Osho on Zen Laughter Meditation and
Question - In regards to the Zen monks who laugh as a
meditation every morning -- Don't you think they are taking their
Laughter a Little too Seriously?
No, because they laugh again -- a second laugh -- for the first, that
"How foolish we are! Why are we laughing?"
If you laugh only once, it can be serious. So always re. member to laugh
twice. First just laugh, and then laugh at the laughter. Then you will
not get serious.
And Zen people are in a way not what you mean by religious people. They
are not. Zen is not a religion; it is a vision. It has no scripture. It
has nothing to abide with. It has nowhere to go, it has no goal. Zen is
not a means or a method towards some goal and some end. It is the end.
It is very difficult to understand Zen because if you want to understand
it, you will have to drop all that you have carried up to now -- being a
Christian, a Hindu, a Mohammedan, a Jain. You will have to drop all that
nonsense. It is rot. To understand Zen is very, very difficult not
because of its intrinsic quality but because of your conditioned mind.
If you look as a Christian or as a Hindu you will not be able to see
what Zen is. Zen is very pure. Eyes filled with doctrines miss it. Zen
is so pure that even a single word arises in your mind and you miss it.
Zen is an indication.
Just the other night I was reading. A great Zen Master Chau-chou was
asked, "What is the essential religion?" He waited in silence, as if he
had not heard the disciple. The disciple repeated again, "What is the
essential religion, sir?" The Master continued to look where he was
looking; he would not even turn his face towards the disciple. The
disciple asked again, "Have you heard me or not? Where are you?"
The Master said, "Look at the cypress tree in the courtyard."
Finished. This is his answer: "Look at the cypress tree in the
It is exactly the same as when
Buddha inaugurated the world of Zen with
a flower. He looked at the flower, and thousands who had gathered to
listen to him could not understand what was happening. Then one monk, Mahakashyap, smiled, laughed. Buddha called him and gave him the flower
and said to those who had gathered, "Whatsoever can be said, I have told
you, and whatsoever cannot be said, I give to Mahakashyap." He did well
by giving a flower because Mahakashyap flowered in that moment of smile;
his being flowered.
What was Buddha saying? Looking at the flower, he was saying, "Be
here-now. Look at the flower." They were expect. ing something else,
they were thinking about something else, they were imagining about
something else. When Chau-chou said, "Look at the cypress tree in the
courtyard," he said, "Drop all nonsense about religion and what is
essential and nonessential -- Be here-now. Look. In that look which is
here. now is revealed all that is essential religion."
Zen is totally different. It is something tremendously unique. You
cannot understand it if you are caught in dogmas, in creeds.
Let me tell you one anecdote:
A young Catholic girl of fifteen was asked by the Mother Superior what
she wanted to be in life.
"A prostitute," replied the girl.
"A what?" shrieked the aged nun.
"A prostitute," repeated the girl calmly. "Oh, the saints be praised,"
said the pious old lady. "I thought you said a Protestant!"
This type of mind will not be able to understand what Zen is; it will be completely beyond its grasp -- divided in creeds and cults....
Zen people are not serious, but they are very sincere. And these two
things are totally different. Never misunderstand them, never be
confused between them. A sincere man is not serious. He is sincere. If
he laughs, he means it. If he loves, he means it. If he is angry, he is
angry and he will not pretend otherwise. He is authentic, true.
Whatsoever he is, he reveals himself to you. He is vulnerable. He never
hides behind masks; he is sincere, true. Sometimes he will be sad, then
he will be sad. And sometimes he will like crying, then he will cry and
he will not hide and he will not try to be something else which he is
not. He remains himself. He never deviates from his being and he never
allows anybody to distract him.
But a serious person is somebody else, who is not true, who is not
authentic but is posing that he is authentic, that he is true. A serious
man is an impostor; he is just trying to show that he is authentic, very
authentic. He cannot laugh, because he is afraid if he laughs, in the
laughter maybe his true face will come to be seen by others. Because
many times your laughter shows many things that you have been hiding.
If you laugh, your laughter can show who you are because in a moment of
laughter you relax; otherwise you cannot laugh. A laughter is a
relaxing. You can remain tight, but then you cannot laugh. If you laugh,
the tightness goes. You can remain somber, long-faced, and you can
persist in that, but if you laugh suddenly you will see the whole body
is relaxed, and in that relaxed moment something may bubble up, may
surface, which you have been hiding for long and don't want others to
see. That's why serious people don't laugh. Sincere people laugh -- only
sincere people laugh. Their laughter is childlike, innocent.
Serious people will not cry, will not weep, because that will again show
their weakness -- and they want to prove they are strong, very strong.
But a sincere person allows himself to be seen as he is. He invites you
into his innermost core of being.
Zen people are sincere but not serious. Sometimes so sincere that they
almost look profane. You cannot conceive of it. So sincere that they
almost look irreligious, but they are not irreligious. Because sincerity
is the only religion there is.
My whole effort is also in the same dimension: to help you to become
sincere -- but not serious. I want you to laugh, I want you to weep. I
want you to be sad sometimes, to be happy. But whatsoever you are, you
are. Whatsoever you are inside, that's your outside also. You are of one
piece; then you will be alive, flowing, moving, growing, reaching to
your destiny, revealing, flowering, unfolding.
Source - from Osho Book "Yoga Vol 8"
Related Osho Links:
Osho on Ten Bulls of Zen
Osho on Zan Master Hotei - Laughing Buddha
Osho on Laughter as a part of Spiritual practice
Osho on Laughter and Its relation
with No Mind
What is the most
stupid thing Mulla
Nasrudin ever did
Laughter Meditation -
Starting and Ending day with Laughter
is very essence of religion. Seriousness is never Religious
Osho discourse on Sufi Mystic
Osho Jokes on Mulla Nasruddin
Osho Quotes on Laughter and
Laughter as a Meditation
repressed by Society, Society wants you to be serious
Osho - My whole teaching is
Celebration; not worship but Celebration
Back to Osho Jokes