Osho on Witnessing technique – You can witness breathing, you can witness the thought process

Osho – Societies will come and go. You will take birth and you will die and many lives will come and go, and many, many clouds will pass through you. But the inner sky – AKSHAT – remains uncorrupted, virgin. But you can become identified with clouds. You can begin to feel that ”I am the clouds”.

Everyone is identified with his own thoughts which are nothing more than clouds. You say, ”my thought,” and if someone attacks your thought, you never feel that your thought is being attacked – you are being attacked. The sky is fighting – fighting for clouds because some cloud has been attacked. The sky feels, ”I am attacked!” The sky was there when there was no cloud, the sky will be there when there is no cloud. Clouds add nothing to the sky. And when clouds are no more, nothing is lost. The sky remains itself totally.

This is the nature – the inner sky, the inner space. One uncovers it, discovers it, through witnessing. Witnessing is the basic, essential thing. It can be used in many, many techniques. In the Chinese Taoist tradition, they have a method known as ”Tai-Chi”. It is a method of centering, a method of witnessing. They say do whatsoever, but remain conscious of the center at the navel. Walking, be conscious of the center at the navel. Eating, be conscious of the center at the navel. Fighting, be conscious of the center at the navel. Do whatsoever you are doing, but remain conscious of one thing: that you are centered in the navel. Again, if you are conscious of the navel, you cannot think. The moment you begin to think, you will not be conscious of the navel.

This is a body technique. Buddha uses breathing, breath; Taoists use hara. They call the center at the navel hara. That’s why Japanese suicide is known as hara-kiri. It means committing suicide remaining centered in the hara so it is not suicide, it is not just suicide. They call it hara-kiri only if a person commits suicide remaining continuously aware of the center at the hara. Then it is not suicide at all – he is doing it so consciously. You cannot commit suicide so consciously. With you, suicide is committed only when you are so much disturbed that you have become absolutely unconscious.

Whether you use the hara or you use breathing, you must remain conscious. Krishnamurti says, ”Remain conscious of your thought process.” Whether it is the process of breathing or the palpitation of the hara or the thought process, it makes no difference. The basic thing remains the same. Remain conscious of your thought process. A thought arises: know that it has arisen. A thought is there: know that the thought is there. When the thought moves and goes out of existence, then know, witness that it has disappeared. Whenever a thought goes and another thought comes, there is a gap in between. Be conscious of the gap. Remain conscious of the thought process – a thought moving, a gap, again a thought. Be conscious!

Use thought as an object for your witnessing. It makes no difference: you can use breathing, you can use thought, you can use the HARA – you can use anything. There are many methods and each country has developed its own. And sometimes there is very much conflict about methods – but if you go deep, one thing is essential and that is witnessing – whatsoever the method may be. The difference is only of the body.

And Krishnamurti says, ”I have no method,” but he has. This witnessing of the thought process is as much a method as the witnessing of breathing. You can witness breathing, you can witness the thought process. And then, then you can appreciate that if someone is using a rosary, he can witness it. Then there is no difference between witnessing the movement of the rosary or witnessing breathing or the thought process.

Sufis use dancing, dervish dancing. They use dancing as the method. You might have heard the name ”whirling dervishes”. They move on their heels just like children move sometimes. If you move like that you will get dizzy – just moving on your heels, whirling. And they say, ”Go on whirling, know that the body is whirling, and remain conscious. Inside, remain aware! Don’t get identified with the whirling body. The body is whirling – don’t get identified, remain conscious. Then the witnessing will happen.”

And I think that the Sufi method is more sudden than any, because to witness thought process is difficult, it is very subtle. To witness breathing is again difficult because breathing is a non-voluntary process. But whirling you are doing voluntarily. Dancing, whirling round and round and round, the mind gets dizzy. If you remain aware, suddenly you find a center. Then the body becomes a wheel and you become the hub, and the body goes on whirling and the center stands alone, untouched – akshat – uncorrupted So there are hundreds and hundreds of methods, but the soul, the significant, the essential, the foundational thing in all of them, is witnessing.

Source – Osho Book “The Ultimate Alchemy, Vol 1”