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A Bird on the Wing: Zen Anecdotes for Everyday Life
     

A Bird on the Wing: Zen Anecdotes for Everyday Life

by Osho
 

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Eleven classic anecdotes provide starting points to demonstrate the relevance of Zen to every aspect of 21st-century life. From the professor so full of his own ideas that he has no room for any new learning, to the monastery cook who solves a koan by kicking over a jug of water, readers will see themselves, their friends, and even modern-day celebrities and

Overview

Eleven classic anecdotes provide starting points to demonstrate the relevance of Zen to every aspect of 21st-century life. From the professor so full of his own ideas that he has no room for any new learning, to the monastery cook who solves a koan by kicking over a jug of water, readers will see themselves, their friends, and even modern-day celebrities and politicians reflected in the characters who populate these fascinating Zen stories. In each chapter, following the discussion of the story at hand, Osho responds to questions from his audience about matters of love, life, relationships, and “the search.” Throughout the book he emphasizes the importance both of honoring our "roots" in the simple pleasures of everyday life, and nourishing the "wings" that allow us to experience our connection with that which is universal, transcendent, and eternal.

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From the Publisher

“Be rooted in the body so you can have wings in the soul. Be rooted in the earth so you can spread into the sky; be rooted in the visible so you can reach into the invisible. Don’t create duality and don’t create any antagonism. If I am
against anything, I am against antagonism. I am against being against anything; I am for the whole, for the complete circle." - Osho

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780880502078
Publisher:
Osho Media International
Publication date:
08/13/2013
Series:
OSHO Classics
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
250
File size:
458 KB

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Chapter 3
The Gates of Heaven and Hell

A warrior came to the Zen master Hakuin and asked,
“Is there such a thing as heaven and hell?”
Hakuin said, “Who are you?”
The warrior replied, “I am chief samurai to the emperor.”
Hakuin said, “You, a samurai? With a face like that, you look more like a beggar.”
At this the warrior became so angry he drew his sword.
Standing calmly in front of him Hakuin said, “Here open the gates of hell.”
Perceiving the master’s composure,
the soldier sheathed his sword and bowed.
Hakuin then said, “And here open the gates of heaven.”

Heaven and hell are not geographical. If you go in search of them you will never find them anywhere, because they are within you, they are psychological. The mind is heaven, and the mind is hell, and the mind has the capacity to become either. But people go on thinking everything is somewhere outside. We always go on looking for everything outside because to be inwards is very difficult. We are outgoing. If somebody says there is a God, we look at the sky. Somewhere, sitting there, will be the divine person.

A psychologist working in a school in America asked small children about God, what they think about God. Children have a clearer perception: they are less cunning, truer. They are more representative of the human mind, they are unperverted. So he asked the children and their answers were collected. The conclusion was very ridiculous. In conclusion almost all the children depicted God something like this: God is an old man, very tall, bearded, and very dangerous. He creates fear. If you don’t follow him, he will throw you into hell; if you pray and follow him, he will give you paradise and all the pleasures. He is sitting on a throne in the sky and watching everybody. You cannot escape him; even in your bathroom he is looking.

The outgoing mind projects everything outside. This is your God. Don’t laugh and don’t think that this is a child’s conception – no, this is you. This is how you think about God: a cosmic spy, always searching to condemn, to throw you into hell, to punish, and very ferocious, revengeful. That’s why all religions are based on fear: if you do this you will be appreciated, rewarded; if you don’t do this you will be punished. But the base seems to be fear, and God seems to be just a very powerful emperor sitting on a throne in heaven. The whole concept is foolish, but human – the human mind is foolish. The whole concept is anthropocentric.

In the Bible it is said: “God created man in his own image.” The reality seems to be quite the contrary: man created God in his own image. We have projected God in our own image. It is a blow-up of the human mind – a bigger human mind, that’s all. Remember, if you think God is somewhere outside you, then you have not even taken the first step towards being religious.

The same happens with all concepts: heaven is without, hell is without, as if there exists nothing like that within. What is within you? The moment you think of the within it seems that everything goes empty. What is within you? The world is without, sex is without, sin is without, virtue is without. God, heaven, hell – everything is without. What is within you? Who are you? The moment you think of the within the mind goes blank: there is nothing.

In reality everything is within. The outer is just a projection. Fear is within you; then the fear is projected as a hell. Hell is just a projected image on the screen of the fear that is within you – the anger, the jealousy, and all that is poisonous in you, all that is evil in you. Heaven is again a projected image on the screen – of all that is good and beautiful, of all that is blissful within you. The Devil is the fallen human being; God is the risen human being. God is the ultimate possibility of your beautitude; the Devil is the ultimate fall of you. There is nobody like the Devil existing somewhere. You will never meet him unless you become him. And you will never encounter God unless you become God.

Meet the Author

Osho is a contemporary mystic whose life and teachings have influenced millions of people of all ages, and from all walks of life. His often provocative and challenging teachings generate today more and more interest and his readership is dramatically expanding around the world in more than fifty languages. People can easily recognise the wisdom of his insights, and their relevance to our lives and to the issues we are facing today. The Sunday Times in London named Osho as one of the "1,000 Makers of the 20th Century". He is known around the world for his revolutionary contribution to meditation — the science of inner transformation — with the unique approach of his "OSHO Active Meditations" acknowledging the accelerated pace of contemporary life and bringing meditation into modern life

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