Happy Birthday, Osho! Lessons From An Amazing Philosopher

Osho has become one of my favorite spiritual philosophers, writers, teachers, and beings. I love and learn from many others, of course, but as of yet, none resonate with me the way Osho does. 

He is unapologetically honest, wickedly insightful, and profoundly poetic. He does not mince words. He is blunt, direct, humorous and so spot on when it comes to living a blissful life. This week the world celebrated his birth and in accordance with that, I’d like to share some of his many pearls of wisdom for your enjoyment. 

On Fear: “Whenever there is any fear, never try to escape from it. In fact, take hints from fear. Those are the directions in which you need to travel. Fear is simply a challenge. It calls you: "Come!" 

How often have many of us talked ourselves out of the very thing we wanted, the very person we wanted to proclaim our love to, the job we wished we'd applied for, the opportunities we wished we'd seized but didn’t because of fear? I love recognizing the fear swell and seeing it as a calling rather than a sign to turn back. 

On Gratitude: “Feel as grateful to existence as possible-for small things, not only for great things...just for sheer breathing. We don’t have any claim on existence, so whatever is given is a gift.”

This is a truth I emphasize to my students constantly, being grateful simply for life, for breath, for our pulse, our ability to rise each morning and absorb the fullness of existence. Happiness starts from consistent gratitude. Everything builds from there. 

On Authority: “Never ask anybody what is right and what is wrong. Life is an experiment to find out.” 

Osho goes on to write about each individual leading themselves, being conscious and present, observing and interpreting life without the constant noise, opinions and instructions from others. There is much to learn and become inspired by in this world, including the many teachers that will cross our paths, but there is no greater teacher than ourselves. 

We must tune in first and experience life’s ups and downs personally, not via the recommendations of others. It’s up to each of us to lead ourselves down a happy path of our own carving. 

On Mediocrity: “Never settle for any mediocrity, because that is a sin against life. Never ask that life should be without risk, and never ask for security, because that is asking for death.” 

Osho speaks to the resounding stillness, the space in us all that is the watcher, so as we explore the peaks and valleys of life, we remain a constant observer of it all, unafraid to live boldly because our purest self, our consciousness, remains unharmed. We have but one life, we deserve and should feel compelled to soak up every experience we can. 

On Trust: “Always remember that at no cost should you become mistrustful. Even if your trust allows others to deceive you, this is better than not to trust.” 

A lack of trust in others not only showcases inner fears, but an innate lack of trust in ourselves. Whenever I’ve felt mistrustful of my love in the past, I realized it was because I didn’t know what I’d do if he betrayed me. I clearly didn’t believe I could handle it. Now, I know I’d dust myself off, cry a few tears, mourn the loss and move on wiser. 

When you trust, you do not punish the next person for a previous person's lies, mistakes or hurt they inflicted upon you. We recognize that when people deceive, more than anything else they’re lying to themselves, hurting themselves more than any other. 

A trust in yourself inspires others to live just as authentically and therefore a more honest existence will surround you. In trust, you are open, not run by fear or the past, exuding only love. 

On Failure: “You cannot be a failure, life does not allow failure. And because there is no goal, you cannot be frustrated.” He explains, “Once you understand that life is never going to be confined to a goal, goal oriented, then you flow in all directions with no fear. Because there is no failure, there is no success either-and then there is no frustration. Then each moment becomes a moment in itself; not that it is leading somewhere, not that is has to be used as a means to some end-it has intrinsic value.” 

I’ve written previously on my own fears of failure, on not living up to expectations, most of which were born out of my own mind. I simultaneously fear success because of the inevitable pressure and added standards that mount once steps and goals are achieved. 

In seeing life as this beautiful ride where I am the conductor, the judge, the teacher, and the only one I can measure life up against, I am freed to pursue big and small dreams, to love openly, to accept my own path and the paths of others without struggle, and let go of giving a damn whether I “fail” or “succeed.” 

I AM. That is enough. 

On Unconditional Love: “Once you know what love is, you are ready to give; the more you give, the more you have it. The more you go on showering on others, the more love springs up in your being.”

We get what we give, simple as that, and this speaks such a powerful truth to the more we exude, project and give love, the more it will be reflected and given right back to us. How and who we love merely provides a mirrored reflection of the life we think we deserve. We do not need romantic partners and best friends to experience love, to feel lovable or validated. Unconditional, lasting relationships begin with a sincere love of self, of life and all its inhabitants. 

This only scratches the surface. Osho has dozens of books and a seemingly infinite pool of wisdom for us all to drink. I hope you absorb what feels right with you, utilizing what resonates to become an even better leader of your own life. 


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