Archive for the ‘The Art of Living’ Category

Audio for Art of Living part 2 (click to play or right click to download)

Would you talk some more on the art of how to be fully alive?

The art of living fully, totally, and intensely is not something arduous or difficult, but it has been made almost impossible. It is so simple and so obvious that there is no need to learn it.

One is born with an intuitive feeling, intrinsic in life itself. The trees know it, the birds know it, the animals know it. Only man is unfortunate. Man is the highest peak of life, and he wants to know the art of living. There has been a continual conditioning against life. That is the basic cause why the art is needed.

All the religions of the world which have dominated humanity for centuries are anti-life. Their very fundamental is that this life is a punishment. According to Christianity, you are born in sin because Adam and Eve disobeyed God. One cannot believe how long you can stretch fictions. Even if Adam and Eve disobeyed God, I don’t see any relationship with you or with me. And secondly, disobedience is not necessarily a sin. Sometimes it may be the most virtuous thing to do.

But all cultures, all societies, want obedience. That is another name of slavery, spiritual imprisonment. What wrong had Adam and Eve done because they had eaten the fruit of knowledge? Is wisdom a sin? Is ignorance a virtue? And God had forbidden them to eat from two trees; one was of wisdom and the other was of eternal life. Who is committing the sin, Adam and Eve, or God? Neither is wisdom wrong, nor is the longing for eternal life wrong; they are absolutely natural. The prohibition is wrong, and their disobedience is absolutely right. They were the first revolutionaries of the world, the first human beings with some dignity.

It is because of their disobedience that all civilization, science, art, everything else has become possible. If they had not disobeyed, we would have been still naked in the Garden of Eden chewing grass – even chewing gum would not have been possible.

It is not only Christianity; other religions find other reasons to condemn life. Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism all say you are suffering, you are miserable, and you cannot get out of it because it is a punishment for your evil acts of the past life. Now, what has been done in the past life cannot be undone; you have to suffer it. This misery, this suffering, this anguish has been created by yourself, and all that you can do is patiently suffer so that in the future life you are rewarded. A strange argument!

If you do something wrong in this life, you should be punished in this life. In fact, cause and effect are always together. You just put your hand into fire – do you think you will be burnt in your coming life? You will be burnt here-now. Every act either has its own reward or has its own punishment. This distance of lives is a cunning idea to make you accept life at the minimum, and all these religions teach you to renounce life. The people who renounce life become saints; they are worshipped. The people who live fully, totally – nobody worships them; nobody even appreciates them. They are, on the contrary, condemned.

Our whole upbringing is such that it goes against pleasure, against joy, against the sense of humor, against rejoicing in small things of life – singing a song or dancing or playing your flute. Nobody is going to call you a saint because you play the flute so beautifully – except me.

I will call you a saint if you dance so totally that you disappear in the dance and only the dancing remains; the dancer is completely merged, melted and has become dance. If you play the flute so totally that you completely forget yourself, only the song remains, and you are not the singer but only a listener, then the flute is on the lips of God.

If you love, it is condemned.

It has been told by all the religions that love is animalistic. Although I have been watching animals, I have never seen any love in any species of animals. Love is absolutely human. Animals may indulge in sex, but have you watched animals while they are indulging in sex? You will not see any joy. You will find them absolutely British. Such hangdogs, as if they are going through a misery. And in fact they are going through a misery. It is a biological necessity, and they feel it – that they are being forced to do something by some unknown force in which they are not interested.

That’s why, except man, no animal makes love all the year round. Only when their mating season comes, when biology compels them: “Now you have to do it…under” enforcement, as if somebody is standing with a gun and ordering you, “Make love!” Just watch the animals, their eyes – they are not feeling any joy.

Talking about love as animalistic is such nonsense. Animals don’t know what love is. Even millions of human beings don’t know what love is. Love needs, as a base, a certain centering, a certain grounding in your own being, because unless you are centered in your being you will not know all the treasures that you are carrying within yourself. Love is only one of those treasures. There are even greater things – there is truth, there is ecstasy, and there is the experience of the divine. Unless one is deep in meditation he cannot love, and he cannot live.

You are asking me about the art of being fully alive. Start with meditation so that you can know the source of your life, and you can be at the source of your life…and it is an amazing experience. Suddenly you become aware that you have so much, such an abundance that if you want, you can love the whole world. You can fill the whole world with your love.

In your small body there is the seed that can create millions of flowers, that contains all the fragrance possible.

The art of life begins with meditation. And by meditation I mean silence of the mind, silence of the heart, reaching to the very center of your being and finding the treasure that is your reality. Once you have known it, you can radiate love, you can radiate life, you can radiate creativity. Your words will become poetic, your gestures will have grace; even your silence will have a song to it. Even if you are sitting unmoving, you will be in a dance. Each breath coming in, going out, will be a joy, each heartbeat so precious because it is the heart beat of the universe itself – you are part of it.

To know yourself as part of existence…and you will start living fully, without any fear of religions and the priests and all the anti-life teachings which want you to be, rather than rejoicing, renouncing life, escaping from life. Once you are free of your conditionings – and meditation is almost like fire which burns all the rubbish that the past has given you as heritage – you are born anew. And you will not need any art to learn. It will arise spontaneously within your being.

Right now there are so many hindrances, so many barriers. You have been poisoned for so long, and you have been taught so many wrong things, that it has become almost a dragging. Rather than being a dance, life has become a dragging from the cradle to the grave. People go on living because, what else to do? They don’t commit suicide because if life is so miserable, how can they hope death is going to be better?

So rather than focusing on the art of living, focus on where your life arises, in the very roots from where it gets its juice. Go deep within yourself searching for the roots of your life, and suddenly you will come across what mystics have called enlightenment, awakening, or the experience of the divine. After that experience you are a totally different person.

Then each act will have your totality behind it.

Then you will not be schizophrenic.

Then you will not hold anything back.

If you are dancing, then you are dance. If you are singing, then you are song. If you are loving, then you are love. If you are listening, then you are just ears and everything else has disappeared. Then each moment becomes so full, and this fullness goes on expanding.

Otherwise, people are somehow making themselves satisfied with the minimum, consoling themselves with “Blessed are the poor. Blessed are the meek.” Nobody needs to be poor and nobody needs to be meek.

Life gives you so much that you are capable of being an emperor. To be an emperor you don’t need an empire; to be an emperor is just an authentic and total way of life. Otherwise your emperors are also beggars. They are not living, they are in the same boat in which you are; inside they are as hollow as you are. You are asking for more, they are asking for more.

From Osho, The Razor’s Edge, Chapter 23

Copyright © 2010 OSHO International Foundation, Switzerland. All Rights Reserved

Audio for Art of Living part 3 (click to play or right click to download)

Meditation is the art of living with yourself. It is nothing else than that, simply that: the art of being joyously alone. A meditator can sit joyously alone for months, for years. He does not hanker for the other, because his own inner ecstasy is so much, is so overpowering, who bothers about the other? If the other comes into his life it is not a need, it is a luxury.

And I am all for luxury, because luxury means you can enjoy it if it is there and you can enjoy when it is not there. A need is a difficult phenomenon. For example, bread and butter are needs, but the flowers in the garden are a luxury. You can live without the flowers, you will not die, but you cannot live without bread and butter.

The man who cannot live with himself, the other is a need, an absolute need. Because whenever he is alone he is bored with himself, so bored that he wants some occupation with somebody else. Because it is a need it becomes a dependence, you have to depend on the other. And because it becomes a dependence, you hate, you rebel, you resist, because it is a slavery. Dependence is a kind of slavery. Nobody wants to be a slave.

From Osho, The White Lotus, Chapter 10

Copyright © 2010 OSHO International Foundation, Switzerland. All Rights Reserved

I have heard that your sannyasins celebrate death.

You have heard rightly! My sannyasins celebrate everything. Celebration is the foundation of my sannyas – not renunciation but rejoicing; rejoicing in all the beauties, all the joys, all that life offers, because this whole life is a gift of God.

The old religions have taught you to renounce life. They are all life negative; their whole approach is pessimistic. They are all against life and its joys. To me, life and God are synonymous. In fact, life is a far better word than God itself, because God is only a philosophical term, while life is real, existential. The word God exists only in scriptures; it is a word, a mere word. Life is within you and without you – in the trees, in the clouds, in the stars. This whole existence is a dance of life.

I teach love for life.

I teach the art of living your life totally, of being drunk with the divine through life. I am not an escapist. All your old religions have been teaching you escapism – they were all in a certain sense hip. The word hippie has to be understood. It simply means one who escapes from the battle of life, who shows his hips…! All your old religions are hippie! They have shown their hips. They could not accept the challenge of life, they could not confront and encounter life. They were cowards; they escaped to the mountains, to the monasteries.

From Osho, Come, Come, Yet Again Come, Chapter 2

Copyright © 2010 OSHO International Foundation, Switzerland. All Rights Reserved

You have recently said that most of humanity is vegetating, not living. Please explain to us the art of living so that death may become also a celebration.

Man is born to achieve life, but it all depends on him. He can miss it. He can go on breathing, he can go on eating, he can go on growing old, he can go on moving towards the grave – but this is not life. This is gradual death from the cradle to the grave, a seventy-year-long gradual death. And because millions of people around you are dying in this gradual, slow death, you also start imitating them. Children learn everything from those who are around them, and we are surrounded by the dead.

So first we have to understand what I mean by life. It must not be simply growing old. It has to be growing up. And these are two different things. Growing old, any animal is capable of. Growing up is the prerogative of human beings. Only a few claim the right.

Growing up means moving every moment deeper into the principle of life, it means going farther away from death, not towards death. The deeper you go into life, the more you understand the immortality within you. You are going away from death; a moment comes when you can see that death is nothing but changing clothes, or changing houses, changing forms. Nothing dies, nothing can die; death is the greatest illusion there is.

For growing up, just watch a tree. As the tree grows up, its roots are growing down, deeper. There is a balance: the higher the tree goes, the deeper the roots will go. You cannot have a tree one hundred and fifty feet high with small roots; they could not support such a huge tree. In life, growing up means growing deep within yourself – that’s where your roots are.

To me, the first principle of life is meditation.

Everything else comes second. And childhood is the best time. As you grow older, it means you are coming closer to death, and it becomes more and more difficult to go into meditation. Meditation means going into your immortality, going into your eternity, going into your godliness. And the child is the most qualified person because he is still unburdened by knowledge, unburdened by religion, unburdened by education, unburdened by all kinds of rubbish. He is innocent.

But unfortunately his innocence is being condemned as ignorance. Ignorance and innocence have a similarity, but they are not the same. Ignorance is also a state of not knowing, just as innocence is. But there is a great difference too, which has been overlooked by the whole of humanity up to now. Innocence is not knowledgeable, but it is not desirous of being knowledgeable either. It is utterly content, fulfilled. A small child has no ambitions; he has no desires. He is so absorbed in the moment: a bird on the wing catches his eye so totally; just a butterfly, its beautiful colors, and he is enchanted; the rainbow in the sky… And he cannot conceive that there can be anything more significant, richer than this rainbow. And the night full of stars, stars beyond stars… Innocence is rich, it is full, it is pure.

Ignorance is poor, it is a beggar – it wants this, it wants that, it wants to be knowledgeable, it wants to be respectable, it wants to be wealthy; it wants to be powerful. Ignorance moves on the path of desire. Innocence is a state of desirelessness.

But because they both are without knowledge, we have remained confused about their natures. We have taken it for granted that they are both the same. The first step, in the art of living, will be to create a demarcation line between ignorance and innocence. Innocence has to be supported, protected – because the child has brought with him the greatest treasure, the treasure that sages find after arduous effort. Sages have said that they become children again, that they are reborn.

In India the real brahmin, the real knower, has called himself dwij, twice born. Why twice born? What happened to the first birth? What is the need of the second birth? And what is he going to gain in the second birth? In the second birth he is going to gain what was available in the first birth but society, parents, the people surrounding him crushed it, destroyed it.

Every child is being stuffed with knowledge. His simplicity has somehow to be removed, because simplicity is not going to help him in this competitive world. His simplicity will look to the world as if he is a simpleton; his innocence will be exploited in every possible way. Afraid of the society, afraid of the world we have created ourselves, we try to make every child be clever, cunning, knowledgeable, to be in the category of the powerful, not in the category of the oppressed and the powerless. And once the child starts growing in the wrong direction, he goes on moving that way, his whole life moves in that direction.

Whenever you understand that you have missed life, the first principle to be brought back is innocence. Drop your knowledge, forget your scriptures, forget your religions, your theologies, your philosophies. Be born again, become innocent – and it is in your hands. Clean your mind of all that is not known by you, of all that is borrowed, all that has come from tradition, convention, all that has been given to you by others: parents, teachers, universities. Just get rid of it. Once again be simple; once again be a child. And this miracle is possible by meditation.

Meditation is simply a strange surgical method which cuts you away from all that is not yours and saves only that which is your authentic being. It burns everything else and leaves you standing naked, alone under the sun, in the wind. It is as if you are the first man who has descended onto earth – who knows nothing, who has to discover everything, who has to be a seeker, who has to go on a pilgrimage.

The second principle is the pilgrimage. Life must be a seeking, not a desire, but a search; not an ambition to become this, to become that, a president of a country or a prime minister of a country, but a search to find out: “Who am I?”

It is very strange that people who don’t know who they are are trying to become somebody. They don’t even know who they are right now! They are unacquainted with their being, but they have a goal of becoming. Becoming is the disease of the soul.

Being is you. And to discover your being is the beginning of life. Then each moment is a new discovery, each moment brings a new joy; a new mystery opens its doors, a new love starts growing in you, a new compassion that you have never felt before, a new sensitivity about beauty, about goodness. You become so sensitive that even the smallest blade of grass takes on an immense importance for you. Your sensitivity makes it clear to you that this small blade of grass is as important to existence as the biggest star; without this blade of grass, existence would be less than it is. And this small blade of grass is unique, it is irreplaceable, it has its own individuality.

And this sensitivity will create new friendships for you – friendships with trees, with birds, with animals, with mountains, with rivers, with oceans, with stars. Life becomes richer as love grows, as friendliness grows.

In the life of St. Francis, there is a beautiful incident. He is dying, and he has always traveled on a donkey from place to place sharing his experiences. All his disciples are gathered to listen to his last words.

The last words of a man are always the most significant that he has ever uttered because they contain the whole experience of his life.

But what the disciples heard, they could not believe… St. Francis did not address the disciples; he addressed the donkey. He said, “Brother, I am immensely indebted to you. You have been carrying me from one place to another place with never a complaint, never grumbling. Before I leave this world, all that I want is forgiveness from you; I have not been humane to you.”

These were the last words of St. Francis – a tremendous sensitivity to say to the donkey, “Brother donkey,” and ask to be forgiven.

As you become more sensitive, life becomes bigger. It is not a small pond; it becomes oceanic. It is not confined to you and your wife and your children; it is not confined at all. This whole existence becomes your family, and unless the whole existence is your family, you have not known what life is – because no man is an island, we are all connected. We are a part of a vast continent, joined in millions of ways. And if our hearts are not full of love for the whole, in the same proportion our life is cut short.

From Osho, Beyond Enlightenment, Chapter 28

Copyright © 2010 OSHO International Foundation, Switzerland. All Rights Reserved

Please make me understand what it is to live “rightly.”

There are two ways to live, to be, to know: one is of effort, will, ego; the other is of no effort, no struggle, but being in a let-go with existence.

All the religions of the world have been teaching you the first way, to fight – fight against nature, fight against the world, fight against your own body, fight against the mind. Only then can you achieve the truth, the ultimate, the eternal. But it is enough proof that this will to power, this path of the ego, this fighting and war has utterly failed. In millions of years, very few people have achieved the ultimate experience of life, so few that they only prove the exception, they don’t prove the rule.

I teach you the second way: don’t go against the current of existence, go with it; it is not your enemy. Just as a person can try to go upstream, fighting with the river, soon he will be tired and he is not going to reach anywhere. The river is vast and he is a small part.

In this vast existence, you are smaller than an atom. How can you fight against the whole? The very idea is unintelligent. And you are produced by the whole – how can it be your enemy? Nature is your mother, it cannot be against you. Your body is your very life, it cannot be antagonistic to you. It serves you in spite of your continuous fight with it. It serves you when you are awake, it serves you even when you are asleep. Who goes on breathing? You are fast asleep and snoring. The body has its own wisdom. It continues to breathe, the heart continues to beat, the body goes on functioning without you. In fact, it functions better when you are not present. Your presence is always a disturbance, because your mind is conditioned by people who have told you to be against it.

I teach you a friendship with existence. I do not want you to renounce the world, because the world is ours. Nothing that exists is against you. All that you have to learn is the art of living – not the art of renouncing, but the art of rejoicing. It is only a question of learning an art and you can change the poison into nectar.

On so many medicines you will find written, poison, but in the hands of a scientific expert the poison has become a medicine. It does not kill you, it saves you.

If you find that somewhere your body, nature, the world is against you, remember one thing: it must be your ignorance, it must be some wrong attitude. It must be that you don’t know the art of living. You are unaware that existence cannot be against you. You are born out of it, you live in it, it has given everything to you and you are not even grateful. On the contrary, all the religions have been teaching you to condemn it from the very beginning.

From Osho, The Sword and the Lotus, Chapter 18

Copyright © 2010 OSHO International Foundation, Switzerland. All Rights Reserved

Audio for Art of Living part 7 (click to play or right click to download)

You are to transcend, not to renounce. If you renounce you miss the point. And when I say, “Let go!” I simply mean don’t cling. I am not saying to you don’t try to be happy. Make every possible effort to be happy, joyous, but remember that sadness will follow – that is natural. Accept it, and when it comes, don’t run away from it, don’t escape from it. That too is beautiful, part of life, part of growth; without it there is no maturity. Go deep into it.

Joy has something to contribute to your growth, and sorrow too. Joy brings a freshness, the freshness of the morning dew. Joy brings youth, joy brings a dance to your heart. Sadness also brings many gifts but you escape from sadness; hence you never become aware of the gifts. Sadness brings a silence which no joy can ever bring. Joy is always a little noisy; sadness is utterly silent. Joy is always a little shallow; sadness is deep, it has depth. Joy always makes you forget yourself; it is easier to drown yourself in joy, to be intoxicated with joy. It keeps you unconscious. Sadness brings an awareness because you cannot drown yourself in it. You cannot participate, you have to stand outside – because you don’t want it!

The first lessons of witnessing happen in sadness. One learns witnessing in sadness and only then, later on, the same witnessing can be applied to the moments of pleasure. But it is by witnessing that one transcends.

And when I say, “Let go of it all, the positive and the negative,” I simply mean don’t cling, don’t be identified. I am not saying, “Renounce!” Live, and yet live above. Walk on the earth, but no, don’t let your feet touch the earth. Yes, there is an art to it.

And that’s what sannyas is all about: the art of living in the world without being part of it, the art of living life without being identified with it. That’s what real let-go is.

The old sannyas is that of indifference. Exactly that is the word used in the old scriptures: a sannyasin becomes udasin – indifferent to all that is – vairagya. He becomes cold and detached. He escapes from the world of duality. He moves into a monastery or into the Himalayan caves, lives alone, lives without joy, without sadness.

A kind of death he lives: he is already in his grave, he lives not. His life is not worth calling life. He has fallen below humanity; he is closer to the animals than to human beings. Hence his search for the caves, forests, jungles, mountains, deserts – he is afraid of being with human beings. He wants to fall below human beings, because human beings are bound to be divided by this great polarity, positive and negative, and he is afraid of it.

But the real sannyasin – the sannyasin of my vision – lives in the world, in the thick of it, in the dense world. He renounces nothing. He lives life as totally as possible, because if God has given life it means there is something to attain through it. Only by living it can it be attained, only by living it is there something to be learned. Transcendence has to be learned; that is the great gift of life.

From Osho, The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 4, Chapter 6

Copyright © 2010 OSHO International Foundation, Switzerland. All Rights Reserved

Audio for Art of Living part 8 (click to play or right click to download)

It is natural that in my commune you will not find anybody bothering about the future, bothering about what happens after death, because so much is happening right now: who cares about death? So much joy and so much peace and so much silence is available right now, who has time to think about tomorrow? The tomorrow will take care of itself.

We are so busy living here and now – that’s why you don’t see my people talking about the past, or the future. They don’t bother about the past. If it was not, no harm to us. If all these people had not happened at all…if all these history books are just inventions and fictions, so what? If there has been no past, no yesterday, so what? It does not take anything from us; we are not living on it, we are not in any way rooted in it, we are free of it. If it all disappears – so far, so good! It carries no meaning for us.

And why should we be bothered about the future? If you know the art of living – and that’s what I call religion, real, authentic religion: the art of living. If you know the art of living – and it consists of small things, not of big, great commandments…very small things: just sipping your tea joyfully, meditatively, tasting each sip as if this is the last sip. Perhaps you may not be able again to hold the cup in your hands – there is no guarantee.

When you are meeting a friend – meet. Who knows, you may not be meeting again. Then you will repent. Then that unfulfilled past will haunt you – that you wanted to say something and you could not say it. There are people who want to say “I love you” to somebody, and they wait for years and do not say it. And the person one day may die, and then they will cry and weep and they will say, “I wanted to say ‘I love you’ to the person, but I could not even say that.”

My people are living, living so fully that there is no space for any tomorrow, for any yesterday.

And only fools bother about death. In fact, only people who don’t know how to live bother about death. They are afraid. They know they have missed the train of life. Now only death is there. Now, what is death? What happens after death? They are thinking to catch the train after death. Here they have missed! These fools who can miss here, do you think they will be able to catch the train after death? While they were living, fully alive, and they missed the train…. When they are dead, I don’t think they will be able to catch the train.

But if you are living fully, joyously, there is no reason at all to think of the future. It does not arise at all in your being. And your contentment, moment to moment, goes on making you more and more fulfilled, so fulfilled that you could not have imagined, dreamed of it.

With this fulfillment, if death comes you will live that death-moment too, with joy and ecstasy, because it will be opening a new door, a new possibility. You will be thrilled. It will be an adventure and a challenge. And you will not be afraid of death because what can death take from you? What can death disturb? What can death stop? But a person who has not lived, he is afraid of death, and trembling.

From Osho, From Unconsciousness to Consciousness, Chapter 12

Copyright © 2010 OSHO International Foundation, Switzerland. All Rights Reserved

The first question:

I’m not skilled in any art. Poetry sometimes happens. Dance happens through me. I feel now there is such a thing as the art of living, of life. Have you a comment?

That is the right way. Poetry cannot be done, it can only be allowed. Poetry is not a technique, you cannot learn it. It is a happening – so is all art. Skill is not the central core of any art. Skill is of course needed, but that is secondary. And if the essential is there, one learns the skill easily, it comes. If the essential is not there, then you can become very skillful, you can know all the technique of it, and still you will never become an artist, you will remain a technician.

And there is no need to become a technician. Poetry should not be there as a performance – it should be a sheer joy, a celebration of life. You need not bother whether somebody comes to know about your poetry or not.

The wild flower – nobody may come to know about it – still blooms! Be a wild flower. And don’t think of exhibitions. Dance as the dance comes to you. There is no need to be skillful about it. If the skill starts coming to you slowly, slowly, without any effort on your part, that’s good; but there is no need to go in search of it.

You say: “I am not skilled in any art.”

Then art is possible. The skilled person is a closed person. Have you ever heard of anybody becoming a poet by learning the art of poetry? In fact, the universities and the colleges put people off poetry. The more they teach, the more it becomes impossible for anybody to become a poet. They destroy something rather than create something.

The moment you start thinking about poetry as a craft, as skill, as technique, you have missed the point.

Poetry is like love: you need not learn it. It is love of life! When you are happy, it flows. When you are overflowing, it flows in many ways. Sometimes in color – painting is poetry in color. Sometimes in dance – dance is poetry in movement. Sometimes in song…and then by and by it starts transforming your whole life. Then your whole life becomes poetry.

Buddha is poetry lived, so is Jesus.

You say: “Poetry sometimes happens.”

Don’t hanker and don’t desire that it should happen at other times too. If you try for other times too, you will destroy the spontaneity of it. One has to wait. One has to be patient. One has to remain open…just like you wait for a guest: your doors open, you stand on the threshold and you go on looking down the road. Your heart is throbbing. But what else can you do? When the guest comes, the guest comes.

Poetry is a guest – become a host! But don’t try to pull, don’t try to manipulate – poetry cannot be manufactured. It is not man-made: it is God-made. All poetry has the signature of God; if it is true poetry then it is always God-made.

Yes, you can compose, you can manage to create an appearance of poetry, but it will be false, it will not have life in it, it will not have spirit in it. It will be dead, it will be soul-less.

Wait for those moments…they will be rare, once in a while. But it is good! Poetry is a rare phenomenon; it is not the ordinary rut. The dance will be rare, once in a while, but it has to be so! Allow it. When it comes, go totally into it. When it is not coming, don’t try to manage it. If you try to manage, you will start creating false things, pseudo things. And not only that: if you manage, those real moments of happening will stop. You will become closed to them.

All desiring is destructive.

And you say: “Dance happens through me.”

Right, you are on exactly the right track. When dance happens through you, it is divine dance. When you dance, it is very ordinary, mundane; it has not the touch of the unknown in it; it has no inspiration. It is just gymnastics, a body exercise you have learnt a few steps and movements and you are twisting your body. You are not possessed by God!

When a dance comes to you, you are possessed, you are no more yourself. God has penetrated you. Then there is a totally different quality to it. Then you are not the dancer: you are being danced. And the difference is immense. There is no effort on your part. You are simply taken over. You don’t know what is happening. You are neither the doer nor the knower, and then something great happens – something which is not of this earth. Those are the religious moments.

A dancer can know God more easily than a thinker. And a painter can know God more easily than a businessman. And a poet is certainly closer to God than any politician. These are the people of God! The artist comes closest.

In a better world, with better understanding, the poet should be the only priest. Only he can be the priest – not the theologian, nor the trained priest, but a wild poet. That used to be so in primitive societies. It is still so in primitive societies. The madman is the priest, the poet is the priest – the inspired is the priest. He does not preach on his own; he simply lets himself go into the unknown. He becomes possessed. He dances a wild dance, he sings a wild song – for hours – he goes on dancing and dancing. And then there comes a moment when the man disappears and God takes possession. Then his eyes change – they roll upwards. Then his body has a totally different energy. It is felt by the people who are present there – the presence is felt, the transformation is felt. The man is metamorphosed, the man is drunk with the divine, then he speaks – sometimes in a language that cannot be understood, sometimes in words which are not together, with no grammar, with no rules, he utters. But those few words that he utters can become the keys to the unknown, to God.

That’s how the Vedas were uttered. That’s how the Upanishads were uttered. That’s how Jesus is so beautiful! I have never come across a greater poet than Jesus, although nobody thinks about him as a poet – but he is one of the greatest poets that has ever walked on the earth. Just see the poetry of his sayings – the Sermon on the Mount. Each single word is so full of poetry. He must have been possessed in that moment when he delivered that sermon; God must have spoken through him. He must have been one with God in those moments. It is not he who is speaking; he is just a vehicle, a passage, a medium, a messenger.

And that is the meaning of the word Christ, Messiah – he brings the message. He allows the message to come to you; he becomes a bridge.

So when the poetry comes, let it come. Be thankful. When the dance comes, let it come. Be grateful. But never try to bring it. And I know – the human mind is greedy; it continuously wants more and more. Once something has happened, you want it to be repeated again and again. You will destroy it – don’t be greedy!

With greed, God disappears. God is possible only with a non-greedy mind. Hope and wait and pray, but don’t be greedy.

And you ask: “I feel now there is such a thing as the art of living, of life too.”

There is no separate art of life. If you know how to allow poetry, if you know how to allow dance, if you know how to allow love – if you know how to allow, then you know the art of life. In the allowing, in the let-go, in the surrender, is the art of life. How not to be and to let God be – that is the only art of life.

And one has to learn through many, many ways. Poetry is one way, song is another, dance still another. Learn allowing. Learn receptivity. Learn becoming a womb. Learn to be feminine. Don’t be masculine. Don’t be aggressive. Don’t try to conquer God, life, love, truth! Don’t go like a soldier: go like a beloved, a woman.

Science is masculine, religion is feminine. That’s why science has destroyed the whole earth – the technology of it has been destructive. The ecology has been disrupted so badly that there seems to be no possibility of putting it right again. The circuit is broken everywhere. And the reason is that science became too much and lost track of the feminine qualities in human consciousness. Man became unbalanced, lopsided.

Religion has to be brought back. And by religion I mean the feminine; by religion I mean receptivity – -not going to conquer, but waiting for the guest to come; not doing, but happening.

From Osho, Walk Without Feet, Fly Without Wings and Think Without Mind, Chapter 10

Copyright © 2010 OSHO International Foundation, Switzerland. All Rights Reserved

A person who escapes is not really a man of understanding. His very escape shows his fear, not understanding. If you say, “How can I be happy sitting in the marketplace? How can I be silent sitting in the marketplace?” and you escape to the Himalayan silence, you are escaping from the very possibility of ever becoming silent – because it is only in the marketplace that the contrast exists; it is only in the marketplace that the challenge exists; it is only in the marketplace that distractions exist. And you have to overcome all those distractions.

If you escape to the Himalayas you will start feeling a little still, but at the same time a little stupid also. You will start feeling more silent, but that silence belongs to the Himalayas, not to you. Come back and your silence will be left behind – you will come alone. And back in the world you will be even more disturbed than before, because you will have become more vulnerable, soft. And you will come with a prejudice, with this idea that you have attained to silence. You will have become more egoistic.

That’s why people who have escaped to the monasteries become afraid of coming back to the world. The world is the test. The world is the criterion. And it is easier to be in the world and, by and by, grow into a silence. Then the Himalayan silence comes into your being. You don’t go to the Himalayas; the Himalayas themselves come to you. Then it is yours, then you are the master of it.

I don’t teach escape; I also teach renunciation. Many people, orthodox, old people, come to me and they say, “What type of sannyas is this? People have taken sannyas – they are still living with their families, with their wife, with their children; going to the office, to the factory, to the shop. What type of sannyas is this?” They have only one conception of sannyas, a one-dimensional conception – escape. This is multidimensional. It is renouncing and yet living here, dropping and yet not dropping, changing and yet remaining ordinary, transforming one’s being totally and yet remaining in the ordinary world like everybody else.

The Zen concept of renunciation is my concept of renunciation also. But it is difficult because the world has been condemned so much that it has become almost unconscious; it has become habitual to think in terms of condemnation. If somebody says you are worldly, you feel hurt, insulted. When you want to condemn somebody, you call him worldly – you have condemned him.

There is nothing wrong in being worldly. Be worldly, and yet remain unworldly – that is the very art, the art of living between two opposites, balancing oneself between two opposites. It is a very narrow path, like a razor’s edge – but this is the only path. If you miss this balance, you miss truth.

“Then,” asked the other, “what is the actualization of Zen?” At once the happy chinaman swung the sack over his shoulder and continued on his way.

Remain herenow in this world, and continue on your way. And continue with deep laughter in your being. Dance your way to godliness! Laugh your way to godliness! Sing your way to godliness!

Enough for today.

From Osho, A Sudden Clash of Thunder, Chapter 9

Copyright © 2010 OSHO International Foundation, Switzerland. All Rights Reserved

Audio for Art of Living part 11 (click to play or right click to download)

But this is all quite natural, because your life has not become a work of art. If it had, you could have made your life into a beautiful sculpture. You could have given your life a definite shape; you could have cleaned it and polished it and brought out its intrinsic brilliance. If you had burned all the rubbish in your life you would have achieved the purity of gold by now. If you had chipped away all the superfluous stone each limb of the statue would now be sheer artistry. You could have created a beautiful sculpture of your life, a beautiful work of art. But no, in spite of the fact you have done many things in your life, you have achieved nothing substantial.

Your life is not art; it is not art through and through – and Kabir says that even death must be total art. Death is as much an art as life is. And death is the test. If you have lived rightly, you can die rightly. If you have not lived rightly, you will not be able to die rightly. Death is the final offering. It is the highest; it is the crowning, the peak. Death is the essence, the flowering of life. How can your death be right if you have spent your life wrongly? How can your death be full of meaning if your life has been a waste? How can a tree whose roots are rotten bear sweet fruit? It is impossible.

What is the secret to the art of life? The secret is this – live in full awareness. Don’t grope in the darkness; don’t walk in sleep – walk in awareness. Whatsoever you do, no matter what it is – even if it is as insignificant as opening and closing your eyes – do it thoughtfully, do it with awareness. Who knows – everything may depend on that tiny action, on opening and closing your eyes! You may be walking along the road and see a woman, and you may spend your whole life with her. Even opening and closing your eyes, stay alert.

Buddha used to tell his disciples not to look more than four feet in front while they were walking. “For walking, it is quite enough,” he used to say. It is not necessary to look around, to keep checking on all sides. When you complete the first four feet you will see another four feet in front of you. It is enough. You can travel thousands of miles in this way. What need is there to look about? Don’t keep on looking all over the place. Such a journey never ends.

If you examine your life you will be able to see that whatever has happened in it has been accidental, has happened by chance. Something happens accidentally, and because of that accident the course of one’s entire life is changed. You were walking along the road on your way to the temple, for example, and a woman smiled at you. And instead of reaching your destination, you arrived somewhere else. You married that woman; you begat children. You were anxious to marry her, and so you were caught in a huge wheel that turns round and round. Has it never occurred to you that all of this was caused by chance, by an accident? Had you followed Buddha’s advice to his disciples, perhaps none of this would have happened.

To acquire the art of living, remember this – never act in unawareness, never act in sleep. Never allow anything to happen of its own accord. First see it properly. First consider it rightly. Look at it firmly, with discretion and wisdom, before putting it into action. If you do this you will find that your life acquires a kind of beauty, a certain elegance. You become like a sculpture; you become like the situation in which the sculptor and the stone are not separate. You yourself are the sculptor, you yourself are the statue, you yourself are the stone, you yourself are the chisel – you are everything, you are all.

From Osho, The Great Secret, Chapter 4

Copyright © 2010 OSHO International Foundation, Switzerland. All Rights Reserved