What are you seeking? Happiness, bliss, joy – that’s what you are seeking. You have been seeking for millennia, and you have not yet found it. It is time, the right time to think again, to meditate again. You have been seeking so hard, you have been trying so hard – perhaps you are missing just because you are trying? Maybe it is trying that keeps you away from happiness? Let us think over it, brood over it. Give a little pause to your search – recapitulate.
You have been searching for many lives. You don’t remember other lives, no need – but in this life you have been searching, that will do. And you have not found it: nobody has ever found by searching, something is wrong in the very search. In the search naturally you forget yourself; you start looking everywhere, everywhere else. You look to the north and to the east and to the west and to the south, and in the sky and underneath the seas, and go on searching everywhere. The search becomes more and more desperate, because the more you search and don’t find, great anxiety arises – “Am I going to make it this time, or am I again going to miss it?”
More and more desperation, more and more misery, more and more madness – you go nuts. And happiness remains as far away as ever, in fact it recedes farther away from you. The more you search the less is the possibility to get it, because it is inside you.
Happiness is the function of your consciousness when it is awake, unhappiness is the function of your consciousness when it is asleep. Unconsciousness is your mirror burdened with much dust and luggage and the past.
Happiness is when the burden has been dropped and the mirror is found again; your mirror can again reflect the trees and the sun and the sand and the sea and the stars. When you have again become innocent, when you again have the eyes of a child – in that clarity you are happy.
I was reading a few beautiful lines of Michael Adam:
“Perhaps trying even makes for unhappiness. Perhaps all the din of my desiring has kept the strange bird from my shoulder. I have tried so long and so loud after happiness. I have looked so far and wide. I have always imagined that happiness is an island in the river. Perhaps it is the river. I have thought happiness to be the name of an inn at the end of the road. Perhaps it is the road. I have believed that happiness was always tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. Perhaps it is here. Perhaps it is now. I have looked everywhere else.
“So: here and now.
“But here and now is clearly unhappiness. Perhaps then, no such thing as happiness. Perhaps happiness exists not, it is just a dream created by an unhappy mind. Certainly it cannot be as I unhappily imagine it. Here and now there is not happiness. So happiness is not. I need not therefore waste myself on what is not. I can forget about happiness then; I can cease to care and instead concern myself with something that I do know, can feel and fully experience. Happiness is an idle dream: now it is morning. I can awaken and stay with unhappiness, with what is real under the sun this moment. And now I see how much of my unhappiness came from trying to be happy; even I can see that trying is unhappiness. Happiness does not try….
“At last I am here and now. At last I am what I am. I am unpretending, at ease. I am unhappy – so what? But is this what I ran from? Is this really unhappiness?”
Think over it, meditate over it.
“And when I cease to try to be happy or anything else, when I do not seek anymore, when I do not care to go anywhere, get anything, then it seems I am already arrived in a strange place: I am here and now. When I see that I can do nothing, that all my doing is the same dream, in the moment that I see this, my mind the old dreamer and wanderer is for the moment still and present.”
Naturally. If you are not searching, not seeking, not desiring, not dreaming, for a moment the mind falls into a silence, is still. There is nothing to hanker about, nothing to make a fuss about, nothing to expect and nothing to be frustrated about. For a moment the mind stops its constant chasing. In that moment of stillness you are in a strange place, you are in a strange unknown space, never known before. A new door has opened and for the moment the mind is still and present.
“For the moment, here and now, the real world shows, and see: here and now is already and always all that I had sought and striven after elsewhere and apart. More than that: I have hunted after shadows; the reality is here in this sunlit place, in this birdcall now. It was my seeking after reality that took me from it; desire deafened me. The bird was singing here all the while.
“If I am still and careless to find happiness, then happiness it seems is able to find me. It is, if I am truly still, as still as death – if I am thoroughly dead, here and now.”
Happiness suddenly jumps upon you. When desire disappears, happiness appears. When the striving is no more, for the first time you see who you are. That knowing is what Buddha means: Come and see: Ihi passika. Where is he calling you: Come and see? He is calling you from your desires. You have gone far away from your home, you have lost your home base and are not where you appear to be. Your dream has taken you to faraway worlds: imaginary, illusory, your own creation.
Osho, This Very Body the Buddha, Talk #1
Bliss is not happiness. Bliss is more like peace than like happiness. Bliss is neither unhappiness nor happiness; it is peace from that turmoil, that conflict. It is peace, absolute peace, because it is a transcendence of duality. Happiness always lingers with unhappiness; unhappiness is always with its other side, happiness. They are two sides of the same coin. When the whole coin drops from your hand you are neither happy nor unhappy.
It is because of this that Buddha never had a great appeal to the Indian masses. Who wants peace? Everybody wants happiness – and everybody knows that happiness is followed by unhappiness, as day is followed by night, as death is followed by birth, birth is followed by death. It is a vicious circle: if you are happy, you can be certain that soon you will be unhappy; if you are unhappy, you can be certain that soon you will be happy again.
Seeing this game of happiness and unhappiness, the watcher, the meditator becomes unidentified with both. When happiness comes he knows that unhappiness will be coming, so why get excited? When unhappiness comes he is not at all disturbed because he knows happiness will be coming just around the corner, so why become disturbed? He is neither excited by happiness nor disturbed by unhappiness. This is peace. He remains the same, in a deep equilibrium; his silence is undisturbed. Day comes and goes, night comes and goes, everything comes and goes. He remains a witness, unconcerned, cool. That coolness, that unconcernedness is peace.
Osho, The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 9, Talk #9
A man who is in search of truth does not think in terms of happiness. His happiness, or unhappiness, that is not the point. “I must know the true. Even if it is painful, even if it leads to hell, I am ready to pass through it. Wheresoever it leads, I am ready to go to it.”
There are only two types of people. One is in search of happiness; he is the worldly type. He may go into a monastery, but the type doesn’t change: there also he is asking for happiness, pleasure, gratification. Now in a different way – through meditation, prayer, God – he is trying to become happy, more and more happy. Then there is the other type of person – and only two types exist – who is in search of truth. And this is the paradox: the one who seeks happiness will never find it, because happiness is not possible unless you attain to the true. Happiness is just a shadow of truth; it is nothing in itself – it is just a harmony.
When you feel one with the truth, everything fits together, falls together. You feel a rhythm – that rhythm is happiness. You cannot seek it directly.
Truth has to be sought. Happiness is found when truth is found, but happiness is not the goal. And if you seek happiness directly you will be more and more unhappy. And, at the most, your happiness will be just an intoxicant so that you can forget unhappiness; that’s all that is going to happen. Happiness is just like a drug – it is LSD, it is marijuana, it is mescaline.
Why has the West come to drugs? It is a very, very rational process. It has to come to it because searching for happiness one has to reach LSD sooner or later. The same has happened in India before. In the Vedas they reached soma, LSD, because they were seeking happiness; they were not really seekers of truth. They were seeking more and more gratification – they came to soma. Soma is the ultimate drug. And Aldous Huxley has named the ultimate drug, when it is to be found somewhere in the twenty-first century, he has called it soma again. Whenever a society, a man, a civilization, seeks happiness, it has to come somewhere to drugs – because happiness is a search for drugs. The search for happiness is a search to forget oneself; that’s what a drug helps you to do. You forget yourself, then there is no misery. You are not there, how can there be misery? You are fast asleep.
The search for truth is just the opposite dimension: not gratification, not pleasure, not happiness, but “What is the nature of existence? What is true?” A man who seeks happiness will never find it – at the most he will find forgetfulness. A man who seeks truth will find it, because to seek truth he will have to become true himself.
Osho, The Hidden Harmony, Talk #3
When there is a lot of running about, a lot of running here and there, man is unhappy. Happiness is being at complete rest. You run here and there in search of happiness, but your arithmetic is wrong, your calculations are faulty. You think you will find happiness by running hither and thither, but in the end all this running only makes you miserable. The final result of all this running about is unhappiness. The more you run, the more miserable you will be. Happiness is that moment of rest when there is no more running, when you are just at rest, when you are simply there where you are, when you do not move even an inch. And then, in that moment of rest, there is happiness, there is nothing but happiness. Meditate over this.
The extent to which you run is the extent to which you are deprived of happiness. And the more you keep on running, the more and more unhappy you become. Happiness is to be found by stopping. And stopping is meditation, prayer, worship. Stopping means having no idea or thought of the future whatsoever. As long as you remain attached to the future your running will continue.
The present moment is everything, so why run? Where will you reach by running? There is no place to run, no time in which to run. Existence is celebrating this very moment and you are cut off from it. You are so unfortunate.
And you are unfortunate because you are running. If you expect happiness to come to you tomorrow you will receive nothing but misery. Why don’t you take your happiness today? – it is already there. Please just stop for a while. You are missing happiness because of your running, and because of your running you have no free time, no leisure to enjoy it.
All the enlightened ones have said that desire is the root cause of misery and that contentment is the foundation of happiness. Contentment means rest, contentment means that whatsoever you have is enough, more than enough. Where is your ability to enjoy what you already have? Think about it a moment. Do you even have the capacity to enjoy that which you already possess? You are unable to contain all that is given to you already, and yet you are running after more and more.
Osho, The Great Secret, Talk #9
Man can be happy, more happy than the birds, more happy than the trees, more happy than the stars – because man has something which no tree, no bird, no star has. Man has consciousness.
But when you have consciousness then two alternatives are possible: either you can become unhappy or you can become happy. Then it is your own choice!
Trees are simply happy because they cannot be unhappy. Their happiness is not their freedom – they have to be happy. They don’t know how to be unhappy; there is no alternative. These birds chirping in the trees, they are happy! Not because they have chosen to be happy – they are simply happy because they don’t know any other way to be. Their happiness is unconscious. It is simply natural.
Man can be tremendously happy and tremendously unhappy – and he is free to choose. This freedom is hazardous. This freedom is very dangerous – because you become responsible. And something has happened with this freedom, something has gone wrong. Man is somehow standing on his head.
You have come to me seeking meditation. Meditation is needed only because you have not chosen to be happy. If you have chosen to be happy there is no need for any meditation. Meditation is medicinal: if you are ill then the medicine is needed. Buddhas don’t need meditation. Once you have started choosing happiness, once you have decided that you have to be happy, then no meditation is needed. Then meditation starts happening of its own accord.
Meditation is a function of being happy. Meditation follows a happy man like a shadow: wherever he goes, whatsoever he is doing, he is meditative. He is intensely concentrated.
The word meditation and the word medicine come from the same root – that is very significant. Meditation is also medicinal. You don’t carry bottles of medicines and prescriptions with you if you are healthy. Of course, when you are not healthy you have to go the doctor. Going to the doctor is not a very great thing to brag about. One should be happy so the doctor is not needed.
So many religions are there because so many people are unhappy. A happy person needs no religion. A happy person needs no temple, no church, because for a happy person the whole universe is a temple, the whole existence is a church. The happy person has nothing like religious activity because his whole life is religious.
Whatsoever you do with happiness is a prayer: your work becomes worship; your very breathing has an intense splendor to it, a grace. Not that you constantly repeat the name of “God” – only foolish people do that – because the divine has no name, and by repeating some assumed name you simply dull your own mind. By repeating its name you are not going to go anywhere. A happy man simply comes to see the divine is everywhere. You need happy eyes to see it.
What has gone wrong?
Osho, A Sudden Clash of Thunder, Talk #7