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Maitri Bhavana Meditation

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

This meditation starts by saying to oneself: "May i be well, may i be happy, may i be free from enmity, may i be free from ill-will against myself. After being penetrated by the feeling these thoughts generate, the next phase of the meditation consists in extending it to others: to start with, visualizing people you love and giving out this good feeling to them; then doing the same with people you love less, until you might even feel compassion for people you hate.
Maitri bhavana is one of the most penetrating meditations. You need not be afraid of getting into some sort of self-hypnosis; it is not. In fact, it is a sort of de-hypnosis. It looks like hypnosis because it is the reverse process: you have come to me from your home, you walked the way; now going back you will walk the same way. The only difference will be that now your back will be towards me. The way will be the same, you will be the same, but your face was towards me while you were coming towards me; now your back will be towards me.

Man is already hypnotized. It is not a question now of being hypnotized or not hypnotized. You are already hypnotized. The whole process of society is a sort of hypnosis. Somebody is told that he is a Christian, and it is so continuously repeated that his mind is conditioned and he thinks himself a Christian. Somebody is Hindu, somebody is a Mohammedan -- these are all hypnoses. You are already hypnotized. If you think you are miserable, this is a hypnosis. If you think you have too many problems, this is a hypnosis. Whatsoever you are is a sort of hypnosis. The society has given you those ideas, and now you are too full of those ideas and conditionings. Maitri bhavana is a de-hypnosis: it is an effort to bring back your natural mind; it is an effort to give you back your original face; it is an effort to bring you to the point where you were when you were born and the society had not yet corrupted you. When a child is born he is in Maitribhavana. Maitribhavana means a great feeling of friendship, love, compassion. When a child is born, he knows no hatred, he knows only love. Love is intrinsic; hatred he will learn later on. Love is intrinsic; anger he will learn later on. Jealousy, possessiveness, envy, he will learn later on. These will be the things the society will teach: how to be jealous, how to be full of hatred, how to be full of anger or violence. These things will be taught by the society.

When the child is born he is simple love. He has to be so because he has not known anything else. In the mother's womb he has not come across any enemy. He has lived in deep love for nine months, surrounded by love, nourished by love. He knows nobody who is inimical to him. He knows only the mother, he knows the mother's love. When he is born his whole experience is of love, so how can you expect him to know anything about hatred? This love he brings with himself; this is the original face. Then there will be trouble, then there will be many other experiences. He will start distrusting people. A newborn child is simply born with trust.

Children are trusting, but by and by there will be experiences in which they will be deceived, in which they will get into trouble, in which they will be opposed, in which they will become afraid. By and by they will learn all the tricks of the world. That's what has happened to everybody, more or less.

Now, Maitri bhavana is again creating the same situation: it is a de-hypnosis. It is an effort to drop hatred, anger, jealousy, envy, and come back to the world as you had come in the first place. If you go on doing this meditation, first you start loving yourself -- because you are closest to you than anybody else. Then you spread your love: your friendship, your compassion, your feeling, your well-wishing, your benediction, your blessings, you spread these to people you love -- friends, lovers. Then, by and by, you spread these to more people that you don't love so much, then people to whom you are indifferent -- you neither love nor hate -- then by and by to people you hate. Slowly you are de-hypnotizing yourself. Slowly you are again creating a womb of love around yourself.

Excerpted from The Beloved/ imes International/Courtesy Osho International Fondation/Courtesy Osho International Foundation/www.osho.com

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