You cannot do meditation, you can only be in meditation. It is not a question of doing something…OSHO
THE MOST lMPORTANT QUESTION that man has ever encountered is "What is meditation?" The English word meditation is not so pregnant with meaning as the original Sanskrit word dhyana.
'Meditation' has a wrong connotation. The moment you say meditation, immediately the idea arises "On what?" Meditation, in the English sense of the word, is always on some object.
But in the Sanskrit sense of the word dhyana, there is no object as such; on the contrary, to be absolutely objectless, to be utterly empty of all content, is dhyana.
Hence, when Buddha's message reached China, the word was left untranslated, because there was no equivalent in the Chinese language either. And the Chinese language is far richer than any other language of the world.
Yet there was no word which could be called synonymous with the word dhyana — for a simple reason: such a word was missing because dhyana has never been practiced anywhere else except in this country. This country has contributed only one thing to the world, and that is the art of dhyana. And that one contribution is enough, more than enough.
The whole of science can be put on one side and still it will not be more weighty than the single word dhyana. All the knowledge of the world can be put on one side, but the word dhyana will still weigh more. It has infinite significance, it is a totally new vision of consciousness: a consciousness without content, a consciousness without any thought, desire; an ocean without ripples, waves, utterly silent and still, reflecting the whole sky with all the stars. Such is dhyana.
In China it was left untranslated, but when you write a word from one language in another language, even if you don't translate it, it changes its color, its form. That's natural; it has happened many times.
Now, you know the word India; it is simply a different pronunciation of Sindu, the great river that now passes through Pakistan. When the Persians crossed that river for the first time they pronounced it Indu not Sindu.
From Indu it became Indus, from Indus it became India. And then some other language group passed through and pronounced it not Sindu but Hindu; hence Hindu, Hinduism, Hindustan. But they have all arisen out of the name Sindu. Now it seems so far away that Hindu and India seem to be not related at all.
When the Indian constitution was being prepared, there was great discussion about what to call this country: India or Hindustan? Great controversy over the same word! — because they both arise from the same word, the name of the great river that now passes through Pakistan, Sindu. It traveled in one direction and became Hindu and Hindustan, traveled in another direction and became Indus, India.
The same has happened with dhyana. Buddha never spoke Sanskrit; that was also one of his originalities. In India Sanskrit has always been the language of the priests, of the cultured, of the sophisticated. Buddha was the first to bring about a radical change: he started talking in the language of the people.
When a word is used more, it starts having a roundness to it, it loses its corners. It is like a rock in the flowing river: slowly slowly it becomes rounder, softer; it attains to beauty, it attains to a lovely farm. Dhyana is harsh, jhana is round, soft, easy to pronounce. So when Buddhist messengers reached China, jhana became ch'an in Chinese. And when the same word reached Japan from China it became ZEN. The root is dhyana.
In English also there is no equivalent word. 'Meditation' can be used because that is the most approximate, but that has to be used with very great care, because 'meditation' itself means meditating upon something, and dhyana means being in meditation, not meditating upon something. It is not a relationship with an object, it is absolute emptiness; no object, not even God. Simple objectlessness, the mirror reflecting nothing, the mirror simply in its nature, as it is. When you come to that simplicity, to that innocence, you are in meditation.
You cannot do meditation, you can only be in meditation. It is not a question of doing something, it is a question of being. It is not an act but a state.