Meditation: The Essential Education

Osho on Meditation and Education


Ordinarily that which is called education is almost against meditation. It should not be so but it is so.

The original meaning of the word ‘education’ is not against meditation. The original meaning is: to draw out. To educate means to draw out; whatsoever is hidden in the individual has to be drawn out. The individual has to flower — that is the original meaning of education. That is what meditation is too: you have to flower in your own being. You don’t know what you are going to be, you don’t know what flowers will come to you, what will be their color and what will be their perfume — you don’t know. You move into the unknown. You simply trust life-energy. It has given birth to you, it is your foundation, it is your being. You trust it. You know that you are a child of this universe, and this universe, if it has given birth to you, will take care too.

When you trust yourself you trust the whole universe also. And this universe is beautiful. Just see… so many flowers are born in this universe; how can you mistrust it? Such tremendous beauty is all around; how can you mistrust it? Such grandeur, such grace, from a small dust  particle to the stars; such symmetry, such harmony; how can you mistrust it?…

Basho has said, “If flowers are born out of this universe, then I trust it.” Right? That is enough logic, a great argument:”If this universe can give birth to so many beautiful flowers, if a rose is possible, I trust it. If a lotus is possible. I trust it.”

Education is a trust in yourself and in existence, and allowing whatsoever is hidden in you; unfoldment, to bring whatsoever is in, to bring it out.

But that is not true of the so-called education that goes on in the world. Rather than bringing out, it forces things in. It simply pours in information. Again that word ‘information’ is wrong; it should not be used — it is ‘out-formation’. ‘Information’ means: formation inside you. Something should grow in you — then it is information. But nobody is bothered about you. The society is bothered about its own ideas, ideologies, prejudices, technology; they go on forcing you. Your head is used as a hollow place, so they have to provide the furniture.

Ordinarily education, or whatsoever is available in the name of education, is nothing but stuffing your mind with knowledge — because knowledge has some utility. Nobody is bothered about you, nobody is bothered about your destiny They need more doctors, they need more engineers, they need more generals, they need more technicians, plumbers, electricians. So they need them; they force you to become a plumber, or they force you to become a doctor, or they force you to become an engineer. I am not saying there is something wrong with being an engineer or a doctor, but there is certainly something wrong if it is forced from the outside. If somebody flowers into a doctor, then you will see a great healing happening around him. Then he will be a born healer. He will really be a physician, his touch will be golden. He is born to be that.

But when it is forced from the outside and one takes it as a profession, because one has to live and one has to learn and earn one’s living, one takes it over. Then one is crippled and crushed under the weight. One simply goes on dragging and dragging, and one day, dies. There has never been a moment of celebration in that life. Of course, he will leave much money for his children to become doctors in their own turn, to go to university, to the same university where he was destroyed. And his children will do the same to their children, and this is how things go on being transferred from one generation to another. No, I don’t call this education. It is crime.

It is really a miracle that in spite of this education sometimes a Buddha flowers in the world. It is a miracle. It is simply unbelievable how somebody can escape out of it: it is a methodology to kill you, it is arranged in such a way. And small children are caught in the mechanism of it, not knowing where they are going, not knowing what is being made of them. By the time they become aware, they are completely corrupted, destroyed. By the time they can think about what to do with their lives, they are almost incapable of moving in any other direction.

By the time you are twenty-five or thirty, half the life is gone. Now to change seems to be too risky. You have become a doctor, your practice is going well; suddenly one day you realize that this is not the thing you were meant to be. This is not for you — but now what to do? So go on pretending that you are a doctor. And if the doctor is not happy in being a doctor, he is not going to help any patient. He may drug the patient, he may give medicine, but he is not going to really be a healing force. When a doctor is really a doctor, a born doctor… and everybody is a born something. You may miss it, you may not even know it. Somebody is a born poet; and you cannot make a poet. There is no way to manufacture poets. Somebody is a born painter; you cannot manufacture painters.

But things are very wrongly placed: the painter is working as a doctor, the doctor is working as a painter. The politician is there: maybe he could have been a good plumber but he has become a prime minister or a president. And the person who could have been a prime minister is a plumber. This is why in the world there is so much chaos: everybody is wrongly placed, nobody is exactly where he should be. Right education will exactly be a path to meditation. Wrong education is a barrier to meditation because wrong education teaches you things which don’t fit with you. And unless something fits with you and you fit with it, you can never be healthy and whole. You will suffer.

So ordinarily when an educated person becomes interested in meditation he has to unlearn whatsoever he has learned. He has to go back to his childhood again and start from there, from the ABC’s That’s why my insistence is for certain meditations in which you can again become a child. When you dance you are more like a child than like a grown-up person. That’s why you don’t see dignitaries coming to me and to my meditations. Somebody is a commissioner, a collector — he cannot come, because he cannot dance. He is a commissioner, or he is a governor — how can he dance with ordinary people? But if you cannot dance, you may be a governor, but you are dead I If you cannot sing like a child. you are a burden on the earth. It is better if you commit suicide. At least you will vacate some space for somebody else to grow and flower. You are not going to flower; that is certain. Men who have some respectability become very stuck because they cannot do anything — they cannot risk their respectability. They are afraid. They are not happy, they don’t know what bliss is, they don’t exactly know what being alive means — but they are respectable. So they cling to their respectability, and then die. They never live; they die before they ever start living. They are many people who die before they have ever lived.

My meditations are to bring you back to your childhood — when you were not respectable, when you could do crazy things, when you were innocent, uncorrupted by the society, when you had not learned any tricks of the world, when you were other-worldly, unworldly. I would like you to go back to that point; from there, start again. And this is your life.

Respectability or money are booby prizes, they are not real prizes. Don’t be deceived by them. You cannot eat respectability, and you cannot eat money, and you cannot eat prestige. They are just games: meaningless, stupid, mediocre. If you are intelligent enough you will understand that you have to live your life and you are not to bother about other things. All other considerations are meaningless: it is your life.

You have to live it authentically, lovingly, with great passion and with great compassion, with great energy. You have to become a tidal wave of bliss. Whatsoever is needed to do for it, do.

Unlearning will be needed. Unlearning means that you stop those wrong routes, you stop moving in those wrong ways that the society has forced persuaded you, seduced you to go in. You take charge of your own life; you become your own master. That is the meaning of sannyas. That’s why I call sannyasins SWAMI. ‘SWAMI’ means: one who has become a master of his own life. It has nothing to do with orthodox SWAMIS; they are not masters of their own lives. They are again on the same train, with the same society, with the same stupid power, prestige, politics.

A real sannyasin is one who does not care about others’ opinions, who has decided to live his life as he wants to live it. I don’t mean for you to be irresponsible. When you start living your life responsibly, you not only care about yourself, you care about others also — but in a totally different way. Now you will take every care that you don’t interfere in anybody else’s life — this is what responsibility is. You don’t allow anybody to interfere in your life, and naturally, you will not interfere in anybody’s life. You don’t want anybody to guide your life, you don’t want your life to be a guided tow. A guided tour is not a tour at all. You want to explore on your own. You want to move in the forest without any map, so that you can also be a discoverer, so that you can also come to some fresh spots for the first time…

To me, if education is right it will be just a part of meditation; meditation will be the last point in it. If education is right, then universities should not be against the universe. They should be just training-places, jumping-boards into the universe. If education is right, then it will not be concerned about money, and it will not be concerned about power and prestige. Then it will not be political at all. If education is right it will be concerned about your bliss, your happiness, music, love, poetry, dance. It will teach you how to unfold. It will not go on simply throwing information into your head. It will help you to come out of your being, to flower, to grow, to spread, to expand. It will be a totally different education. And naturally if education becomes involved with meditation it becomes religious.

I don’t call an education religious because it teaches the dogma of Christianity, or it teaches Hinduism. It is not religious.

Education is religious if it makes you courageous enough to accept yourself, and live your life, and become an offering to God in your own way, in your own unique way.


This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune. 

Discourse Series: The Discipline of Transcendence, Vol. 4


Chapter title: Go on moving

5 November 1976 am in Buddha Hall


Osho has spoken on ‘education, religion, energy, transformation’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. Beyond Psychology
  2. Christianity: The Deadliest Poison and Zen: The Antidote to All Poisons
  3. From Darkness to Light
  4. From Death to Deathlessness
  5. Sermons in Stones
  6. Take It Easy, Vol 1, 2
  7. Yoga: The Alpha and the Omega, Vol 2, 7, 8, 9
  8. Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol 3
  9. The Discipline of Transcendence, Vol 2, 3
  10. Revolution in Education
  11. The Secret of Secrets, Vol 1, 2
  12. Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1, 2
  13. The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 2, 5, 8, 9
  14. The Ultimate Alchemy, Vol 2
  15. The Book of Wisdom
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