Osho Quotes on Dreams and Dreamless Sleep

Osho Quotes on Dreams

  1. When there is nothing to desire, there is nothing to dream about either, because dreams are reflections of your desires. Dreams are reflections of your frustrations, dreams are reflections of your repressions, dreams reflect your day-life.
  2. Dreams are nothing but reflections of your day.
  3. You dream only because you carry a burden, only because the day is incomplete. You have left many things incompleted; they have to be completed in the dream. You looked at a woman, you desired her, but it was not possible. Society, the law, the state, morality, your own conscience, diverted your attention. You escaped from the woman but she will follow you in the dream; the act has to be completed. You must make love to this woman, if not in reality then in the dream; only then will you feel at ease. The incomplete act becomes a burden.
  4. A buddha sleeps dreamlessly because nothing is incomplete. There is no desire, no passion. Nothing arises and nothing remains; things pass as if in front of a mirror. A woman passes and Buddha looks but no passion arises. The woman has passed, the mirror is vacant again; there is no trace, no mark of it. He is dreamless. Even a child is not dreamless, even a child has desires. Maybe the desire is not for a woman, it may be for a new toy or for something else, but even a child dreams. Even a cat, a dog dreams. Look at a cat and you will feel it is dreaming of rats. It is jumping, catching; it is sometimes frustrated and sometimes very happy if the rat is caught. Look at a dog sleeping. You can feel it is dreaming about flies, about bones, about fighting. Sometimes it is tense, sometimes relaxed. The sleep is disturbed.
  5. Every night when you fall deeply into sleep, and the sleep is so deep that you cannot even dream, then the ego is no more found; all the fictions are gone. Deep dreamless sleep is a kind of small death.
  6. Buddha says that to be aware means not to dream, to be aware means to drop this unconscious sleep in which we live ordinarily. We are somnambulists, sleep-walkers. We go on living, but our living is very superficial. Deep down there are dreams and dreams and dreams. An undercurrent of dreaming goes on — and that undercurrent goes on corrupting our vision. That undercurrent of dreaming goes on making our eyes cloudy. That undercurrent of dreams goes on making our heads muddled. A person who lives in a sort of sleep can never be intelligent — and awareness is the purest flame of intelligence. A man who lives in sleep becomes more and more stupid. If you live in stupor, you will become stupid, you will become dull. This dullness has to be destroyed. And it can be destroyed only by becoming more aware. Walk with more awareness. Eat with more awareness. Talk with more awareness. Listen with more awareness.
  7. You need to remember yourself. You need to become a flame of inner awareness — an awareness so deep that even in dreams it will be present; an awareness so crystallized that even in deep sleep, dreamless sleep, it will be there burning like a light. Even in deep sleep the man of awareness knows that he is fast asleep; that is part of his awareness. You don’t know, even while you are awake, that you are. The man of awareness knows, even while asleep, that he is.
  8. For a Buddha dreams disappear; they don’t happen, they cannot happen — because he becomes so alert that even in sleep a subtle layer of awareness remains. He never loses his awareness. That’s what Krishna means when he says in the GEETA, “When everybody is fast asleep, the yogi is awake.”
  9. Dreams happen because you are not aware in your sleep. And dreams continue to happen in your waking state also, because then too your awareness is just so-so, very lukewarm, nothing much.
  10. In the East we have four layers of consciousness. First, that one we know is called so-called wakefulness. It is not really wakeful, because just underneath it dreams are floating. Close your eyes and you will have a daydream. Close your eyes and you will immediately see — imagination takes over, and you start going away from this moment, from here. In reality you are going nowhere, but in your mind you can go anywhere. So the first state is the so-called waking state; the second state is called sleep. We are aware of these. The third is called the dreaming state, because sleep can be without dreaming; then it has a different quality. It is very peaceful, very silent, dark and deep… very rejuvenating. So sleep is the second stage, below the so-called waking stage, and then comes the third stage, dreaming. Most of the time in your sleep you are dreaming. If you sleep eight hours, then six hours you are dreaming. Just here and there, like small islands, you are asleep; otherwise it is continuous dreaming. You don’t remember it, that’s why people think this seems too much — six hours of dreaming and only two hours of sleep. You remember only the last dreams when you are waking up, because only with your waking up your memory starts functioning; so it catches only the tail end of your dream world. You don’t remember all the dreams, but only the dreams that happen just before you are waking up — the morning dreams.
  11. A buddha is awake. Even while he is asleep he does not dream. When desires disappear, dreams disappear too. Dreams are desires translated into the language of sleep. A buddha sleeps with absolute alertness. The light goes on burning within him. The body needs rest, hence the body sleeps, but he needs no rest — the energy is inexhaustible. There, at the center of his being, a small light goes on burning. The whole circumference is fast asleep, but that light is alert, awake. We are asleep even while we are awake: he is awake even while he is asleep.
  12. Those who transcend both the sinner and the saint — them we have been calling sages. A saint is a very ordinary phenomenon. A sage is extraordinary. The sage is the transcendental. He’s neither saint nor sinner. Remember, if you are trying to become a saint and trying to drop your sinner, the dropped sinner will remain hanging in your unconscious. A hangover will be there. If you are trying to become a sinner, then deep down, somewhere in the unconscious, the saint will wait to be realized sometime in future. This happens: that saints go on dreaming about sins that they have forced themselves not to do. The dreams of saints are ugly because they are substitutions, and the dreams of sinners are very beautiful. Sinners always dream that they have become saints. A sinner can dream that he has become a Buddha, sitting under the Bodhi tree. But saints, so-called saints, are afraid of sleep. In sleep, their dreams reveal their inner reality. They have eloped with somebody’s wife — because the dream is that part which you have been denying in your life. A sage does not dream, because he has no polarity. He’s just a witness. When you become a witness in your life, life becomes absolutely simple. I’m not talking about the simplicity that you can discipline yourself into. I’m talking about the simplicity that comes by being alert and aware, that comes automatically, spontaneously. And when you are aware, dreams drop. A moment comes when sleep becomes dreamless. When sleep is dreamless, the day becomes thoughtless. They go together. Then a man is just like a small child, a newborn babe. Jesus says that is the quality which is needed if you want to enter into the kingdom of God.
  13. There is a point, the fourth state of consciousness. It is called turiya, simply “the fourth”; it has no other name. Turiya means the fourth. When waking, dreaming and sleep all disappear, one is simply a witness. You cannot call it waking, because this witness never sleeps; you cannot call it dreaming, because for this witness no dream ever appears; you cannot call it sleep, because this witness never sleeps. It is eternal awareness. This is the bodhichitta of Atisha, this is Christ-consciousness, this is buddhahood, enlightenment. So always be careful. Be more careful of your dreams than your waking, be more careful again of your dreamless sleep than of dreaming. And remember that you have to search for the fourth, because only the fourth is the ultimate. With the fourth you have arrived home. Now there is nowhere to go.
  14. Any moment close your eyes, rest for a single minute, and you will see that dreams are floating there. So just underneath your consciousness, a great world of dreams continues, and that goes on affecting your consciousness. Dreams are powerful things. They are projections; they go on shadowing your consciousness. And deep down in your dreams you will find again a sort of sleep. That’s what happens when you fall asleep in the night. When you have fallen asleep, first dreams start. That is the second stage. Then only rarely do you go deep. Then, dreams stop and you are in deep sleep. Again you start floating towards the surface, and this goes on continuously, the whole night — up and down, up and down you move. In the whole night if you can touch the deep layer of sleep for only fifteen minutes, that will be enough rest. That’s why people who meditate don’t need much sleep, because in deep meditation they can easily move into the depth of their beings. The rest of the night is wasted in dreaming.
  15. In the night also, when you go to sleep, the last thought becomes the pattern for the whole sleep. If the last thought is meditative the whole sleep will become meditation; if the last thought is of sex then the whole sleep will be disturbed by sexual dreams; if the last thought is of money then the whole night you will be in the market purchasing and selling. A thought is not an accident. It creates a chain, and then things follow and similar things follow.
  16. Whatsoever you leave incomplete has to be completed in your dreams; whatsoever you have not lived remains as a hang-over and completes itself in the mind  —  that’s what a dream is. The whole day you go on thinking. The thinking simply shows that you have more energy than you use for living; you have more energy than your so-called life needs. You are missing real life. Use more energy. Then fresh energies will be flowing. Just don’t be a miser. Use them today; let today be complete unto itself; tomorrow will take care of itself, don’t be worried about tomorrow. The worry, the problem, the anxiety, all simply show one thing: that you are not living rightly, that your life is not yet a celebration, a dance, a festivity. Hence all the problems.
  17. When a person represses nothing, dreams disappear. So a Buddha never dreams. If your meditation goes deep you will immediately find that your dreams are becoming less and less and less. The day your dreams completely disappear and you attain to clarity in your sleep — no clouds, no smoke, no thoughts; simple, silent sleep, without any interference of dreams — that day you have become a Buddha, your meditation has come to fruition.
  18. Zen does not believe in meditating one hour in the morning, or one hour in the night. It does not make meditation a separate, particular act. It wants meditation to become a quality of your being. So whatever you are doing — walking, sitting, standing, lying down, chopping wood, carrying water from the well, it does not matter. Whatever you are doing, you are doing it so silently, so peacefully, without any stirring of thoughts in your mind. Then your whole life has become meditation. You go to bed silently, you wake up silently, and one day you will realize that you also sleep silently — as thoughts disappear, dreams also disappear. Then the circle is complete. For Zen, meditation has to be a twenty-four-hour affair. It is not some extra act that you have to do.
  19. Dreams look very real. They are not, but they look very real. To an unconscious mind, dreams look as if they are the only reality. Have you not watched that deep in sleep, dreaming, every night again you become a victim? You again start thinking that this is real. In the morning you realize it was false, just a dream, but in the night, again and again you are a victim and you start thinking it is real.
  20. When you go to sleep, many of you suffer from nightmares. Many write to me, “What to do about nightmares?” You cannot do anything directly about nightmares; you will have to change your pattern of life. Your nightmares are produced by what you are doing and thinking in the day. Your night is simply a reflection. If your day is beautiful, blissful, loving, you can’t have nightmares. And if your day is silent, still, utterly thoughtless, contentless — absolutely pure, whole, knowing no disturbance — all dreams will disappear. In the night you will have a dreamless sleep.
  21. Who dreams about food? Only a person who represses his desire for food. You can try it: fast for one day and then see what happens…. The whole day you will think about food; from everywhere the mind will come again and again to the idea of food. And in the night you are bound to dream about food. Repress sex and you will dream about sex. Repress anything and you start becoming pathological. A really healthy man has no dreams — he has nothing to dream about. He lives each moment totally; he never represses anything. Hence his unconscious remains utterly empty and clean. Repress, and your unconscious becomes cluttered with unnecessary furniture. And in dreams you are bound to face your unconscious. You have to face it; in deep sleep you have to pass through it. It creates a turmoil throughout your whole life. I am life-affirmative. I am in tremendous love with life, and that’s my teaching. The so-called godmen are all against life; they are creating a pathological humanity.
  22. The conscious itself wants to get rid of many things, but you don’t allow it to have its say with you. Hence it has to find indirect ways. For example, in a dream it may communicate something to you, but by the morning you tend to forget it. There are very few people who remember their dreams. Why? It is such a colorful experience, and the whole night you have been dreaming. Out of eight hours, for at least six hours you have been dreaming. And I am talking about normal people, who don’t exist. What to say about the abnormal? They can manage to dream sixteen hours in eight hours! They can dream many dreams together, one dream overlapping another dream, dream into dream into dream. They can have such dreams… for example you can dream that you are going to a movie, and in the movie you see yourself on the screen as a person who is going to sleep, falls asleep and starts dreaming that he is going to a movie! This can go on and on and on, dreams within dreams within dreams. I am not talking about abnormal people; even normal people, very normal people, dream six hours per night. In fact that is the greatest activity that you do. You don’t do anything else for six hours every day. Six hours continuously dreaming! And in the morning all is forgotten; or only for a few seconds early on, for four or five seconds you remember a few things, a few fragments. And then soon, by the time you have taken your tea in bed, they have disappeared. The unconscious tries hard, for six hours every night, to relate to you what you are doing with your life. But you don’t listen.
  23. Now the sleep researchers say that it happens continuously in your sleep: if you sleep for eight hours, you are not on the same level continuously, your level goes on changing, peaks and valleys. The whole night you are going up and down. Sometimes you are very deep in sleep where even dreams disappear — Patanjali has called it SUSHUPTI, dreamless sleep — and sometimes you are full of dreams. And sometimes you are just on the verge of awakening. If something shattering, shocking happens, you will be awake, suddenly awake. That’s the effort of all the buddhas: waiting for that right moment when you are very close to awakening. Then a little push and your eyes open and you can see.
  24. Remember: a wise man is always hated by the world, is bound to be hated by the world. His presence is a disturbance to those who are fast asleep and snoring, because he goes on shouting “Wake up!” He goes on telling you that whatsoever you are doing is all illusory. He goes on shaking you, shocking you into awareness, and you may be dreaming sweet dreams, beautiful dreams. He goes on pulling you out of your dreams and your sleep, and your sleep may be comfortable, safe, secure. And he does not allow you rest; he gives you great work to do upon yourself. The ordinary humanity has always hated a wise man — he may be a Buddha or a Socrates or a Zarathustra or a Lao Tzu, it doesn’t matter who, but down the ages the wise man has been hated by the ordinary people, by the masses, by the crowds. The wise man has been loved only by a few seekers of truth, a few lovers of truth, a few good men. Remember it!
  25. Ordinarily man is asleep, all men are asleep. Irrespective of their religion, nation, race, on one thing they all agree: they are all fast asleep — dreaming different dreams, but the sleep is the same. The difference of dreams makes no difference to the quality of the sleep. One is dreaming Christian dreams, another is dreaming Jewish dreams, another is dreaming Hindu dreams, and so on and so forth, but dreams can’t change your consciousness. In fact they are hindrances. The sleep has to be broken, the sleep has to be shattered; otherwise you don’t know who you are, you don’t know what you are doing. You don’t know where you are coming from, you don’t know where you are going. You don’t know what you are saying and what you are doing, to yourself and to others. You are accidental. You are like driftwood at the mercy of the blind winds — there is no destiny. The winds throw you on this shore or on that shore, but you are not the master of your own being. You are a slave, a slave of blind forces. The first thing to be done is to come out of your sleep.
  26. Dreams are dreams, they have no substance in them. They can’t prevent you from becoming awake. Dreams, desire, sleep — they are all like darkness. When you light a candle the darkness cannot prevent it. The darkness may be very ancient, it may have existed for millions of years and the candle may be fresh and just a small candle, but that’s enough. Light has a positive existence. Darkness has no existence at all; it is only absence of light. You can wake up any moment, the candle can be lit any moment, and all dreams and desires will disappear.
  27. Unless dreams disappear, your mind will remain in a turmoil. Dreams simply say you don’t know how to put your mind off; you don’t know where the switch exists so that you can put it on and off according to your needs. When you are going to sleep you can’t put if off; it goes on chattering. Even if you say to it, “Shut up!” it does not listen to you at all; it does not care. And you know perfectly well it won’t listen. You feel so impotent as far as your own mind is concerned that you have to move according to it, it does not move according to you. If it wants to chatter it will chatter; when you fall asleep, still it goes on chattering. The art of meditation makes you aware where the switch is: it is in witnessing. Witnessing is the switch that can put your mind on or off. You become the master, so when you want to use it you use it and when you don’t want to use it you simply put it off and it gives rest to the mind. Hence the mind of a meditator is far more brilliant, far more intelligent, far more alive, sensitive, than the mind of a nonmeditator, because the mind of a meditator has a few periods of deep deep rest that rejuvenates it. If you see a meditator and he is not intelligent, that simply means he is not a meditator at all. A meditator cannot be stupid, a meditator cannot be mediocre; that is impossible. If he is a meditator, then he will radiate sharpness, intelligence, brilliance. He will be a genius, he will be creative.
  28. Meditation is like a daily bath. It is not something that once you have done it, you are finished. It should become like a natural thing, matter of fact. As you eat, as you go to sleep, as you take a bath, meditation should become a natural part of your life. At least twice a day you should cleanse your mind. The best times are the morning, when you are getting ready for the day, the workaday world…. Cleanse your mind so you have clarity, so you have transparency, so you don’t commit errors, mistakes, so you don’t have any evil thoughts, so you don’t have any egoistic thoughts… you go in a purer way to the world. You don’t go with corrupting seeds. And the next best time is before you go to sleep, again meditate. The whole day the dust collects. Clean the mind again… fall asleep. If you really start cleaning it, you will see tremendous changes happening. If you clean it rightly before you go to sleep, dreams will disappear. Because dreams are nothing but the dust gathered the whole day — it goes on moving inside you, goes on creating fantasies, illusions. If your meditation is going right, your dreams will by and by disappear. Your night will become a peaceful sleep with no dreams. And if the night is without dreams, in the morning you will be able to come up very fresh, very young, virgin. Then meditate again, because even if there have been no dreams, with the very passage of time, dust collects.
  29. The nonmeditator sleeps, dreams; the meditator starts moving away from his sleep towards awakening. He is in a transitory state. Then happiness has a totally different meaning: it becomes more of a quality, less of a quantity; it is more psychological, less physiological. He enjoys music more, he enjoys poetry more, he enjoys creating something. He enjoys nature, its beauty. He enjoys silence. He enjoys what he had never enjoyed before, and this is far more lasting.
  30. You are living in dreams. Your priests, your rabbis, your monks, your nuns, your bishops, your popes, they are all living in the same sleep. Maybe your dreams are a little bit different from each other, but the quality of the dream is the same. Why do you dream? — because there are so many desires unfulfilled, and to live with unfulfilled desires is painful. In dream you try to fulfill them; in dream you create a false feeling of fulfillment. Hence your dreams show much about you: what your desires are, what you want to become. But if you want to become anything in life, you are asleep. The man who is awake knows there is nowhere to go, nothing to become. He is already that which he ever can become. Seeing the grandeur of his being, desires wither away on their own accord. You are not even expected to drop them; they drop by themselves, like dry leaves falling from the trees.
  31. A few dreams are seen with closed eyes, a few dreams are seen with opened eyes, but both are dreams. And when you have awakened and there is no sleep left in you, when no part of your being is unconscious, you are absolutely conscious and your whole being is full of light, luminous, then only do you know what reality is. Right now you are asleep; all that you know is dream.
  32. I am not only saying that dreams are dreams; I say that whatsoever you see when you think you are awake is also a dream. The dreams that you see with closed eyes in your sleep, and the dreams that you see with your open eyes in your so-called awake state — both are dreams and both are meaningless.