Osho Zen Tarot
Major Arcana


0: The Fool
1: Existence
2: Inner Voice
3: Creativity
4: The Rebel
5: No-Thingness
6: The Lovers
7: Awareness
8: Courage
9: Aloneness
10: Change
11: Breakthrough
12: New Vision
13: Transformation
14: Integration
15: Conditioning
16: Thunderbolt
17: Silence
18: Past Lives
19: Innocence
20: Beyond Illusion
21: Completion
The Master
The Card
Osho's Teachings
The Fool

0 -  The Fool

Moment to moment, and with every step, the Fool leaves the past behind. He carries nothing more than his purity, innocence and trust, symbolized by the white rose in his hand. The pattern on his waistcoat contains the colors of all four elements of the tarot, indicating that he is in harmony with all that surrounds him. His intuition is functioning at its peak. At this moment the Fool has the support of the universe to make this jump into the unknown. Adventures await him in the river of life.

The card indicates that if you trust your intuition right now, your feeling of the 'rightness' of things, you cannot go wrong. Your actions may appear 'foolish' to others, or even to yourself, if you try to analyze them with the rational mind. But the 'zero' place occupied by the Fool is the numberless number where trust and innocence are the guides, not skepticism and past experience.

A fool is one who goes on trusting; a fool is one who goes on trusting against all his experience. You deceive him, and he trusts you; and you deceive him again, and he trusts you; and you deceive him again, and he trusts you. Then you will say that he is a fool, he does not learn. His trust is tremendous; his trust is so pure that nobody can corrupt it.
Be a fool in the Taoist sense, in the Zen sense. Don't try to create a wall of knowledge around you. Whatsoever experience comes to you, let it happen, and then go on dropping it. Go on cleaning your mind continuously; go on dying to the past so you remain in the present, here-now, as if just born, just a babe.
In the beginning it is going to be very difficult. The world will start taking advantage of you...let them. They are poor fellows. Even if you are cheated and deceived and robbed, let it happen, because that which is really yours cannot be robbed from you, that which is really yours nobody can steal from you.
And each time you don't allow situations to corrupt you, that opportunity will become an integration inside. Your soul will become more crystallized.

Osho Dang Dang Doko Dang Chapter2



Existence



1 - Existence

This naked figure sits on the lotus leaf of perfection, gazing at the beauty of the night sky. She knows that "home" is not a physical place in the outside world, but an inner quality of relaxation and acceptance. The stars, the rocks, the trees, the flowers, fish and birds--all are our brothers and sisters in this dance of life. We human beings tend to forget this, as we pursue our own private agendas and believe we must fight to get what we need. But ultimately, our sense of separateness is just an illusion, manufactured by the narrow preoccupations of the mind.

Now is the time to look at whether you are allowing yourself to receive the extraordinary gift of feeling "at "home" wherever you are. If you are, be sure to take time to savor it so it can deepen and remain with you. If on the other hand you've been feeling like the world is out to get you, it's time to take a break. Go outside tonight and look at the stars.


You are not accidental. Existence needs you. Without you something will be missing in existence and nobody can replace it. That's what gives you dignity, that the whole existence will miss you. The stars and sun and moon, the trees and birds and earth--everything in the universe will feel a small place is vacant which cannot be filled by anybody except you.
This gives you a tremendous joy, a fulfillment that you are related to existence, and existence cares for you. Once you are clean and clear, you can see tremendous love falling on you from all dimensions.

Osho God is Dead: Now Zen is the Only Living Truth Chapter 1



Inner Voice

2- Inner Voice

The Inner Voice speaks not in words but in the wordless language of the heart. It is like an oracle who only speaks the truth. If it had a face, it would be like the face at the center of this card--alert, watchful, and able to accept both the dark and the light, symbolized by the two hands holding the crystal. The crystal itself represents the clarity that comes from transcending all dualities.
The Inner Voice can also be playful, as it dives deep into the emotions and emerges again to soar towards the sky, like two dolphins dancing in the waters of life. It is connected with the cosmos, through the crescent-moon crown, and the earth, as represented by the green leaves on the figure's kimono.

There are times in our lives when too many voices seem to be pulling us this way and that. Our very confusion in such situations is a reminder to seek silence and centering within. Only then are we able to hear our truth.


If you have found your truth within yourself there is nothing more in this whole existence to find. Truth is functioning through you. When you open your eyes, it is truth opening his eyes. When you close your eyes, it is truth who is closing its eyes.
This is a tremendous meditation. If you can simply understand the device, you don't have to do anything; whatever you are doing is being done by truth. You are walking, it is truth; you are sleeping, it is truth resting; you are speaking, it is truth speaking; you are silent, it is truth that is silent.
This is one of the most simple meditation techniques. Slowly, slowly everything settles by this simple formula, and then there is no need for the technique.
When you are cured, you throw away the meditation, you throw away the medicine. Then you live as truth--alive, radiant, contented, blissful, a song unto yourself. Your whole life becomes a prayer without any words, or better to say a prayerfulness, a grace, a beauty which does not belong to our mundane world, a ray of light coming from the beyond into the darkness of our world.

Osho The Great Zen Master Ta Hui, Chapter 23





Creativity

3 - Creativity

From the alchemy of fire and water below to the divine light entering from above, the figure in this card is literally 'possessed by' the creative force. Really, the experience of creativity is an entry into the mysterious. Technique, expertise and knowledge are just tools; the key is to abandon oneself to the energy that fuels the birth of all things.
This energy has no form or structure, yet all the forms and structures come out of it. It makes no difference what particular form your creativity takes--it can be painting or singing, planting a garden or making a meal. The important thing is to be open to what wants to be expressed through you.
Remember that we don't possess our creations; they do not belong to us. True creativity arises from a union with the divine, with the mystical and the unknowable. Then it is both a joy for the creator and a blessing to others.


Creativity is the quality that you bring to the activity that you are doing. It is an attitude, an inner approach--how you look at things....
Not everybody can be a painter--and there is no need also. If everybody is a painter the world will be very ugly; it will be difficult to live. And not everybody can be a dancer, and there is no need. But everybody can be creative.
Whatsoever you do, if you do it joyfully, if you do it lovingly, if your act of doing is not purely economical, then it is creative. If you have something growing out of it within you, if it gives you growth, it is spiritual, it is creative, it is divine. You become more divine as you become more creative.
All the religions of the world have said God is the creator. I don't know whether he is the creator or not, but one thing I know: the more creative you become, the more godly you become.
When your creativity comes to a climax, when your whole life becomes creative, you live in God. So he must be the creator because people who have been creative have been closest to him. Love what you do. Be meditative while you are doing it--whatsoever it is!

Osho A Sudden Clash of Thunder, Chapter 4



The Rebel

4 - The Rebel

The powerful and authoritative figure in this card is clearly the master of his own destiny. On his shoulder is an emblem of the sun, and the torch he holds in his right hand symbolizes the light of his own hard-won truth. Whether he is wealthy or poor, the Rebel is really an emperor because he has broken the chains of society's repressive conditioning and opinions. He has formed himself by embracing all the colors of the rainbow, emerging from the dark and formless roots of his unconscious past and growing wings to fly into the sky. His very way of being is rebellious--not because he is fighting against anybody or anything, but because he has discovered his own true nature and is determined to live in accordance with it. The eagle is his spirit animal, a messenger between earth and sky. The Rebel challenges us to be courageous enough to take responsibility for who we are and to live our truth.

People are afraid, very much afraid of those who know themselves. They have a certain power, a certain aura and a certain magnetism, a charisma that can take out alive, young people from the traditional imprisonment.... The enlightened man cannot be enslaved--that is the difficulty--and he cannot be imprisoned....
Every genius who has known something of the inner is bound to be a little difficult to be absorbed; he is going to be an upsetting force. The masses don't want to be disturbed, even though they may be in misery; they are in misery, but they are accustomed to the misery. And anybody who is not miserable looks like a stranger.
The enlightened man is the greatest stranger in the world; he does not seem to belong to anybody. No organization confines him, no community, no society, no nation.

Osho The Zen Manifesto: Freedom from Oneself, Chapter 9



No-thingness


5 - No-Thingness

Being "in the gap" can be disorienting and even scary. Nothing to hold on to, no sense of direction, not even a hint of what choices and possibilities might lie ahead. But it was just this state of pure potential that existed before the universe was created. All you can do now is to relax into this no-thingness...fall into this silence between the words...watch this gap between the outgoing and incoming breath. And treasure each empty moment of the experience. Something sacred is about to be born.

Buddha has chosen one of the really very potential words--shunyata. The English word, the English equivalent, "nothingness", is not such a beautiful word. That's why I would like to make it "no-thingness"--because the nothing is not just nothing, it is all. It is vibrant with all possibilities. It is potential, absolute potential. It is unmanifest yet, but it contains all. In the beginning is nature, in the end is nature, so why in the middle do you make so much fuss? Why, in the middle, becoming so worried, so anxious, so ambitious--why create such despair? Nothingness to nothingness is the whole journey.

Osho Take it Easy, Volume 1, Chapter 5



The Lovers

6 - The Lovers

What we call love is really a whole spectrum of relating, reaching from the earth to the sky. At the most earthy level, love is sexual attraction. Many of us remain stuck there, because our conditioning has burdened our sexuality with all kinds of expectations and repressions. Actually the biggest "problem" with sexual love is that it never lasts. Only if we accept this fact can we then really celebrate it for what it is--welcome its happening, and say good-bye with gratitude when it's not.
Then as we mature, we can begin to experience the love that exists beyond sexuality and honors the unique individuality of the other. We begin to understand that our partner often functions as a mirror, reflecting unseen aspects of our deeper self and supporting us to become whole. This love is based in freedom, not expectation or need. Its wings take us higher and higher towards the universal love that experiences all as one.


These three things are to be taken note of: the lowest love is sex--it is physical--and the highest refinement of love is compassion. Sex is below love, compassion is above love; love is exactly in the middle.
Very few people know what love is. Ninety-nine percent of people, unfortunately, think sexuality is love--it is not. Sexuality is very animal; it certainly has the potential of growing into love, but it is not actual love, only a potential....
If you become aware and alert, meditative, then sex can be transformed into love. And if your meditativeness becomes total, absolute, love can be transformed into compassion. Sex is the seed, love is the flower, compassion is the fragrance.
Buddha has defined compassion as 'love plus meditation'. When your love is not just a desire for the other, when your love is not only a need, when your love is a sharing, when your love is not that of a beggar but an emperor, when your love is not asking for something in return but is ready only to give--to give for the sheer joy of giving--then add meditation to it and the pure fragrance is released.
That is compassion; compassion is the highest phenomenon.

Osho Zen, Zest, Zip, Zap and Zing, Chapter 3



Awareness

7 - Awareness

The veil of illusion, or maya, that has been keeping you from perceiving reality as it is, is starting to burn away. The fire is not the heated fire of passion, but the cool flame of awareness. As it burns the veil, the face of a very delicate and childlike buddha becomes visible.
The awareness that is growing in you now is not the result of any conscious "doing", nor do you need to struggle to make something happen. Any sense you might have had that you've been groping in the dark is dissolving now, or will be dissolving soon.

Let yourself settle, and remember that deep inside you are just a witness, eternally silent, aware and unchanged. A channel is now opening from the circumference of activity to that center of witnessing. It will help you to become detached, and a new awareness will lift the veil from your eyes.


Mind can never be intelligent--only no-mind is intelligent. Only no-mind is original and radical. Only no-mind is revolutionary--revolution in action.
This mind gives you a sort of stupor. Burdened by the memories of the past, burdened by the projections of the future, you go on living--at the minimum. You don't live at the maximum. Your flame remains very dim.
Once you start dropping thoughts, the dust that you have collected in the past, the flame arises--clean, clear, alive, young. Your whole life becomes a flame, and a flame without any smoke. That is what awareness is.

Osho A Sudden Clash of Thunder, Chapter 1



courage

8 - Courage

This card shows a small wildflower that has met the challenge of the rocks and stones in its path to emerge into the light of day. Surrounded by an aura of bright golden light, it exposes the majesty of its tiny self. Unashamed, it is equal to the brightest sun.

When we are faced with a very difficult situation we have a choice: we can either be resentful, and try to find somebody or something to blame for the hardships, or we can face the challenge and grow.
The flower shows us the way, as its passion for life leads it out of the darkness and into the light. There is no point fighting against the challenges of life, or trying to avoid or deny them. They are there, and if the seed is to become the flower we must go through them. Be courageous enough to grow into the flower you are meant to be.

The seed cannot know what is going to happen, the seed has never known the flower. And the seed cannot even believe that he has the potentiality to become a beautiful flower. Long is the journey, and it is always safer not to go on that journey because unknown is the path, nothing is guaranteed.
Nothing can be guaranteed. Thousand and one are the hazards of the journey, many are the pitfalls--and the seed is secure, hidden inside a hard core. But the seed tries, it makes an effort; it drops the hard shell which is its security, it starts moving.
Immediately the fight starts: the struggle with the soil, with the stones, with the rocks. And the seed was very hard and the sprout will be very, very soft and dangers will be many. There was no danger for the seed, the seed could have survived for millennia, but for the sprout many are the dangers. But the sprout starts towards the unknown, towards the sun, towards the source of light, not knowing where, not knowing why.
Great is the cross to be carried, but a dream possesses the seed and the seed moves. The same is the path for man. It is arduous. Much courage will be needed.

Osho Dang Dang Doko Dang, Chapter 4



Aloneness

9 - Aloneness

When there is no "significant other" in our lives we can either be lonely, or enjoy the freedom that solitude brings. When we find no support among others for our deeply felt truths, we can either feel isolated and bitter, or celebrate the fact that our vision is strong enough even to survive the powerful human need for the approval of family, friends or colleagues.

If you are facing such a situation now, be aware of how you are choosing to view your "aloneness" and take responsibility for the choice you have made.
The humble figure in this card glows with a light that emanates from within. One of Gautam Buddha's most significant contributions to the spiritual life of humankind was to insist to his disciples, "Be a light unto yourself." Ultimately, each of us must develop within ourselves the capacity to make our way through the darkness without any companions, maps or guide.

When you are alone you are not alone, you are simply lonely--and there is a tremendous difference between loneliness and aloneness. When you are lonely you are thinking of the other, you are missing the other. Loneliness is a negative state. You are feeling that it would have been better if the other was there--your friend, your wife, your mother, your beloved, your husband. It would have been good if the other was there, but the other is not. Loneliness is absence of the other.
Aloneness is the presence of oneself. Aloneness is very positive. It is a presence, overflowing presence. You are so full of presence that you can fill the whole universe with your presence and there is no need for anybody.

Osho The Discipline of Transcendence Volume 1, Chapter 2



Change

10 - Change

The symbol in this card is an enormous wheel representing time, fate, karma. Galaxies spin around this constantly moving circle, and the twelve signs of the zodiac appear on its circumference. Just inside the circumference are the eight trigrams of the I Ching, and even closer to the center are the four directions, each illuminated by the energy of lightning. The spinning triangle is at this moment pointed upward, toward the divine, and the Chinese symbol of yin and yang, male and female, creative and receptive, lies at the center.
It has often been said that the only unchanging thing in the world is change itself. Life is continuously changing, evolving, dying and being reborn. All opposites play a part in this vast circular pattern.

If you cling to the edge of the wheel you can get dizzy! Move toward the center of the cyclone and relax, knowing that this too will pass.


Life repeats itself mindlessly--unless you become mindful, it will go on repeating like a wheel. That's why Buddhists call it the wheel of life and death--the wheel of time. It moves like a wheel: birth is followed by death, death is followed by birth; love is followed by hate, hate is followed by love; success is followed by failure, failure is followed by success. Just see! If you can watch just for a few days, you will see a pattern emerging, a wheel pattern.
One day, a fine morning, you are feeling so good and so happy, and another day you are so dull, so dead that you start thinking of committing suicide. And just the other day you were so full of life, so blissful that you were feeling thankful to God that you were in a mood of deep gratefulness, and today there is great complaint and you don't see the point why one should go on living....
And it goes on and on, but you don't see the pattern. Once you see the pattern, you can get out of it.

Osho Take it Easy, Volume 1, Chapter 7



Breakthrough

11 - Breakthrough

The predominance of red in this card indicates at a glance that its subject is energy, power and strength. The brilliant glow emanates from the solar plexus, or center of power on the figure, and the posture is one of exuberance and determination. All of us occasionally reach a point when "enough is enough."
At such times it seems we must do something, anything, even if it later turns out to be a mistake, to throw off the burdens and restrictions that are limiting us. If we don't, they threaten to suffocate and cripple our very life energy itself.

If you are now feeling that "enough is enough," allow yourself to take the risk of shattering the old patterns and limitations that have kept your energy from flowing. In doing so you will be amazed at the vitality and empowerment this Breakthrough can bring to your life.


To transform breakdowns into breakthroughs is the whole function of a master. The psychotherapist simply patches you up. That is his function. He is not there to transform you. You need a meta-psychology, the psychology of the buddhas.
It is the greatest adventure in life to go through a breakdown consciously. It is the greatest risk because there is no guarantee that the breakdown will become a breakthrough. It does become, but these things cannot be guaranteed. Your chaos is very ancient--for many, many lives you have been in chaos. It is thick and dense. It is almost a universe in itself.
So when you enter into it with your small capacity, of course there is danger. But without facing this danger nobody has ever become integrated, nobody has ever become an individual, indivisible.
Zen, or meditation, is the method which will help you to go through the chaos, through the dark night of the soul, balanced, disciplined, alert.
The dawn is not far away, but before you can reach the dawn, the dark night has to be passed through. And as the dawn comes closer, the night will become darker.

Osho Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen, Chapter 1



New Vision

12 - New Vision

The figure on this card is being born anew, emerging from his earthbound roots and growing wings to fly into the unbounded. The geometric shapes around the body of the figure show the many dimensions of life simultaneously available to him. The square represents the physical, the manifest, the known. The circle represents the unmanifest, the spirit, pure space. And the triangle symbolizes the threefold nature of the universe: manifest, unmanifest, and the human being who contains both.

Now you are presented with an opportunity to see life in all its dimensions, from the depths to the heights. They exist together, and when we come to know from experience that the dark and the difficult are needed as much as the light and easy, then we begin to have a very different perspective on the world. By allowing all of life's colors to penetrate us, we become more integrated.

When you open up to the ultimate, immediately it pours into you. You are no longer an ordinary human being--you have transcended. Your insight has become the insight of the whole existence. Now you are no longer separate--you have found your roots.
Otherwise, ordinarily, everybody is moving without roots, not knowing from where their heart goes on receiving energy, not knowing who goes on breathing in them, not knowing the life juice that is running inside them. It is not the body, it is not the mind--it is something transcendental to all duality, that is called bhagavat--the bhagavat in the ten directions ....
Your inner being, when it opens, first experiences two directions: the height, the depth. And then slowly, slowly, as this becomes your established situation, you start looking around, spreading into all other eight directions.
And once you have attained to the point where your height and your depth meet, then you can look around to the very circumference of the universe. Then your consciousness starts unfolding in all ten directions, but the road has been one.

Osho Zen: The Diamond Thunderbolt, Chapter 9



Transformation

13 - Transformation

The central figure in this card sits atop the vast flower of the void, and holds the symbols of transformation--the sword that cuts through illusion, the snake that rejuvenates itself by shedding its skin, the broken chain of limitations, and the yin/yang symbol of transcending duality. One of its hands rests on its lap, open and receptive. The other reaches down to touch the mouth of a sleeping face, symbolizing the silence that comes when we are at rest.

This is a time for a deep let-go. Allow any pain, sorrow, or difficulty just to be there, accepting its "facticity". It is very much like the experience of Gautam Buddha when, after years of seeking, he finally gave up knowing there was nothing more that he could do. That very night, he became enlightened. Transformation comes, like death, in its own time. And, like death, it takes you from one dimension into another.


A master in Zen is not simply a teacher. In all the religions there are only teachers. They teach you about subjects which you don't know, and they ask you to believe, because there is no way to bring those experiences into objective reality. Neither has the teacher known them--he has believed them; he transfers his belief to somebody else.
Zen is not a believer's world. It is not for the faithful ones; it is for those daring souls who can drop all belief, unbelief, doubt, reason, mind, and simply enter into their pure existence without boundaries. But it brings a tremendous transformation. Hence, let me say that while others are involved in philosophies, Zen is involved in metamorphosis, in a transformation. It is authentic alchemy: it changes you from base metal into gold.
But its language has to be understood, not with your reasoning and intellectual mind but with your loving heart. Or even just listening, not bothering whether it is true or not. And a moment comes suddenly that you see it, which has been eluding you your whole life. Suddenly, what Gautam Buddha called 'eighty-four thousand doors' open.

Osho Zen: The Solitary Bird, Cuckoo of the Forest, Chapter 6



Integration

14 - Integration

The image of integration is the union mystica, the fusion of opposites. This is a time of communication between the previously experienced dualities of life. Rather than night opposing day, dark suppressing light, they work together to create a unified whole, turning endlessly one into the other, each containing in its deepest core the seed of the opposite.
The eagle and the swan are both beings of flight and majesty. The eagle is the embodiment of power and aloneness. The swan is the embodiment of space and purity, gently floating and diving upon and within the element of the emotions, entirely content and complete within her perfection and beauty. We are the union of eagle and swan: male and female, fire and water, life and death.

The card of integration is the symbol of self-creation, new life, and mystical union; otherwise known as alchemy.


The conflict is in man. Unless it is resolved there, it cannot be resolved anywhere else. The politics is within you; it is between the two parts of the mind. A very small bridge exists. If that bridge is broken through some accident, through some physiological defect or something else, the person becomes split, the person becomes two persons--and the phenomenon of schizophrenia or split personality happens.
If the bridge is broken--and the bridge is very fragile--then you become two, you behave like two persons. In the morning you are very loving, very beautiful; in the evening you are very angry, absolutely different. You don't remember your morning...how can you remember? Another mind was functioning--and the person becomes two persons. If this bridge is strengthened so much that the two minds disappear as two and become one, then integration, then crystallization, arises.
What George Gurdjieff used to call the crystallization of being is nothing but these two minds becoming one, the meeting of the male and the female within, the meeting of yin and yang, the meeting of the left and right, the meeting of logic and illogic, the meeting of Plato and Aristotle.

Osho Ancient Music in the Pines, Chapter 1



Conditioning

15 - Conditioning


This card recalls an old Zen story, about a lion who was brought up by sheep and who thought he was a sheep until an old lion captured him and took him to a pond, where he showed him his own reflection. Many of us are like this lion--the image we have of ourselves comes not from our own direct experience but from the opinions of others. A "personality" imposed from the outside replaces the individuality that could have grown from within. We become just another sheep in the herd, unable to move freely, and unconscious of our own true identity.

It's time to take a look at your own reflection in the pond, and make a move to break out of whatever you have been conditioned by others to believe about yourself. Dance, run, jog, do gibberish--whatever is needed to wake up the sleeping lion within.


Unless you drop your personality you will not be able to find your individuality. Individuality is given by existence; personality is imposed by the society. Personality is social convenience.
Society cannot tolerate individuality, because individuality will not follow like a sheep. Individuality has the quality of the lion; the lion moves alone. The sheep are always in the crowd, hoping that being in the crowd will feel cozy. Being in the crowd one feels more protected, secure. If somebody attacks, there is every possibility in a crowd to save yourself. But alone?--only the lions move alone.
And every one of you is born a lion, but the society goes on conditioning you, programming your mind as a sheep. It gives you a personality, a cozy personality, nice, very convenient, very obedient.
Society wants slaves, not people who are absolutely dedicated to freedom. Society wants slaves because all the vested interests want obedience.

Osho One Seed Makes the Whole Earth Green, Chapter 4



Thunderbolt

16 - Thunderbolt

The card shows a tower being burned, destroyed, blown apart. A man and a woman are leaping from it not because they want to, but because they have no choice. In the background is a transparent, meditating figure representing the witnessing consciousness. You might be feeling pretty shaky right now, as if the earth is rocking beneath your feet. Your sense of security is being challenged, and the natural tendency is to try to hold on to whatever you can.

But this inner earthquake is both necessary and tremendously important--if you allow it, you will emerge from the wreckage stronger and more available for new experiences. After the fire, the earth is replenished; after the storm the air is clear. Try to watch the destruction with detachment, almost as if it were happening to somebody else. Say yes to the process by meeting it halfway.


What meditation does slowly, slowly, a good shout of the master, unexpectedly, in the situation where the disciple was asking some question, and the master jumps and shouts, or hits him, or throws him out of the door, or jumps over him....
These methods were never known. It was purely the very creative genius of Ma Tzu, and he made many people enlightened. Sometimes it looks so hilarious: he threw a man from the window, from a two-storey house, and the man had come to ask on what to meditate.
And Ma Tzu not only threw him, he jumped after him, fell on him, sat on his chest, and he said, "Got it?!" And the poor fellow said, "Yes"--because if you say "No," he may beat you or do something else. It is enough--his body is fractured, and Ma Tzu, sitting on his chest, says, "Got it?!"
And in fact he got it, because it was so sudden, out of the blue--he could never have conceived it.

Osho Isan: No Footprints in the Blue Sky, Chapter 4



Silence

17 - Silence

The silent mirrorlike receptiveness of a star-filled night with a full moon is reflected in the misty lake below. The face in the sky is deep in meditation, a goddess of the night who brings depth, peace and understanding. Now is a very precious time. It will be easy for you to rest inside, to plumb the depths of your own inner silence to the point where it meets the silence of the universe.
There's nothing to do, nowhere to go, and the quality of your inner silence permeates everything you do. It might make some people uncomfortable, accustomed as they are to all the noise and activity of the world. Never mind; seek out those who can resonate with your silence, or enjoy your aloneness.

Now is the time to come home to yourself. The understanding and insights that come to you in these moments will be manifested later on, in a more outgoing phase of your life.


The energy of the whole has taken possession of you. You are possessed, you are no more, the whole is. This moment, as the silence penetrates in you, you can understand the significance of it, because it is the same silence that Gautam Buddha experienced. It is the same silence that Chuang Tzu or Bodhidharma or Nansen.... The taste of the silence is the same.
Time changes, the world goes on changing, but the experience of silence, the joy of it, remains the same. That is the only thing you can rely upon, the only thing that never dies. It is the only thing that you can call your very being.

Osho Zen: The Diamond Thunderbolt, Chapter 1



Past Lives

18 - Past Lives

The hands of existence form the shape of the female genitals, the opening of the cosmic mother. Revealed within are many images, faces from other times. While it might be entertaining to fantasize about famous past lives, it is just a distraction. The real point is to see and understand the karmic patterns of our lives, and their roots in an endless repetitive cycle that traps us in unconscious behavior. The two rainbow lizards on either side represent knowing and not-knowing. They are the guardians of the unconscious, making sure that we are prepared for a vision that might otherwise be shattering.
A glimpse into the eternity of our existence is a gift, and understanding the function of karma in our lives is not something that can be grasped at will.

This is a wake-up call; the events in your life are trying to show you a pattern as ancient as the journey of your own soul.


The child can become conscious only if in his past life he has meditated enough, has created enough meditative energy to fight with the darkness that death brings. One simply is lost in an oblivion and then suddenly finds a new womb and forgets completely about the old body. There is a discontinuity. This darkness, this unconsciousness creates the discontinuity. The East has been working hard to penetrate these barriers. And ten thousand years' work has not been in vain.
Everybody can penetrate to the past life or many past lives. But for that you have to go deeper into your meditation, for two reasons: unless you go deeper, you cannot find the door to another life; secondly, you have to be deeper in meditation because, if you find the door of another life, a flood of events will come into the mind. It is hard enough even to carry one life....

Osho Hyakujo: The Everest of Zen, Chapter 7



Innocence

19 - Innocence

The old man in this card radiates a childlike delight in the world. There is a sense of grace surrounding him, as if he is at home with himself and with what life has brought. He seems to be having a playful communication with the praying mantis on his finger, as if the two of them are the greatest friends. The pink flowers cascading around him represent a time of letting go, relaxation and sweetness. They are a response to his presence, a reflection of his own qualities.
The innocence that comes from a deep experience of life is childlike, but not childish. The innocence of children is beautiful, but ignorant. It will be replaced by mistrust and doubt as the child grows and learns that the world can be a dangerous and threatening place. But the innocence of a life lived fully has a quality of wisdom and acceptance of the ever-changing wonder of life.

Zen says that if you drop knowledge--and within knowledge everything is included, your name, your identity, everything, because this has been given to you by others--if you drop all that has been given by others, you will have a totally different quality to your being--innocence. This will be a crucifixion of the persona, the personality, and there will be a resurrection of your innocence; you will become a child again, reborn.

Osho Dang Dang Doko Dang, Chapter 7



Beyond Illusion

20 - Beyond Illusion

The butterfly in this card represents the outer, that which is constantly moving and that which is not real but an illusion. Behind the butterfly is the face of consciousness, looking inward to that which is eternal. The space between the two eyes has opened, revealing the lotus of spiritual unfoldment and the rising sun of awareness. Through the rising of the inner sun, meditation is born.

The card reminds us not to look outside for what is real, but to look within. When we focus on externals, we too often get caught up in judgments--this is good, this is bad, I want this, I don't want that. These judgments keep us trapped in our illusions, our sleepiness, our old habits and patterns. Drop your opinionated mind, and move inside. There, you can relax into your own deepest truth, where the difference between dreams and reality is already known.


This is the only distinction between the dream and the real: reality allows you to doubt, and the dream does not allow you to doubt....
To me, the capacity to doubt is one of the greatest blessings to humanity. The religions have been enemies because they have been cutting the very roots of doubt, and there is a reason why they have been doing that: because they want people to believe in certain illusions that they have been preaching....
Why have the people like Gautam Buddha been so insistent that the whole existence--except your witnessing self, except your awareness--is just ephemeral, made of the same stuff as dreams are made of. They are not saying that these trees are not there. They are not saying that these pillars are not there.
Don't misunderstand because of the word "illusion".... It has been translated as illusion, but illusion is not the right word. Illusion does not exist. Reality exists. Maya is just in between--it almost exists.
As far as day-to-day activities are concerned, it can be taken as reality. Only in the ultimate sense, from the peak of your illumination, it becomes unreal, illusory.

Osho The Great Zen Master Ta Hui, Chapter 12



Completion

21 - Completion

Here the last piece of a jigsaw puzzle is being put into its place, the position of the third eye, the place of inner perception. Even in the ever-changing flow of life there are moments in which we come to a point of completion. In these moments we are able to perceive the whole picture, the composite of all the small pieces that have occupied our attention for so long. In the finishing, we can either be in despair because we don't want the situation to come to an end, or we can be grateful and accepting of the fact that life is full of endings and new beginnings.
Whatever has been absorbing your time and energy is now coming to an end. In completing it, you will be clearing the space for something new to begin. Use this interval to celebrate both--the end of the old and the coming of the new.


This is the way of Zen, not to say things to their completion. This has to be understood; it is a very important methodology. Not to say everything means to give an opportunity to the listener to complete it. All answers are incomplete. The master has only given you a direction... By the time you reach the limit, you will know what is going to remain.
This way, if somebody is trying to understand Zen intellectually he will fail. It is not an answer to the question but something more than the answer. It is indicating the very reality....
The buddha nature is not something far away--your very consciousness is buddha nature. And your consciousness can witness these things which constitute the world. The world will end but the mirror will remain, mirroring nothing.

Osho Joshu: The Lion's Roar, Chapter 5



Master

The Master

The Master in Zen is not a master over others, but a master of himself. His every gesture and his every word reflect his enlightened state. He has no private goals, no desire that anything should be other than the way it is. His disciples gather around him not to follow him, but to soak up his presence and be inspired by his example. In his eyes they find their own truth reflected, and in his silence they fall more easily into the silence of their own beings.
The master welcomes the disciples not because he wants to lead them, but because he has so much to share. Together, they create an energy field that supports each unique individual in finding his or her own light. If you can find such a master you are blessed. If you cannot, keep on searching. Learn from the teachers, and the would-be masters, and move on. Charaiveti, charaiveti, said Gautam Buddha. Keep on moving.






Masters don't teach the truth; there is no way to teach it. It is a transmission beyond scriptures, beyond words. It is a transmission. It is energy provoking energy in you. It is a kind of synchronicity....
You have to approach the master with great love, with great trust, with an open heart. You are not aware who you are. He is aware who he is, he is aware who you are. The caterpillar might be said to be unaware that it may become a butterfly. You are caterpillars--bodhisattvas. All caterpillars are bodhisattvas and all bodhisattvas are caterpillars. A bodhisattva means one who can become a butterfly, who can become a buddha, who is a buddha in the seed, in essence....
The master/disciple relationship is the relationship between a caterpillar and a butterfly, a friendship between a caterpillar and a butterfly. The butterfly cannot prove that the caterpillar can become a butterfly; there is no logical way. But the butterfly can provoke a longing in the caterpillar--that is possible.

Osho Ah, This!, Chapter 1