Most of us live our daily life with a certain routine—which is based on our environment of family, society, nationality, besides our own personal tendencies and weaknesses.
We follow a certain way of living and we pick up certain habits to fit with our environment. These habits occupy our consciousness, consume our time and enslave our being. Gradually, it becomes very hard to become free from their bondage.
We are expected to attend religious ceremonies and rituals, social functions, group parties — this way we are forced to conform to everything that makes us a respectable member of the society. We develop certain habits of eating and drinking, smoking and gossiping.
All this is so time-consuming that it drains our energy; we are not left with any time and space to be with ourselves. We find no time to meditate and to explore our own being.
In such a situation, the question arises how to make space for meditation and become a free individual.
Osho gives a clue in one Sufi story:
Two disciples of a great master were walking in the garden of the master’s house. They were allowed to walk every day, morning, evening.
The walking was a kind of meditation, a walking meditation — just as Zen people do walking meditation.
You cannot sit for 24 hours — the legs need a little movement, the blood needs a little circulation — so in Zen and in Sufism both, you meditate for a few hours sitting and then you start meditating walking.
But the meditation continues; walking or sitting, the inner current remains
They both were smokers. They both wanted to ask for the permission of the master, so they both decided, “Tomorrow, we’ll ask him. At the most, he will say no, but we are going to ask. And it doesn’t seem such a sacrilegious act to smoke in the garden; we will not be smoking in his house itself. ”
The next day they met in the garden. One was furious — furious because the other was smoking — and he said, “What happened? I also asked, but he simply
flatly refused and said no. And you are smoking? Are you not abiding by his orders?” He said, “But he has said yes to me.”
This looked very unjust. And the first said, “I will go and immediately inquire as to why he said no to me and yes to you.”
The other said, “Wait a minute. Please tell me what you had asked.” He said, “What I had asked? I had asked a simple thing, “Can I smoke while meditating?”
He said, “No! and he looked very angry.” The other started laughing; he said, “Now I know what is the matter. I asked, “Can I meditate while smoking? He said yes.”
It all depends. Just a little difference and life is totally something else. Now, there is a great difference. Asking, “Can I smoke while meditating?” is just ugly. But asking, “Can I meditate while smoking?” — it’s perfectly okay. Good! At least you will be meditating.
We need to learn the art of meditation in our busy life — participating in everything can be a meditation.