Waiting, Watching and don’t create Problems

Osho on Silence and Playfulness


If you have really become silent, you will not pay attention to what others are saying. If others’ opinions are still important, you are not silent. Really, you are waiting for them to say something or for them to approve and appreciate that you have become silent. Your silence needs their approval? You need them to certify it? Then you are not confident that you have become silent. Others’ opinions are meaningful only because you don’t know anything. Opinion is never knowledge. You go on gathering others’ opinions because you don’t know what you are, who you are, what is happening to you. You have to ask others, “What is happening to me?” You have to ask others? If you are really silent, quiet, still, then there are no friends and no opinion is meaningful. Then you can laugh. Let them say whatsoever they say.

But you become affected. Whatsoever they say goes deep in you; you become disturbed. Your silence is false, forced, cultivated. It is not a spontaneous flowering within you. You may have forced yourself to be silent, but you were boiling within. Then the silence is just on the surface. If someone says you are not silent, or if someone says this is not good, or if someone says this is false, then you are disturbed and the silence is gone. The silence is gone, that is why you are asking me this. “THERE SEEMS TO BE SOME SUBSTANCE IN WHAT THEY SAY.” You have become serious. So what is wrong in being serious? If you are born serious, to be serious, you will be serious.

You cannot force playfulness; otherwise your playfulness will be serious, and you will destroy the whole play.

There are serious players. They get so serious in their games and plays that it becomes even more anxiety-creating.

I was reading the memoirs of someone who was a great industrialist, much worried with day-to-day problems. Someone suggested golf: “Play golf. That will be anxiety-reducing.” He started playing golf, but he was the same man. He became so excited about his golf that he couldn’t sleep, he was playing the whole night. The industry was a burden, and now golf became a second burden — and a stronger one. He played golf, but with a serious mind, the same mind. If you are serious, you are serious. Nothing can he done about it. Be serious and remain serious. Then you have already started being playful; then you are playful about your seriousness, not serious about it. You take it as a play, so you say, “Okay, God has given me this role, so I will be a serious man and I will play my seriousness.” Then it will have disappeared deep down. Do you understand me?

You can create seriousness out of your playfulness or you can create playfulness out of your seriousness. If you are a sad one, a serious one, tell everyone, “I am born serious and I am going to remain so” — and don’t get serious about it. Be! Simply be, and then you can laugh about it and it will disappear. And you will not even become aware of when it has disappeared.

And don’t pay attention to what others say. This is a disease. They will drive you crazy — the others. Who are these others and why are you so much interested in them? They drive you crazy and you drive them crazy because you are the other to them. Why pay so much importance to others’ opinions? Pay attention to your own experiences and remain true to your own experiences. If you feel good in being serious, it is okay! If you feel you have become quiet and silent and still through your practice of witnessing, why be interested and why be disturbed by what others say? But we are not confident, so we must gather others’ opinions. We must go on a signature campaign: “You think I have become a buddha, so please sign.” When everyone signs it and you have gathered many signatures, at least the majority, you think you are a Buddha. This is not the way to be an enlightened one.

“AND PLEASE EXPLAIN HOW ONE CAN GROW SIMULTANEOUSLY IN STILLNESS AND PLAYFULNESS.” One grows! There has never been any case that is otherwise. One grows simultaneously in stillness and playfulness, but if your stillness is false then the problem arises. All those who have known silence have always been playful, non-serious. They could laugh, and they could laugh not only at others, they could laugh at themselves. Bodhidharma entered China fourteen hundred years ago, from India. He put one of his shoes on his head; one was on one of his feet and one was on his head. The Emperor of China, Wu, had come to welcome him. He became disturbed. There were many, many rumors, of course, that this man was strange, but he was an enlightened one and the emperor wanted to welcome him to his Kingdom. He became disturbed. His courtiers, they also became disturbed. What type of man was this? And he was laughing.

It was not good to say anything before others, so when everyone had gone and Bodhidharma and the emperor retired into Bodhidharma’s room, the emperor asked, “Please tell me, why are you making such a fool of yourself? Why are you carrying one shoe on your head?”

Bodhidharma laughed and said, “Because I can laugh at myself, and it is good to show you my reality. I am such a man, and I don’t pay more importance to my head than I pay to my feet; both are the same to me. Higher and lower have disappeared. And, moreover, I want to tell you that I don’t pay any significance to what others say about me. This is good. The first moment that I entered, I wanted you to know what type of man I am.”

This Bodhidharma was a rare jewel; very few have existed who can be compared to him. What was he showing? He is simply showing that on this path of spirituality you are to go alone as an individual. Society becomes irrelevant. Someone had come to do an interview with George Gurdjieff. The man who came was a big journalist. Gurdjieff’s disciples were very much excited because now the story was going to be in a big newspaper, and their master’s photo and their master’s news was going to be published. They cared very much; they paid much attention to the journalist. They virtually forgot their master, and they hung around the journalist. Then the interview began, but really, it never began. When the journalist asked some questions to Gurdjieff, Gurdjieff said, “Wait a minute.”

Just by his side was sitting a lady. Gurdjieff asked, “What day is today?” The lady said, “Sunday.” Gurdjieff said, “How is that possible? Just the day before it was Saturday, so how can it be Sunday today? Just the other day you said it is Saturday, and now it is Sunday. How, after Saturday, can Sunday come?”

The journalist stood up. He said, “I am going. This man seems to be mad.” All the disciples just couldn’t understand what had happened. When the journalist had left, Gurdjieff was laughing. What others say is not relevant. Be authentic to what you feel, but be authentic! If real silence happens to you, you will be able to laugh.

It is said about Dogen, one Zen master, that when he attained enlightenment many people asked, “What did you do after that?” He said, “I ordered a cup of tea.” What is there to do next? Everything is finished. And Dogen was serious about his playfulness, playful about his seriousness. Really, what remains?

Don’t pay much attention to what others say and remember only one thing: don’t force and cultivate stillness. A cultivated stillness will be serious, ill, tense. But how can a real silence come to you? Try to understand this. You are tense, you are unhappy, you are depressed, angry, greedy, violent. A thousand diseases are there. Still, you can practice silence. These diseases will be within you, and you can create a layer of silence. You can do transcendental meditation; you can use a mantra. The mantra is not going to change your violence, neither is it going to change your greed. It is not going to change anything deep.

The mantra can just give a tranquilizing effect. Just on the periphery, you will feel more silent. This is just a tranquilizer, a sound tranquilizer, and tranquilizing is possible through many ways — many ways. When you repeat a mantra continuously, you become sleepy. Any continuous repetition of a sound creates boredom and sleep. You feel relaxed, but this relaxation is just on the surface. Within, you remain the same. Go on practicing a mantra every day, and you will feel a certain stillness — but not really, because your diseases have not changed, your personality structure remains the same. It is just whitewashed. Stop the mantra, stop the practice, and all your diseases will come up again.

This is happening everywhere. Seekers move from one teacher to another. They go on moving, practicing, and when they stop their practice they find they are the same; nothing has happened. Nothing will happen in this way. These are cultivated silences. You have to go on cultivating them. Of course, if you go on cultivating them, they remain with you just like a habit, but if you break the habit they disappear.

A real silence comes not by just using some superficial technique, but by being aware of all that you are — not only being aware, but remaining with the fact of what you are.

Remain with the fact. This is very difficult because the mind wants change. How to change violence, how to change depression, how to change unhappiness? The mind seeks change to create somehow a better image in the future. Because of this, one goes on seeking this and that method. Remain with the fact, and don’t try to change it. Do this for one year. Fix a date, and say that “From this date, for one year, I will not think in terms of change. I will remain with whatsoever I am; I will just be alert and aware.” I am not saying that you are not to do anything, but that alertness is the only effort. You have to be alert, not thinking in terms of change; remaining whatsoever you are — good, bad or whatsoever. One year, with no attitude of change, just being alert, suddenly one day you will find you are no more the same. Alertness will have changed everything.

In Zen, they call it “zazen” — just sitting and doing nothing. Whatsoever happens, happens; you are just sitting.

Zazen means just sitting, doing nothing. In Zen monasteries, monks will sit for years, the whole day. You will think they are meditating. They are not! They are just sitting silently. And by silence it is not that they are using some mantra to create any silence; they are simply sitting. If a leg goes dead, they feel it. They are alert. If the body feels tired, they are alert: the body feels tired. This is how the body has to feel. If thoughts are moving, they know it. They are not trying to stop them; they are not trying to push them away. They are not doing anything.

Thoughts are just there like clouds in the sky, but they know the clouds cannot destroy the sky: they come and go. So thoughts are moving in the sky of consciousness; they come and go. They don’t force them, they don’t stop them, they don’t do anything;. They are just alert that the thoughts are moving.

Sometimes depression comes, a cloud; everything becomes shadowy. Sometimes happiness comes, a sunshine; everything starts dancing, as if flowers have opened all over the consciousness. But they are not disturbed by either this or that, by cloudy weather or by sunshine. They just wait and see that things are moving.

They are just sitting on the bank of a river, and everything goes on moving. They don’t try to change anything.

If a bad thought comes, they don’t say, “This is bad,” because the moment you say, “This is bad,” you have a greed to change it. The moment you say, “This is bad,” you have pushed it away; you have condemned it, and you would like to change it into something good.

They simply say this is this, that is that — no condemnation, no evaluation, no justification. Simply, watching, witnessing. Sometimes they forget witnessing. Then too they are not disturbed. They know that “Of course it is so,” that “I forgot to witness; now I remember and I will witness again.” They don’t create any problem. They live what is. Years come and go, and they go on sitting and seeing what is. Then one day everything disappears. Just like a dream, everything disappears and you are awakened. This awakening is not a practiced thing; this awakening is not cultivated. This awakening is your nature, your basic nature. It has erupted because you could wait patiently and watch, and you didn’t create any problems. Remember this as a very basic thing: don’t create problems.

don’t create problems!

One lady was here just two or three days ago. She said, “My mind is sexual, so what can I do?” Someone else came and said, “I feel very inferior; an inferiority complex is there. What can I do?” So I told that man, “You feel inferior, so feel inferior; know that you feel like that. What to do? There is nothing to do. One feels sexual, so feel sexual. Know that you are sexual.” But the moment I say such things to someone, he feels shocked. He had come for a technique to change himself.

No one accepts himself; you are such enemies to yourself. You have never had any love for yourself; you have never been at ease with yourself. And this is surprising: you expect everyone to love you, and you yourself cannot even love yourself. You are so against yourself, you would like to shatter yourself in every way and create another. If you were allowed you would create another man. And you would not be satisfied with that either because you would still remain behind it. Love yourself, accept yourself, and don’t create unnecessary problems. And all problems are unnecessary; there are no necessary problems. I have not come across any. Remain with your “facticity,” and transformation will happen. But it is not a result, you cannot force it to happen. It is a consequence, not a result. If you accept yourself and remain alert, it comes. You cannot force it, you cannot say that “I will force it to come.” And if you force, a false thing will happen to you, and then that false thing can be disturbed by anyone –

by anyone –


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

Discourse Series: Vigyan Bhairav Tantra, Vol 1

Chapter #38

Chapter title: Toward the authentic being

27 February 1973 pm in Woodlands, Bombay


Osho has spoken on Zazen, watching, witnessing, awakening, playfulness, silence, awareness, alertness, enlightenment, consciousness, acceptance, love, transformationin many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. A Bird on the Wing
  2. Bodhidharma: The Greatest Zen Master
  3. Communism and Zen Fire, Zen Wind
  4. The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha
  5. From Death to Deathlessness
  6. The Great Zen Master Ta Hui
  7. The Invitation
  8. The Path of the Mystic
  9. The Razor’s Edge
  10. The Zen Manifesto: Freedom From Oneself
  11. Zen: The Path of Paradox
  12. Light on the Path
  13. The Beloved
  14. The Messiah
  15. Sermons in Stones
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1 Comment

  • Someshwar H
    Someshwar H
    Posted September 1, 2022 1:25 pm 0Likes

    Yes Master!🙌🙏😍♥🤗

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