Meditation – The Practice of No-Mind

Meditation, meaning the practice of ‘no-mind’, is an Indian phenomenon.

Tao, Sufism and other religions do not have this practice, though they may achieve the same state by other, less predictable means.

The disciplined practice of ‘no-mind’ belongs to Hinduism, Buddhism and Indian Tantra.

The words ‘Chan’ (Chinese Buddhism) and ‘Zen’ (Japanese Buddhism) literally mean ‘meditation’, as Osho explains:


“In the East we have another word, dhyan.

It does not mean concentration, it does not mean contemplation, it does not mean meditation even.

It means a state of no-mind.

All those three are mind activities – whether you are concentrating, contemplating, or meditating, you are always objective.

There is something you are concentrating upon, there is something you are meditating upon, there is something you are contemplating upon.

Your processes may be different but the boundary line is clear cut: it is within the mind.

Mind can do all these three things without any difficulty.

Dhyan is beyond mind.

After Gautam Buddha’s disciples reached China nearabout eighteen hundred years ago they were faced with the same difficulty.

Finally they decided not to translate the word because there is no possible translation. They used the word dhyan, but in the Chinese pronunciation it became ch’an.

And when fourteen hundred years ago the transmission of the lamp reached to Japan, again there was the same difficulty: what to do with ch’an?

The Japanese had no equivalent or even similar word for it. So they also decided to use the same word; in their pronunciation it became zen.

In Pali, dhyan becomes jhan. Jhan and zen are not very far away, and ch’an also fits perfectly well between the two…

Dhyan means simply silence. Utter silence, serenity.”

– Osho, (edited) from ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’