What we call life is a continuous flux – people change, things change, landscapes change. If we look within, our emotions, thoughts, notions, and beliefs are constantly changing. And, yet, the mind is averse to change. It resists change because it is comfortable with the old and the known.
Change signifies new and the unknown. Considering this natural tendency of the mind, Tantra experts have devised a meditation which asks us to meditate on change as the basic principle of life.
The meditation is: “Here is the sphere of change, change, change. Through change consume change.” This meditation is basically a tool that can help us cultivate an attitude towards life. Osho has spoken extensively on Tantra methods and has designed meditations according to their sutras. These methods are very effective as they give you a direct experience of Tantra wisdom.
Subtle nuances of change
I was facilitating an Osho meditation workshop in Ludhiana. It was a chilly winter morning and I selected a luscious rose garden to experience the sphere of change. Obviously, there couldn’t be a better environment to feel the subtle nuances of change.
While the soft sun rays tried to beat the chill in the morning, a group of a 100+ people were asked to roam among the profusion of colours. Roses of various hues and shades – from pink to purple to yellow to white, big and small, all sizes and shapes.
If you watched them closely, you could notice that they were in different stages of life: buds, half-bloomed, in full bloom, withering and the withered. The leaves, too, varied in age, from the tender greenish sprouts to the dried brownish yellow. The meditators were moving around, consciously watching every phase of the rose bush that participated in living. It is so easy to perceive it in nature, as all stages are right there, simultaneously in front of your eyes.
After watching the roses and absorbing their change, people started looking at other participants moving around. Weren’t they going through the same phases? Humans of all ages: young, middle aged, old, on the threshold of death… and, one day they will be no more! Pausing in front of each person, looking into each other’s eyes, this unavoidable truth hit them hard in the face. Was there any difference between them and the roses?
The same rivers of life could be observed in one’s own life. So, everybody sat down between the rose bushes, closed their eyes and looked at the various modes of lives they had gone through. I asked everybody to revisit all the stages of their lives – childhood, puberty, youth, old age; changes in their bodies, thoughts, emotions, dreams; and, now, at the point of life they were. One day, they will be withered like their fellow-travellers, the roses. Tears started rolling down some closed eyelashes. Moments of revelation!
With the revelation comes a deep acceptance: if change is the way of life, why not accept it? If this is what living means, why not celebrate it? Isn’t it beautiful that we are all part of the ever-changing flow; that a moment is never repeated, everything is ever-renewing itself? Let us consume change through the change. This realisation made everybody dance vibrantly, triumphantly. Yes, we know the secret! We rejoice in it!!
After the meditation, one middle aged Sikh businessman came to see me. His eyes still had a moist hang over a profound experience. He said, “It has been an eye-opener to me. I used to resist change – in my factory, in the office, at home. I thought change was an insult to my decisions, as if it was my defeat.And, due to this, I had created a hard crust around me. People used to shun me. But, today, for the first time, when I saw and felt the river of change outside and inside, I was shaken to the roots. I realised that by fighting change, I was fighting life.”
This businessman represents most contemporary human beings. In the times we now live in, the human mind is in a state of great confusion. Life around is changing fast, but the mind cannot cope with it.
Once we realise that to exist is to change, we will relax into change and allow ourselves to be borne by the living current. A small realisation that life is eternal, not permanent, will help us accept change.
Change is Challenging
Make no mistake about it, change is challenging whether it is conscious or unexpected. Viewing adversity as change, not loss or failure, is part of empowered and positive thinking.
Humans develop resiliency through change, both physiologically, and emotionally. It is necessary for all life forms to evolve.
Change comes through many vehicles – some hit us hard, others are rather sneaky. But despite the challenges change brings, we know it is our natural state. It is inevitable – the world grows and we grow with it fuelled by our emotions.
We are already designed to cry, express sorrow, frustration, anger, resentment, even give up for a while – and most of us choose to explore these feelings.
But we are also designed to have hope, recover, be stronger, and inspire others as a result of change. You are never, never alone because emotion gives us plenty in common.
Change is designed to get outside of ourselves and become conscious of our place within a community of souls. Without change, there is no transformation. Change is good, making us stir the self-development pot a little faster! A current cultural disease we suffer from is predictability, reflected in our inability to accept change at a personal level.
It applies across the board to choices we make with our finances, careers, or our relationships. Science, especially when applied to health issues, has given us a false security blanket when it comes to certainty.
After all, it seems we’ve been able to control nature. We like to think we’ve cornered the market on predictability and good planning, when the truth is we live in a time where prediction is more intuition and common sense than science.
To embrace change, we need to release the umbilical cord we think we have to the outcome of certainty. In other words, stepping off of the plateau requires a huge amount of trust. Your fall will be broken somewhere at the right time.
Believing helps us to cope. It is the first step, unsupported by any scientific doctrine. No matter what science pronounces, whether it is in the form of diagnosis, or the state of the environment, there is no sure thing.
Science has already given us permission to accept truth with a margin of error in just about anything. There is always the possibility something may exist or not exist, despite what patterns indicate.
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