Watchfulness the Golden Key

Osho on Watchfulness



Prem Ila, you have the simplest problem — you are making too much out of it. “Like thousands of wild horses running” — that much anger would have burned you! From where do you bring thousands of wild horses?…Prem Ila, anger is a very small thing. If you can just wait and watch, you will not find “thousands of wild horses.” If you can find even a small donkey, that will be enough! Just watch it and it will go, slowly. It will enter from this side and will go out from the other side. You just have to keep a little patience not to ride on it.

Anger, jealousy, envy, greed, competitiveness… all our problems are very small, but our ego magnifies them, makes them as big as it can. The ego cannot do otherwise; its anger has also to be great. By its great anger, and great misery, and great greed, and great ambition it becomes great. But you are not the ego, you are only a watcher. Just stand by the side and let all the thousands of horses pass — let us see how long it takes for them to pass. There is no need to be worried. As they come — they are wild — they will go. But we don’t miss even a small donkey; we immediately jump on it! You don’t need thousands of wild horses. Just a small thing, and you are full of anger and fire. You will laugh about it later on, at how stupid you were.

If you can watch, without getting involved, as if it is something on the screen of a movie house or of a TV screen… something is passing; watch it. You are not supposed to do anything to prevent it, to repress it, to destroy it, to pull out a sword and kill it, because from where will you get the sword? — from the same source as the anger is coming. It is all imagination.

Just watch, and don’t do anything — for or against. And you will be surprised: that which was looking very big, becomes very small. But our habit is to exaggerate…

When anger comes to you, Ila, it is not going to kill you. It has been with you many times before, and you have survived perfectly well. It is the same anger that you have been through before. Just do one thing new — which you have never done; every time you get involved with it, fighting. This time just watch, as if it does not belong to you, as if it is somebody else’s anger. And you are in for a great surprise: it will disappear within seconds.

And when anger disappears without any struggle, it leaves behind it a tremendously beautiful and silent and loving state. The same energy that could have become a fight with the anger is left within you. Pure energy is delight — I am quoting William Blake: “Energy is delight” — just energy, without any name, without any adjective…. But you never allow energy to be pure. Either it is anger, or hate, or love, or greed, or desire. It is always involved in something; you never allow it in its purity.

Every time anything arises in you, is a great chance to experience pure energy. Just watch, and the donkey will go. It may raise a little dust, but that dust also settles on its own; you don’t have to settle it. You simply wait. Don’t move from waiting and watching, and soon you will find yourself surrounded by a pure energy which has not been used in fighting, in repressing, or in being angry. And energy is certainly delight. Once you know the secret of delight, you will enjoy every emotion; and every emotion arising in you is a great opportunity. Just watch, and bring a shower of delight on your being. Slowly, slowly all these emotions will disappear; they will not come any more — they don’t come uninvited. Watchfulness, or alertness, or awareness, or consciousness, are all different names of the same phenomenon: witnessing. That is the key word.

Miss Johnson, the English teacher said, “Today we are going to do definitions. When you define something, you say what it is. Now, Wesley, will you define `unaware’?”

Wesley replies “It’s the last thing I take off at night!”

We are all living in such a situation! The poor boy must have heard `underwear’. Nobody is conscious; nobody is listening to what is being said….

It is such a strange world. If you are aware, then everywhere miracles are happening. But you don’t see miracles because rarely are you aware, very rarely. Most of the time you keep your eyes open; most of the time you don’t snore. But that does not mean that you are awake. It simply means that you are pretending to be awake. But deep inside are so many thoughts, so much confusion, so many wild horses, that how can you see anything? How can you hear anything? So although your eyes are open, they don’t see. And although your ears are open, they don’t hear. It is a strange phenomenon that God made eyes in a different way from ears. You cannot close your ears; you can close your eyes. You have eyelids to close, to open, but what about your ears? God never bothered to give little earlids, because he knew you are so much involved in the mind, you don’t need them. Your ears are always deaf; you don’t hear, or you hear only what you want to hear…

You go into any church and you will find people fast asleep; it is a place to sleep, to have a little rest from the worldly affairs, from the world and its tensions. Man is twenty-four hours asleep as far as spirituality is concerned. And in your sleep you see anger and you see greed, and they become so magnified, so big that you get caught into their net very easily.

A man who has a simple art of watchfulness has a golden key. Then it does not matter whether it is anger, or greed, or sensuality, or lust, or infatuation. It may be any kind of disease, it doesn’t matter — the same medicine functions. Just watch, and you will be free of it. And watching, slowly, slowly as the mind becomes more and more contentless, one day mind itself disappears. It cannot remain without anger, without fear, without love, without hate — all these are absolute necessities for mind to exist. By watching, you are not only getting rid of anger, you are getting rid of part of the mind. And slowly, slowly… one day you are suddenly awake — there is no mind at all. You are just a watcher, a watcher on the hills. That is the most beautiful moment, the most glorious dawn. Only from then your real life begins.


Listen to complete discourse at mentioned below link.

Discourse Series: The Invitation Chapter #4

Chapter title: Your god is as rich as your consciousness

22 August 1987 pm in Chuang Tzu Auditorium


Osho has spoken on ‘witnessing, watching, silence, awareness, Watcher on the Hill’ in many of His discourses. More on the subject can be referred to in the following books/discourses:

  1. Beyond Enlightenment
  2. The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 1, 3, 6
  3. Dogen, the Zen Master: A Search and a Fulfillment
  4. From Death to Deathlessness
  5. From Misery to Enlightenment
  6. From Unconciousness to Consciousness
  7. From the False to the Truth
  8. The Hidden Harmony
  9. Hsin Hsin Ming: The Book of Nothing
  10. Be Still and Know
  11. Nirvana: The Last Nightmare
  12. The Rebel
  13. Sufis: The People of the Path, Vol 2
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