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What is Tension and Relaxation?
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OSHO : The Hidden Splendor, Chapter 11

OSHO,
Please talk about tension and relaxation. When I am alert, there is a subtle tension which I need to maintain this wakefulness. It winds me up like a spring and then I feel horrible. How can I stay awake without all this tension? How to find a stillness, though busy?

I will just tell a small anecdote.

One day a man from a small village in the mountains sees a tourist driving his car backwards up a narrow road towards the top of the mountain. The man stops him and says, "Why are you driving backwards?"
The tourist replies, "They told me that there is no room to turn a car around on top of the mountain."
The man says, "I have lived here all my life. I know there is enough space to turn around."
Half an hour later, he sees the tourist driving down again, backwards. He stops the car and says, "What are you doing now?"
The tourist replies, "You were right. There was enough room to turn around."

Whatever I have said is simple: Start being aware with day-to-day, routine actions, and while you are doing your routine actions, remain relaxed. There is no need to be tense. When you are washing the floor, what is the need to be tense? Or when you are cooking the food, what is the need to be tense?

THERE IS NOT a single thing in life which requires your tension. It is just your unawareness and your impatience.

I have not found anything -- and I have lived in all kinds of ways, with all kinds of people. And I have always been puzzled: why are they tense?

It seems tension has nothing to do with anything outside you, it has something to do within you. Outside you always find an excuse only because it looks so idiotic to be tense without any reason. Just to rationalize, you find some reason outside yourself to explain why you are tense.

But tension is not outside you, it is in your wrong style of life. You are living in competition -- that will create tension. You are living in continuous comparison -- that will create tension. You are always thinking either of the past or of the future, and missing the present which is the only reality -- that will create tension.

IT IS A QUESTION of simple understanding; there is no need of any competition with anybody. You are yourself, and as you are, you are perfectly good.

Accept yourself.

This is the way existence wants you to be. Some trees are taller; some trees are smaller. But the smaller trees are not tense -- neither are the taller trees full of ego. Existence needs variety. Somebody is stronger than you; somebody is more intelligent than you -- but in something, you also must be more talented than anybody else.

Just find your own talent. Nature never sends any single individual without some unique gift. Just a little search... perhaps you can play on the flute better than the president of the country can be a president -- you are a better flautist than he is a president.

There is no question of any comparison. Comparison leads people astray. Competition keeps them continuously tense, and because their life is empty, they never live in the moment. All they do is to think of the past, which is no more, or project in the future, which is not yet.

This whole thing drives people almost abnormal -- insane. Otherwise there is no need: no animal goes mad, no tree needs any psychoanalysis. The whole existence is living in constant celebration, except man. He is sitting aloof, tense, worried.

A SMALL LIFE, and you are losing it and every day death is coming closer. That creates even more angst -- "Death is coming closer and I have not even started living." Most people realize only when they die that they were alive -- but then it is too late.

Just live the moment.

And whatever qualities and whatever talents you have, use them to the fullest.

ONE OF THE MYSTICS in India, Kabir, was a weaver. He had thousands of followers and still he continued to weave clothes. Even kings were his followers.

The king of Varanasi asked him, "Master, it doesn't look good, it makes us feel embarrassed. We can take care of you. There is no need for you to weave clothes and every week on market day, go into the market to sell your clothes. Just think of us: people laugh at us."

Kabir said, "I can understand your problem but I have only one talent and that is to weave beautiful clothes. If I stop doing it, who will do it? And God comes in different faces, in different bodies, to purchase clothes every week in the marketplace."

He used to address every customer, "Lord, be very careful of the cloth. I have been weaving it, not just like any other weaver -- my songs are in it and my soul is in it. I have poured my whole being in it. Be careful, use it with tenderness and love and remember: Kabir has woven it especially for you, Lord."

And it was not something that he was addressing to anybody in particular -- any customer! This was his contribution. He used to say to his disciples, "What else can I do? I am doing my best: I can weave, I can sing, I can dance -- and I am immensely contented."

WHATEVER YOU ARE doing, if there is contentment and a feeling that this whole existence is nothing but the manifestation of godliness, that we are traveling on holy earth, that whomever you are meeting, you are meeting God -- there is no other way; only faces are different, but the inner reality is the same -- all your tensions will disappear. And the energy that is involved in tensions will start becoming your grace, your beauty.

Then life will not be just an ordinary, routine, day-to-day existence, but a dance from cradle to grave.

And existence will be immensely enriched by your grace, by your relaxation, by your silence, by your awareness.

You will not leave the world without contributing something valuable to it. But people are always looking at others, at what others are doing -- somebody is playing the flute and you cannot, and immediately there is misery; somebody is painting and you cannot, and there is misery.

WHATEVER YOU ARE doing, do it with such love, with such care that the smallest thing in the world becomes a piece of art. It will bring great joy to you. And it will create a world without competition, without comparison; it will give dignity to all people; it will restore their pride, which religions have destroyed.

In my whole life, I have never judged any person. If God is happy with him, why should I be worried whether he is a thief or a murderer? Perhaps that is the function existence wants him to do. All that is needed is that he should do it with as much artfulness and as much intelligence as he can gather -- with his totality.

Any act done with totality becomes your prayer.

OSHO : The Hidden Splendor, Chapter 11

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