But many religions, particularly in the East…and the most prominent is the Tibetan religion which has used tiny bells. It is a significant technique but dangerous, as all techniques are: you can get attached to the technique. If you listen to a tiny bell for hours it will have a hypnotizing effect on your mind. Thinking will stop, only the bell will go on ringing. Even when you have stopped the bell it will go on ringing in the mind. The idea behind the technique was that slowly, slowly the sound of the bell will fade away into silence. If it happens, good. But the greater possibility is that you will become attached to the bell. And it gives great peace, it will give you a feeling of great well – being, because the mind will not be thinking; it cannot do two things.
It is not only the bell – anything can be used. Lord Tennyson, the great poet, was embarrassed to recognize, in his autobiography, that from his very childhood – he does not know how, perhaps sleeping in a separate room as a small child – he was afraid of the darkness. Just to make sure that he was not alone, he started repeating his own name, “Tennyson, Tennyson…” and repeating his own name he forgot all about the darkness and the ghosts, and all kinds of creatures that humanity has invented for poor children to be tortured with. He would repeat a few times, “Tennyson, Tennyson, Tennyson…” and he would become silent and would fall into a deep sleep.
Later on, as he grew up, it became his usual practice. Without it he could not fall asleep – it became a necessary ritual. But it started giving him new insights: that it was not only sleep…but by repeating, “Tennyson, Tennyson,” his own name, he became silent, peaceful; he became somehow more than the body, somehow immaterial. And then, as he came to know about meditation…he had already developed a technique throughout his whole life. He tried it for meditation, and it worked. Just as it was leading him into deep sleep, it started leading him into deep relaxation, a great peacefulness.
So it is not a question of what mantra, what chanting, what name of which god or just the sound of a bell…it doesn’t matter. All that matters basically is that you become concentrated on one thing, that the mind is so full of one thing that all other thoughts stop. And any one thing for a long time is going to give you a certain kind of hypnotic state.
Just a few days ago, Anando brought me a press clipping. The man was authentic in writing it…he was puzzled, he could not understand what was the matter. He had been listening to me – he had come as a journalist to report. He had never heard such long discourses, and on subjects which were not his area! So he reports on me: “What is striking,” he reports, “is that first Osho speaks very slowly, with gaps – sometimes with closed eyes and sometimes he looks very intensely at you. He speaks so long that one feels bored, but the strange thing is that after boredom one feels a deep serenity, a silence – which is strange, because usually out of boredom one feels frustration, one feels angry.”
But he has observed well his own mind…that one feels a certain serenity, silence, peacefulness, and finally it seems that a kind of hypnosis has happened: “Perhaps this is Osho’s method – to speak so slowly, to speak with gaps, that you start feeling bored. But out of that boredom comes a serenity.”