OSHO Excerpts


"I have heard a beautiful story - I don't know how far it is correct, I cannot vouch for it.

In paradise one afternoon, in its most famous cafe, Lao Tzu, Confucius, and Buddha are sitting and chatting. The waiter comes with a tray that holds three glasses of the juice called "Life," and offers them. Buddha immediately closes his eyes and refuses; he says, "Life is misery."

Confucius closes his eyes halfway - he is a middlist, he used to preach the golden mean - and asks the waiter to give him the glass. He would like to have a sip - but just a sip, because without tasting how can one say whether life is misery or not? Confucius had a scientific mind; he was not much of a mystic, he had a very pragmatic, earthbound mind. He was the first behaviorist the world has known, very logical. And it seems perfectly right - he says, "First I will have a sip, and then I will say what I think." He takes a sip and he says, "Buddha is right - life is misery."

Lao Tzu takes all the three glasses and he says, "Unless one drinks totally, how can one say anything?" And Lao Tzu says, " He drinks all the three glasses and starts dancing!

Buddha and Confucius ask him, "Are you not going to say anything?" And Lao Tzu says, "This is what I am saying - my dance and my song are speaking for me." Unless you taste totally, you cannot say. And when you taste totally, you still cannot say because what you know is such that no words are adequate.

Buddha is on one extreme, Confucius is in the middle. Lao Tzu has drunk all the three glasses - the one that was brought for Buddha, the one that was brought for Confucius, and the one that was brought for him. He has drunk them all; he has lived life in its three-dimensionality.

My own approach is that of Lao Tzu. Live life in all possible ways; don't choose one thing against the other, and don't try to be in the middle. Don't try to balance yourself - balance is not something that can be cultivated. Balance is something that comes out of experiencing all the dimensions o flife. Balance is something that happens; it is not something that can be brought about through your efforts. If you bring it through your efforts it will be false, forced. And you will remain tense, you will not be relaxed, because how can a person who is trying to remain balanced in the middle be relaxed? You will always be afraid that if you relax you may start moving to the left or to the right. You are bound to remain uptight, and to be uptight is to miss the whole opportunity, the whole gift of life.

Don't be uptight. Don't live life according to principles. Live life in its totality, drink life in its totality! Yes, sometimes it tastes bitter - so what? That taste of bitterness will make you capable of tasting its sweetness. You will be able to appreciate the sweetness only if you have tasted its bitterness. One who knows not how to cry will not know how to laugh, either. One who cannot enjoy a deep laughter, a belly laugh, that person's tears will be crocodile tears. They cannot be true, they cannot be authentic.

I don't teach the middle way, I teach the total way. Then a balance comes of its own accord, and then that balance has tremendous beauty and grace. You have not forced it, it has simply come. By moving gracefully to the left, to the right, in the middle, slowly a balance comes to you because you remain so unidentified. When sadness comes, you know it will pass, and when happiness comes you know that will pass, too. Nothing remains; everything passes by. The only thing that always abides is your witnessing. That witnessing brings balance. That witnessing is balance. "

Excerpt from "The Book of Understanding" by OSHO.


Existence is hilarious! If you just have eyes to see the hilarious points you will be surprised: in life there is no place to be serious. Everybody is slipping on banana peels - you just need an insight to see.

One just needs a little alertness to see and find out: Life is really a great cosmic laughter.

Those who become silent and happy join in the laughter.

Laughter is my message.

I do not ask you to do prayer. I ask you to find moments, situations, in which you can laugh whole-heartedly.

Your laughter will open a thousand and one roses within you.

Excerpt from "Laughter is my Message" by OSHO.


I teach selfishness. I want you to be, first, your own flowering. Yes, it will appear as selfishness; I have no objection to that appearance; it is okay with me. But is the rose selfish when it blossoms? Is the lotus selfish when it blossoms? Is the sun selfish when it shines? Why should you be worried about selfishness?

You are born - birth is only an opportunity, just a beginning, not an end. You have to flower. Your first and foremost responsibility is to blossom, to become fully conscious, aware, alert; and in that consciousness you will be able to see what you can share, how you can solve problems.

Excerpt from "The Book of Understanding" by OSHO.


Accept yourself. Respect yourself. Allow your nature to take its own course. Don't force, don't repress. Doubt - because doubt is not a sing, it is the sign of intelligence. Doubt and go on inquiring until you find.

One thing I can say: whosoever inquires, finds. It is absolutely certain; it has never been otherwise. Nobody has come empty-handed from an authentic inquiry.

Excerpt from "The Book of Understanding" by OSHO.


When mind knows, we call it knowledge.
When heart knows, we call it love.
And when being knows, we call it meditation.

Excerpt from "The Book of Understanding" by OSHO.


No religion has been courageous enough to say, "We know this much, but there is much we don't know; perhaps in the future we may know it. And beyond that, there is a space which is going to remain unknowable forever."

A true religion will have the humbleness to admit that only a few things are known, much more is unknown, and something will always remain unknowable. That "something" is the target of the whole spiritual search. You cannot make it an object of knowledge, but you can experience it, you can drink of it, you can have the taste of it - it is existential.

All these religions have been against doubt. They have been really afraid of doubt. Only an impotent intellect can be afraid of doubt; otherwise doubt is a challenge, an opportunity to inquire.

There is doubt, and doubt is not destroyed by believing. Doubt is destroyed by experiencing.

They say, believe. I say, explore. They say, don't doubt; I say, doubt to the very end, till you arrive and know and feel and experience. Then there is no need to repress doubt; it evaporates by itself. Then there is no need for you to believe.

You have to be again innocent, ignorant, not knowing anything, so that the questions can start arising again. Again the inquiry becomes alive, and with the inquiry becoming alive you cannot vegetate. Then life becomes an exploration, an adventure.

Excerpt from "The Book of Understanding" by OSHO.


Zorba the Buddha is the answer. It is the synthesis of matter and soul. It is a declaration that there is no conflict between matter and consciousness, that we can be rich on both sides. It is a manifeseto that body and soul are together. Existence is full of spirituality - even mountains are alive, even trees are sensitive.

Zorba the Buddha is the end of all religions. It is the beginning of a new kind of religiousness that needs no labels - Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism. One is simply enjoying oneself, enjoying this immense universe, dancing with the trees, playing on the beach with the waves, collecting seashells for no other purpose than just for the sheer joy of it. The salty air, the cool sand, the sun rising, a good job - what more do you want? To me, this is religion - enjoying the air, enjoying the sea, enjoying the sand, enjoying the sun - because there is no other God than existence itself.

Excerpt from "The Book of Understanding" by OSHO.


When the child is born, he is a pagan. Each child is a born pagan, he is happy the way he is. He has no idea what is right and what is wrong; he has no ideals. He has no criteria, he has no judgment. Hungry, he asks for food. Sleepy, he falls asleep. That's what Zen masters say is the utmost in religiousness - when hungry eat, when feeling sleepy go to sleep. Let life flow; don't interfere.

Each child is born as a pagan, but sooner or later he will lose that simplicity. That is part of life; it has to happen. It is a part of our growth, maturity, destiny. The child has to lose it and find it again. When the child loses it he becomes ordinary, worldly. when he regains it he becomes religious.

The innocence of childhood is cheap; it is a gift from existence. We have not earned it and we will have to lose it. Only by losing it will we become aware of what we have lost. Then we will start searching for it. And only when we search for it and earn it, achieve it, become it - then we will know the tremendous preciousness of it.

Excerpt from "The Book of Understanding" by OSHO.


You have said knowledge is not any use in the process of coming to know ourselves. So please explain what is included in the development of being?

Being never develops. Being simply is. There is no evolution, there is no time involved in it. It is eternity, it is not "becoming." Spiritually, you never develop; you cannot. As far as the ultimate goal is concerned, you are already there. You have never been anywhere else.

Then what is development? Development is only a kind of awakening to the truth that you are. The truth does not grow; only recognition grows, remembrance grows.

That's why I don't talk about the "development of being." I talk about all the hindrances that are preventing your recognition. And knowledge is the greatest hindrance; hence I have talked about it extensively. It is the barrier.

If you think you already know, you will never know. If you think you already know, what is the point of searching? You can go on sleeping and dreaming. The moment you recognize that you don't know, that recognition of ignorance goes like an arrow into the heart, it pierces you like a spear. In that very piercing, one becomes aware - in that very shock.

Knowledge is a kind of shock absorber. It does not allow you to be shaken and shocked. It goes on protecting you, it is an armor around you. I speak against knowledge so that you can drop the armor; so that life can shock you into awareness.

Life is there, ready to shock you every moment. Your being is there inside you, ready to be awakened any moment. But between these two there is knowledge. And the more of it there is, the more your self-awakening will be delayed.

Become unknowledgeable.

And never think of spirituality as a process of growth. It is not a growth. You are already gods, buddhas from the very beginning. It is not that you have to become buddhas - the treasure is there, only you don't know where you have put it. You have forgotten the key, or you have forgotten how to use the key.You are so drunk with knowledge that you have become oblivious of all that you are. Knowledge is alcoholic; it makes people drunk. Then their perception is blurred, then their remembrance is at a minimum. Then they start seeing things that are not, and they stop seeing things that are.

That's why I have not talked about how to evolve your being. Being is already as it should be, it is perfect. Nothing needs to be added to it, nothing can be added to it. It's a creation of existence. It comes out of perfection, hence it is perfect. Just withdraw all the hindrances that you have created.

Excerpt from "The Book of Understanding" by OSHO.


In this world, it is very difficult to find a happy person, because nobody is fulfilling the conditions for being happy. The first condition is that one has to drop all comparison. Drop all these stupid ideas of being superior and inferior. You are neither superior nor inferior. You are simply yourself! There exists no one like you, no one with whom you can be compared. Then, suddenly, you are at home.

Excerpt from "The Book of Understanding" by OSHO.


Be respectful of yourself, and be respectful of others. Be proud of your freedom. When you are proud of your freedom you want everybody else to be free, because your freedom has given you so much love and so much grace. You would like everybody else in the world to be free, loving, and graceful.

Excerpt from "The Book of Understanding" by OSHO.


When I say, "Just be yourself," I am saying to you, "Just be unprogrammed, unconditioned awareness."

Excerpt from "The Book of Understanding" by OSHO.


All you need is just to be watchful, and nothing will affect you. This unaffectedness will keep your purity, and this purity has certainly the freshness of life, the joy of existence - all the treasures you have been endowed with.

But you become attached to the small things surrounding you and forget the one that you are. It is the greatest discovery in life and the most ecstatic pilgrimage to truth. And you need not be an ascetic, you need not be anti-life; you need not renounce the world and go to the mountains. You can be where you are, you can continue to do what you are doing. Just a new thing has to be evolved: Whatever you do, you do with awareness, even the smallest act of the body or the mind - and with each act of awareness you will become aware of the beauty and the treasure and the glory and the eternity of your being.

Excerpt from "The Book of Understanding" by OSHO.


Everybody is after being extraordinary. That is the search of the ego: to be someone who is special, to be someone who is unique, incomparable. And this is the paradox: the more you try to be exceptional, the more ordinary you look, because everybody is after extraordinariness. It is such an ordinary desire. If you become ordinary, the very search to be ordinary is extraordinary, because rarely does somebody want to be just nobody, rarely does somebody want to be just a hollow, empty space. This is really extraordinary in a way, because nobody wants it. And when you become ordinary you become extraordinary, and, of course, suddenly you discover that without searching you have become unique.

In fact, everybody is unique. If you can stop your constant running after goals for even a single moment, you will realize that you are unique. Your uniqueness is nothing to be invented, it is already there. It is already the case - to be is to be unique. There is no other way of being. Every leaf on a tree is unique, every pebble on the shore is unique, there is no other way of being. You cannot find two identifcal pebbles anywhere on the whole of earth.

Two identical things do not exist at all, so there is no need to be "somebody." You just be yourself, and suddenly you are unique, inconmparable. That's why I say that this is a paradox: those who search fail, and those who don't bother, suddenly attain.

It is said by one of Lao Tzu's great disciples, Lieh Tzu, that once an idiot was searching for fire with a candle in his hand. Said Lieh Tzu: "Had he known what fire was, he could have cooked his rice sooner." He remained hungry the whole night because he was searching for fire but couldn't find it - and he had a candle in his hand, because how can you search in the dark without a candle?

You are searching for uniqueness, and you have it in your hand; if you understand, you can cook your rice sooner. I have cooked my rice and I know. You are unnecessarily hungry - the rice is there, the candle is there, the candle is fire. There is no need to take the candle and search. If you take a candle in your hand and you go searching all over the world, you will not find fire because you don't understand what fire is. Otherwise you could have seen that you were carrying it in your hand.

You need not search for uniqueness, you are unique already. There is no way to make a thing more unique. The words "more unique" are absurd. It is just like the word "circle." Circles exist; there is no such thing as "more circular." That is absurd. A circle is always perfect, "more" is not needed.

There are no degrees of circularity - a circle is a circle, less and more are useless. Uniqueness is uniqueness, less and more don't apply to it. You are already unique. One realizes this only when one is ready to become ordinary, this is the paradox. But if you understand, there is no problem about it, the paradox is there, and beautiful, and no problem exists. A paradox is not a problem. It looks like a problem if you don't understand; if you understand, it is beautiful, a mystery.

Become ordinary and you will become extraordinary; try to become extraordinary and you will remain ordinary.

Excerpt from "The Book of Understanding" by OSHO.


A revolutionary is part of the political world; his approach is through politics. His understanding is that changing the social structure is enough to change the human being.

A rebel, as I use the term, is a spiritual phenomenon. His approach is absolutely individual. His vision is that if we want to change the society, we have to change the individual. Society in itself does not exist; it is only a word, like "crowd" - if you go to find it, you will not find it anywhere. Wherever you encounter someone, you will encounter an individual. "Society" is only a collective name - just a name, not a reality - with no substance.

The individual has a soul, has a possibility of evolution, of change, of transformation. Hence, the difference is tremendous.

The rebel is the very essence of religion. He brings into the world a change of consciousness - and if the consciousness changes, then the structure of the society is bound to follow it. But vice versa is not the case, and it has been proved by all the revolutions because they have failed.

No revolution has yet succeeded in changing human beings; but it seems we are not aware of the fact. We still go on thinking in terms of revolution, of changing society, of changing the government, of changing the bureaucracy, of changing laws, political systems. Feudalism, capitalism, communism, socialism, fascism - they were all in their own way revolutionary. They all have failed, and failed utterly, because man has remained the same.

We have to be rebels, not revolutionaries. The revolutionary belongs to a very mundane sphere; the rebel and his rebelliousness are sacred. The revolutionary cannot stand alone; he needs a crowd, a political party, a government. He needs power - and power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Human consciousness has not grown for centuries. Only once in a while someone blossoms - but in millions of people, the blossoming of one person is not a rule, it is the exception. And because that person is alone, the crowd cannot tolerate him. His existence becomes a kind of humiliation; his very presence feels insulting because he opens your eyes, makes you aware of your potential and your future. And it hurts your ego that you have done nothing to grow, to be more conscious, to be more loving, more ecstatic, more creative, more silent - to create a beautiful world around you.

Hence a Gautam Buddha or a Chuang Tzu hurts you because they have blossomed and you are just standing there.

The world has known only very few rebels. But now is the time: if humanity proves incapable of producing a large number of rebels, a rebellious spirit, then our days on the earth are numbered. Then the coming decades may become our graveyard. We are coming very close to that point.

We have to change our consciousness, create more meditative energy in the world, create more lovingness. We have to destroy the old - its ugliness, its rotten ideologies, its stupid discriminations, idiotic superstitions - and create a new human being with fresh eyes, with new values. A discontintuity with the past - that's the meaning of rebelliousness.

These three words will help you to understand: reform, revolution, and rebellion.

Reform means a modification. The old remains and you give it a new form, a new shape - it is a kind of renovation to an old building. The original structure remains; you whitewash it, you clean it, you create a few windows, a few new doors.

Revolution goes deeper than reform. The old remains, but more changes are introduced, changes even in its basic structure. You are not only changing its color and opening a few new windows and doors, but perhaps building new stories, taking it higher into the sky. But the old is not destroyed, it remains hidden behind the new; in fact, it remains the very foundation of the new. Revolution is a continuity with the old.

Rebellion is a discontinuity. It is not reform, it is not revolution; it is simply disconnecting yourself from all that is old. The old religions, the old political ideologies, the old human being - all that is old, you disconnect yourself from it. You start life afresh, from scratch.

The revolutionary tries to change the old; the rebel simply comes out of the old, just as a snake slips out of the old skin and never looks back.

The future needs no more revolutions. The future needs a new experiment, which has not been tried yet. Although for thousands of years there have been rebels, they remained alone - individuals. Perhaps the time was not ripe for them. But now the time is not only ripe....if you don't hurry, the time has come to an end. In the coming decades, either mankind will disappear or a new human being with a new vision will appear on the earth. That new human being will be a rebel.

Excerpt from "The Book of Understanding" by OSHO


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My etsy store is teeny tiny right now but I'm sewing up a storm so check back - I'll ship anywhere in the world, of course....


I only just discovered OSHO this last year. I started with the book, Intimacy, which I enjoyed, but, since I was in Mexico I wasn't able to find any other of his titles until...I ran into a friend who said that I could borrow one of his OSHO books. Yay! The book he lent me was, "Walk without Feet, Fly without Wings and Think without Mind." - which, unfortunately, is very hard to find. If you can get your hands on it, it's a goody. His older books are in Question/Answer format....he is simply answering his students questions. It flows. Today, the "Insights for a new way of Living" series is a compilation which just takes bits and pieces out of all of the other books. Somehow not as inspiring - but they got me interested and I guess that's the whole point of that series! (they are pretty to look at - unlike the new OSHO books I got from India Club! (the only place I could find some of the older titles) My family says that these books look like they're given out for free on street corners. Eiy eiy eiy. They really do. So, the marketing of this new series is helpful - but, still, they should print some of the old books!

I was surprised to hear that OSHO didn't ever write a word down in his life - the books are all transcribed from him verbally answering his students questions. Wow. Even more inspiring.

The last book I read of his was, "The Book of Secrets" and you can get that in good bookstores. It's in the same excellent question/answer format and he goes through the 112 Sutras - explains them all in simple and inspiring language and then answer his student's questions. He explains that the 112 sutras of Tantra are simply the key to experiencing boundless consciousness. Tantra in itself does not teach any dogma. Tantra simply offers these 112 keys. OSHO explains that there is at least one key for every type of person. You're not to do all 112. The point is to find one that resonates and works for you and then continue with it. And...he points out that some of the sutras may appear to contradict each other....but such is the boundlessness of Life!

As Milan Kundera said...."The philosopher of the future will be an experimenter, Nietzche said; free to go off in various directions that could, conceivably, come into conflict."

And Bachelard too..."All values must remain vulnerable, and those that do not are dead."

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