Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Catch yourself red-handed!

                                             Courtesy Osho International Foundation

Gurdjieff was a great Russian mystic who was very down to earth. And a strange man too. He was extremely good at giving shock treatments to his disciples. His basic premise was that everybody is dreaming all the time; whether they are awake or asleep, doesn't matter. He used to take his disciples right in the buzz of the market and ask them to experiment with their meditation. He asked them to watch people walking on the street. Just stand by the side and look at people with passing by. When the disciples started watching alertly they found that  that  the people were sleepwalkers. They were walking like somnambulists. They looked awake because their eyes were open but they were walking in  trance. Their feet followed the road mechanically because they have trodden it many times. They were walking but their consciousness was not present in their walk. Their lips were moving as if they were talking to somebody, and there was nobody around! They were even found making gestures to somebody who was not present. Their faces had an invisible cloud of daydreaming, a dullness, a dark shadow, as if somehow they are forcing themselves to be awake, ready to fall any moment into dreaming, into sleep.  
Gurdjieff would say to his  disciples, "Unless you realize in your dreams that they are dreams, you will not be able to awake during the day." A tough criterion indeed. In the first place watching oneself during the day is so difficult, how can one watch in the dream?
Osho gives a clue, he says, "catch  yourself red-handed."  Start in the daytime.The moment you feel you are daydreaming, shake yourself and take note of it. You can even make a code word for waking yourself up. Like, ' not again!' or ' wake up!" or anything that suits you. It is a delightful game. You will start enjoying yourself like a child, every moment will be a new moment. You may even giggle or clap or dance. Bring more liveliness to it.
When you start becoming alert and awake you will find the activities and people all around are also part of a dream, they stop being real. If you can deepen this experience during the daytime this awareness will sink into your dream.
Osho says: " The dream has power only because you impart power to it. The more you become alert about your dreams, the more you will see gaps arising in your consciousness. But we have great investments in our dreams. We may be afraid of nightmares, but we are not yet fed-up of dreaming. We still go on cherishing sweet dreams."
So the only alternative is, catch yourself read handed while daydreaming.

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