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Action through inaction

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A common misunderstanding about meditation is that it’s just sitting, doing nothing. While it’s true that “Spring comes, and the grass grows by itself,” this has to do with nature being dynamic, and simply getting on with the business of living in its own, effortless way. Like the seasons and the grass, what we’re after is an effortless effort, and the point is to live totally, and with awareness, not to just sit.

Osho: “Action is not creativity, inaction also is not creativity. Creativity is a very paradoxical state of consciousness and being; it is action through inaction. It is what Lao Tzu calls wei wu wei. It is allowing something to happen through you. It is not a doing; it is an allowing. It is becoming a passage so the whole can flow through you. It is becoming a hollow bamboo, just a hollow bamboo. And then immediately something starts to happen because hidden behind man is God. Just give him a little way, a little passage, to come through you. That is creativity, allowing God to happen is creativity.

“You can surpass yourself by being in contact consciously with nature. And that is the essence of wisdom–to be in harmony with nature, with the natural rhythm of the universe. And whenever you are in harmony with the natural rhythm of the universe you are a poet, you are a painter, you are a musician, you are a dancer.

“Try it. Sometime sitting by the side of a tree, fall in tune consciously. Become one with nature, let boundaries dissolve. Become the tree, become the grass, become the wind–and suddenly you will see, something that has never happened to you is happening. Your eyes are becoming psychedelic–trees are greener than they have ever been, and roses are rosier, and everything seems to be luminous. And suddenly you want to sing a song, not knowing from where it comes. Your feet are ready to dance; you can feel the dance murmuring inside your veins. You can hear the sound of music within and without. This is the state of creativity. This can be called the basic quality–being in harmony with nature, being in tune with life, with the universe.

“All beautiful states are paradoxical. The higher you go, the deeper you go into the paradox of reality.”


“Lao Tzu has given it a beautiful name, wei wu wei, action through inaction. You can call it creative quietude–a process that combines within a single individual two seeming incompatibles: supreme activity and supreme relaxation.

“That’s the paradox of creativity. If you see a painter painting, certainly he is active, utterly active, madly active; he is all action. Or you see a dancer dancing; he is all action. But still, deep down there is no actor, no doer; there is all silence. Hence, I called creativity the state of paradox. All beautiful states are paradoxical. The higher you go, the deeper you go into the paradox of reality.

“Supreme action with supreme relaxation–on the surface great action is happening; in the depth nothing is happening or only nothing is happening. Creative quietude is the supreme action, the precious suppleness, simplicity, spontaneity and freedom that flows from us, or rather through us, whenever private egos and conscious efforts yield to a power not their own.

“Yielding to a power not of your own, surrendering to a power that is beyond you, is creativity. Meditation is creativity. And when the ego disappears, the wound in you disappears; you are healed, you are whole. The ego is your dis-ease. And when the ego disappears you are no longer dormant, you start flowing. You start flowing with the immense flow of existence.”

Abridged from Unio Mystica, Vol. 1 by Osho

Osho is known for his revolutionary contribution to the science of inner transformation, with an approach to meditation that acknowledges the accelerated pace of contemporary life.

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