you can look through the heart, the whole universe looks like one unity. When you approach
through the mind, the whole world becomes atomic. There is no unity, only atoms and atoms and
atoms. The heart gives a unitary experience, it joins together, and the ultimate synthesis is God. If
you can look through the heart, the whole universe looks like one. That oneness is God.
That is why science can never find God. That is impossible, because the method applied can never
reach to the ultimate unity. The very method of science is reason, analysis, division. So science
comes to molecules, atoms, electrons… They will go on dividing, but they can never come to the
organic unity of the whole. The whole is impossible to look at through the head.
So be more loving. Remember, whatsoever you are doing, the quality of love must be there. This
has to be a constant remembering. You are walking on the grass – feel that the grass is alive. Every
blade is as much alive as you are.
Mahatma Gandhi was staying with Rabindranath Tagore in Shanti Niketan. And look at their
different approaches! Gandhi’s nonviolence was a mind affair. He was always reasoning about
it, rational about it. He thought about it, he struggled over it, he pondered, contemplated, and then
he concluded; he experimented, then he concluded. If you have read his autobiography, you will
recall that he has named the book, EXPERIMENTS WITH TRUTH. The very word EXPERIMENTS
is scientific, of reason – a lab word.
He was staying with Rabindranath the poet, and they both went for a walk in the gardens. The land
was green, alive, so Gandhi said to Rabindranath, ”Come out to the lawn.” Rabindranath said, ”That
is impossible. I cannot walk over the lawn. Every blade is as much alive as I am. I cannot step over
so alive a phenomenon.”
And Rabindranath was not a preacher of nonviolence – not at all. He never talked about nonviolence,
but his approach was through the heart. He feels the grass. Gandhi pondered over what he said,
and then answered, ”You are right.” This is a mind approach.
Be loving. Even with things, be loving. If you are sitting on a chair, be loving. Feel the chair; have a
feeling of gratitude. The chair is giving comfort to you. Feel the touch, love it, have a loving feeling.
The chair itself is not important. If you are eating, eat lovingly.
Indians say that food is divine. The meaning is that when you are eating, the food is giving you life,
energy, vitality. Be grateful, be loving to it.
Ordinarily we eat food very violently, as if we are killing something, not as if we are absorbing – as
if we are killing. Or very indifferently you go on throwing things into your belly, without any feeling.

Touch your food lovingly, with gratitude: it is your life. Take it in, taste it, enjoy it. Do not be indifferent
and do not be violent.
Our teeth are very violent because of our animal heritage. Animals have no other weapons; nails
and teeth are their only weapons of violence. Your teeth are basically a weapon, so people go on
killing with their teeth – they kill their food. That is why, the more violent you are, the more you will
need food.
But there is a limit to food, so one goes on smoking or one goes on chewing gum. That is violence.
You enjoy it because you are killing something with your teeth, grinding something with your teeth,
so one goes on chewing gum or pan. This is a part of violence. Do whatsoever you are doing, but
do it lovingly. Do not be indifferent. Then your heart center will start functioning, and you will come
down deep into the heart.
First: try headlessness. Secondly: try love. Thirdly: be more and more aesthetic – sensitive toward
beauty, toward music, toward all that touches the heart. If this world can be trained more for music
and less for mathematics, we will have a better humanity; if we can train the mind more for poetry
and less for philosophy, we will have a better humanity. Because while you are listening to music or
playing music the mind is not needed, you drop from the mind.
Be more aesthetic, more poetic, more sensitive. You may not be a great musician or a great poet
or a great painter, but you can enjoy, and you can create something in your own right. There is no
need to be a Picasso. You can paint your house yourself; you can paint some pictures.
No need to be a maestro, an Alauddin Khan. You can play something in your house; you can play
on a flute, no matter how amateurish. But do something which is concerned with the heart. Sing,
dance, do something which is concerned with the heart. Be more sensitive to the world of the heart
– and not much is needed to be sensitive.
Even a poor man can be sensitive; riches are not needed. You may not have a palace where you
can be sensitive. If you are just lying on the beach, it is enough to be sensitive. You can be sensitive
to the sand, you can be sensitive to the sun, you can be sensitive to the waves, to the wind, to the
trees, to the sky. The whole world is there for you to be sensitive to it. Try to be more sensitive, alive
– and ACTIVELY sensitive, because the whole world has become passive.
You go to a cinema hall: someone else is doing something and you just sit there and watch.
Someone else is loving on the screen and you are watching. You are just a voyeur – passive,
dead, not doing anything. You are not a participant. Unless you are a participant, your heart center
will not function. So it is better sometimes to dance.
You are not going to be a great dancer – there is no need. Howsoever awkward, just dance. That
will give you the feeling of the heart. While you are dancing your center will be the heart; it can never
be at the mind. Jump, play like children. Sometimes forget completely your name, your prestige,
your degree. Forget them completely; be childlike. Do not be serious. Sometimes take life as a fun,
and the heart will develop. The heart gathers energy.
And when you have a heart that is alive, the quality of your mind will also change. Then you can go
to the mind, you can function through the mind, but the mind will become just an instrument – you

can use it. Then you are not obsessed with it, and you can move away from it any moment you like.
Then you are a master. The heart will give you a feeling that you are a master.
And another thing: you will come to know that you are neither the head nor the heart, because you
can move from heart to head, from head to heart. Then you know that you are something else – X.
If you remain in the head and never move anywhere, you become identified with the head. You do
not know that you are different. This movement from heart to head and from head to heart will give
you the feeling that you are totally different. Sometimes you are at the heart and sometimes you are
at the head, but you are neither heart nor head.
This third point of awareness will lead you to the third center – to the navel. And the navel is not
really a center. There, YOU ARE! That is why it cannot be developed, it can only be discovered.

CHAPTER 12. BEYOND MIND TO THE SOURCE
OSHO

Zorba the Buddha

I want you to be the very salt of the earth. Too many goody-goody saints have created so much diabetes. We need a different kind of saintliness. I have called that different kind of saint Zorba the Buddha.

-OSHO