In the first part of this series, Don’t Just Sit There! Osho speaks about why traditional meditation methods were created and why new approaches are needed.
Osho explains in detail what has changed in us and why all these well-intentioned people are struggling, confused, or worse, and why a totally new approach is required:
“The body has changed so much. It is not natural now, as it always was. The human body today is a very unnatural thing. When Patanjali developed his yoga, the body was a natural phenomenon. Now it is not a natural phenomenon. It is absolutely different; it is so drugged that no traditional method can be helpful.
“The whole atmosphere is artificial now: the air is artificial, the water is artificial, the society’s living conditions are artificial. Nothing is natural. You are born in this artificiality; you develop in it, so traditional methods will prove harmful. They cannot be used as they are. They will have to be changed according to the modern, the modern situation.
“Another thing. The quality of the mind has changed. Basically in Patanjali’s days, in olden days, the center of the human personality was not the brain; it was the heart. And before that, it was not even the heart. It was still lower, near the navel. In the pre-Patanjali days, before Patanjali, it was the navel — the center of human personality. So hatha yoga developed methods which were useful, meaningful, to the person whose center of personality was the navel. Then the center became the heart. When the center became the heart, then only bhakti yoga could be applied, otherwise not. So bhakti yoga developed in the Middle Ages — never before — because the center changed. And a method has to change according to the people to whom it is applied.
“Now, even bhakti yoga is not relevant. The main center has again gone still further from the navel. Now, it is the brain.”1
As these changes happened, more and more meditators found that they had to struggle to force the body to be still, or to remain in a fixed posture, with potentially dangerous results. For modern people whose centers are farthest from the navel, the problem becomes even more acute: