In Profile: Osho on The Wisdom of the Body

Here Osho speaks beautifully on Tantra’s emphasis on and trust in the wisdom of the body and the senses, and how to lose touch with our body is to lose touch with reality and our connection to life. 

Osho smiling

Osho

“This Tantra vision is one of the greatest visions ever dreamt by man: a religion without the priest, a religion without the temple, a religion without the organisation, a religion which does not destroy the individual but respects individuality tremendously, a religion which trusts in the ordinary man and woman. And this trust goes very deep. Tantra trusts in your body. No other religion trusts in your body. And when religions don’t trust in your body, they create a split between you and your body.

They make you enemies of your bodies, they start destroying the wisdom of the body.

Tantra trusts in your body. Tantra trusts in your senses. Tantra trusts in your energy. Tantra trusts in you – IN TOTO. Tantra does not deny anything, but transforms everything.

How to attain to this Tantra vision?

This is the map to turn you on, and to turn you in, and to turn you beyond.

The first thing is the body. The body is your base, it is your ground, it is where you are grounded.

To make you antagonistic towards the body is to destroy you, is to make you schizophrenic, is to make you miserable, is to create hell. You are the body. Of course, you are more than the body, but that ‘more’ will follow later on. First you are the body. The body is your basic truth, so never be against the body. Whenever you are against the body, you are going against God. Whenever you are disrespectful to your body, you are losing contact with reality, because your body is your contact.

Your body is your bridge. Your body is your temple. Tantra teaches reverence for the body, love, respect for the body, gratitude for the body. The body is marvellous. It is the greatest of mysteries.

But you have been taught to be against the body. So sometimes you are over-mystified by the tree, by the green tree – sometimes mystified by the moon and the sun, sometimes mystified by a flower, but never mystified by your own body. And your body is the most complex phenomenon in existence.

No flower, no tree has such a beautiful body as you have. No moon, no sun, no star has such an evolved mechanism as you have.

Tantra temples at Khajuraho

Tantra encourages us to love the body

But you have been taught to appreciate the flower, which is a simple thing. You have been taught to appreciate a tree, which is a simple thing. You have even been taught to appreciate stones, rocks, mountains, rivers, but you have never been taught to respect your own body, never to be mystified by it. Yes, it is very close, so it is very easy to forget about it. It is very obvious, so it is easy to neglect it. But this is the most beautiful phenomenon.

If you look at a flower, people will say ‘How aesthetic!’ And if you look at a woman’s beautiful face or a man’s beautiful face, people will say ‘This is lust.’ If you go to the tree, and stand there, and look in a dazed state at the flower – your eyes wide open, your senses wide open to allow the beauty of the flower to enter you – people will think you are a poet or a painter or a mystic. But if you go to a woman or a man and just stand there with great reverence and respect, and look at the woman with your eyes wide open and your senses drinking the beauty of the woman, the police will catch hold of you. Nobody will say that you are a mystic, a poet, nobody will appreciate what you are doing.

Something has gone wrong.

If you go to a stranger on the street and you say ‘What beautiful eyes you have!’ you will feel embarrassed, he will feel embarrassed. He will not be able to say ‘Thank you’ to you. In fact, he will feel offended. He will feel offended, because who are you to interfere in his private life? Who are you to dare?

If you go and touch the tree, the tree feels happy. But if you go and touch a man, he will feel offended.

What has gone wrong? Something has been damaged tremendously and very deeply.

Tantra teaches you to reclaim respect for the body, love for the body. Tantra teaches you to look at the body as the greatest creation of God. Tantra is the religion of the body. Of course, it goes higher, but it never leaves the body; it is grounded there. It is the only religion which is really grounded in the earth: it has roots. Other religions are uprooted trees – dead, dull, dying; the juice does not flow in them.

Tantra is really juicy, very alive.

Mahasatvaa Sarita at Tantra Meditation Retreat

Juicy and alive Tantra!

The first thing is to learn respect for the body, to unlearn all the nonsense that has been taught to you about the body. Otherwise you will never turn on, and you will never turn in, and you will never turn beyond. Start from the beginning. The body is your beginning.

The body has to be purified of many repressions. A great catharsis is needed for the body, a great RECHANA. The body has become poisoned because you have been against it; you have repressed it in many ways. Your body is existing at the minimum, that’s why you are miserable. Tantra says:

Bliss is possible only when you exist at the optimum – never before it. Bliss is possible only when you live intensely. How can you live intensely if you are against the body?

You are always lukewarm. The fire has cooled down. Down the centuries, the fire has been destroyed. The fire has to be rekindled. Tantra says: First purify the body – purify it of all repressions.

Allow the body energy to flow, remove the blocks.

It is very difficult to come across a person who has no blocks, it is very difficult to come across a person whose body is not tight. Loosen this tightness – this tension is blocking your energy; the flow cannot be possible with this tension.

Why is everybody so uptight? Why can’t you relax? Have you seen a cat sleeping, dozing in the afternoon? How simply and how beautifully the cat relaxes. Can’t you relax the same way? You toss and turn in your bed, you can’t relax. And the beauty of the cat’s relaxation is that it relaxes utterly and yet is perfectly alert. A slight movement in the room and it will open its eyes, it will jump and be ready. It is not that it is just asleep. The cat’s sleep is something to be learnt – man has forgotten.

Cats in pleasure

We can learn a lot from cats…

Tantra says: Learn from the cats – how they sleep, how they relax, how they live in a non-tense way.

And the whole animal world lives in that non-tense way. Man has to learn this, because man has been conditioned wrongly. Man has been programmed wrongly.

From the very childhood you have been programmed to be tight. You don’t breathe… out of fear.

Out of fear of sexuality, people don’t breathe, because when you breathe deeply, your breath goes exactly to the sex centre and hits it, massages it from the inside, excites it. Because you have been taught that sex is dangerous, each child starts breathing in a shallow way – hung up just in the chest.

He never goes beyond that because if he goes beyond it, suddenly, there is excitement: sexuality is aroused and fear arises. The moment you breathe deeply, sex energy is released.

Sex energy HAS to be released. It has to flow all over your being. Then your body will become orgasmic. But afraid to breathe, so afraid that almost half the lungs are full of carbon dioxide…

Dynamic breath

Dynamic breathing helps our bodies to come alive

There are six thousand holes in the lungs and ordinarily three thousand holes are never cleaned; they always remain full of carbon dioxide. That’s why you are dull, that’s why you don’t look alert, that’s why awareness is difficult. It is not accidental that Yoga and Tantra both teach deep breathing, PRANAYAMA, to unload your lungs from the carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is not for you – it has to be thrown out continuously, you have to breathe in new, fresh air, you have to breathe more oxygen. Oxygen will create your inner fire, oxygen will make you aflame. But oxygen will also inflame your sexuality. So only Tantra can allow you real deep breathing – even Yoga cannot allow you real deep breathing. Yoga also allows you to go up to the navel – not beyond that, not to cross the HARA centre, not to cross SWADHISTAN, because once you cross SWADHISTAN you jump into the MULADHAR.

Only Tantra allows you total being and total flow. Tantra gives you unconditional freedom, whatsoever you are and whatsoever you can be. Tantra puts no boundaries on you; it does not define you, it simply gives you total freedom. The understanding is that when you are totally free, then much is possible.

This has been my observation: that people who are sexually repressed become unintelligent. Only very, very sexually alive people are intelligent people. Now, the idea that sex is sin must have damaged intelligence – must have damaged it very badly. When you are really flowing. and your sexuality has no fight and conflict with you, when you cooperate with it, your mind will function at its optimum. You will be intelligent, alert, alive.

The body has to be befriended, says Tantra.

Mahasatvaa Sarita

Love the body and life becomes blissful

Do you ever touch your own body sometimes? Do you ever feel your own body, or do you remain as if you were encased in a dead thing? That’s what is happening. People are almost frozen; they are carrying the body like a casket. It is heavy, it obstructs, it does not help you to communicate with reality. If you allow the electricity of the body flow to move from the toe to the head, if you allow total freedom for its energy – the bioenergy – you will become a river, and you will not feel the body at all. You will feel almost bodiless. Not fighting with the body, you become bodiless. Fighting with the body, the body becomes a burden. And carrying your body as a burden you can never arrive to God.

The body has to become weightless, so that you almost start walking above the earth – that is the Tantra way to walk. You are so weightless that there is no gravitation, you can simply fly. But that comes out of great acceptance. It is going to be difficult to accept your body. You condemn it, you always find faults with it. You never appreciate, you never love it, and then you want a miracle: that somebody will come and love your body. If you yourself cannot love it, then how are you going to find somebody else to love your body? If you yourself cannot love it, nobody is going to love your body, because your vibe will keep people repelled.

You fall in love with a person who loves himself, never otherwise. The first love has to be towards oneself – only from that centre can other kinds of love arise. You don’t love your body. You hide it in a thousand and one ways. You hide your body’s smell, you hide your body in clothes, you hide your body in ornamentation. You try to create some beauty that you continuously feel you are missing, and in that very effort you become artificial.

Now think of a woman with lipstick on her lips… it is sheer ugliness. Lips should be red out of aliveness, they should not be painted. They should be alive out of love, they should be alive because you are alive. Now, just painting the lips… and you think that you are beautifying yourself. Only people who are very conscious of their ugliness go to beauty parlours, otherwise there is no need.

Lilac-Breasted Roller with Grasshopper on Acacia tree in Botswana

The effortless beauty of nature

Do you ever come across a bird which is ugly? Do you ever come across a deer which is ugly? It never happens. They don’t go to any beauty parlour, and they don’t consult an expert. They simply accept themselves and they are beautiful in their acceptance. In that very acceptance they shower beauty upon themselves.

The moment you accept yourself you become beautiful. When you are delighted with your own body, you will delight others also. Many people will fall in love with you, because you yourself are in love with yourself. Now you are angry with yourself: you know that you are ugly, you know that you are repulsive, horrible. This idea will repel people, this idea will not help them to fall in love with you; it will keep them away. Even if they were coming closer to you, the moment they will feel your vibration, they will move away.

There is no need to chase anybody. The chasing arises only because we have not been in love with ourselves. Otherwise people come. It becomes almost impossible for them not to fall in love with you if you are in love with yourself.

Why did so many people come to Buddha, and why did so many people come to Saraha, and why did so many people come to Jesus? These people were in love with themselves. They were in such great love and they were so delighted with their being that it was natural for whosoever would pass to be pulled by them; like a magnet they would pull. They were so enchanted with their own being, how could you avoid that enchantment? Just being there was such a great bliss.

Tantra teaches the first thing: Be loving towards your body, befriend your body, revere your body, respect your body, take care of your body – it is God’s gift. Treat it well, and it will reveal great mysteries to you. All growth depends on how you are related to your body.

Divine Sexuality by Mahasatvaa Sarita

Awaken your body through delicious sensual meditations

And then the second thing Tantra speaks about is the senses. Again the religions are against the senses. They try to dull the senses and sensitivity. And the senses are your doors of perception, the senses are the windows into reality. What is your eye? What are your ears? What is your nose?

Windows into reality, windows into God. If you see rightly, you will see God everywhere. So eyes have not to be closed, eyes have to be opened rightly. Eyes have not to be destroyed. Ears have not to be destroyed because all these sounds are divine.

These birds are chanting MANTRAS. These trees are giving sermons in silence. All sounds are his, and all forms are his. So if you don’t have sensitivity in you, how will you know God? And you have to go to a church, to a temple to find him… and he is all over the place. In a man-made temple, in a man-made church you go to find God? Man seems to be so stupid. God is everywhere, alive and kicking everywhere. But for that you need clean senses, purified senses.

So Tantra teaches that the senses are the doors of perception. They have been dulled. You have to drop that dullness, your senses have to be cleansed. Your senses are like a mirror which has become dull because so much dust has gathered upon it. The dust has to be cleansed.

Look at the Tantra approach about everything. Others say: Dull your senses, kill your taste! And Tantra says: Taste God in every taste. Others say: Kill your capacity to touch. And Tantra says: Flow totally into your touch, because whatsoever you touch is divine. It is a total reversal of the so-called religions. It is a radical revolution – from the very roots.

Touch, smell, taste, see, hear as totally as possible. You will have to learn the language because the society has befooled you: it has made you forget.

Each child is born with beautiful senses. Watch a child. When he looks at something, he is completely absorbed. When he is playing with his toys, he is utterly absorbed. When he looks, he becomes just the eyes. Look at the eyes of a child. When he hears, he becomes just the ears.

When he eats something, he is just there on the tongue. He becomes just the taste. See a child eating an apple. With what gusto! With what great energy! With what delight! See a child running after a butterfly in the garden… so absorbed that even if God were available, he would not run that way. Such a tremendous, meditative state – and without any effort. See a child collecting seashells on the beach as if he were collecting diamonds. Everything is precious when the senses are alive.

Everything is clear when the senses are alive.

Later on in life, the same child will look at reality as if hidden behind a darkened glass. Much smoke and dust have gathered on the glass, and you are hidden behind it and you are looking. Because of this, everything looks dull and dead. You look at the tree and the tree looks dull because your EYES are dull. You hear a song, but there is no appeal in it because your ears are dull. You can hear a Saraha and you will not be a

Fig

Life is a garden of sensual delights

ble to appreciate him, because your intelligence is dull.

Reclaim your forgotten language. Whenever you have time, be more in your senses. Eating – don’t just eat, try to learn the forgotten language of taste again. Touch the bread, feel the texture of it. Feel with open eyes, feel with closed eyes. While chewing, chew it – you are chewing God. Remember it! It will be disrespectful not to chew well, not to taste well. Let it be a prayer, and you will start the rising of a new consciousness in you. You will learn the way of Tantra alchemy.

Touch people more. We have become very touchy about touch. If somebody is talking to you and comes too close, you start moving backwards. We protect our territory. We don’t touch and we don’t allow others to touch; we don’t hold hands, we don’t hug. We don’t enjoy each other’s being.

Go to the tree, touch the tree. Touch the rock. Go to the river, let the river flow through your hands.

Feel it! Swim, and feel the water again as the fish feels it. Don’t miss any opportunity to revive your senses. And there are a thousand and one opportunities the whole day. There is no need to have some separate time for it. The whole day is a training in sensitivity. Use all the opportunities. Sitting under your shower, use the opportunity – feel the touch of the water falling on you. Lie down on the ground, naked, feel the earth. Lie down on the beach, feel the sand. Listen to the sounds of the sand, listen to the sounds of the sea. Use every opportunity – only then will you be able to learn the language of the senses again. And Tantra can be understood only when your body is alive and your senses feel.

Free your senses from habits: habits are one of the root causes of dullness. Find out new ways of doing things. Invent new ways of loving.”

The Tantra Vision, Volume 2

Picture of bird copyright Calvin Bradshaw

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