Osho responds – in a way that may surprise you – to the question: What to do when there is pain?


Wise approach to pain

My suggestion is: when there is pain, go deeply into it, don’t avoid it. Let it be so, be open to it and become as sensitive as possible. Let the pain and its arrow penetrate you to your very core. Suffer it. And when the pleasure comes, let that too move you to your innermost core. Dance it. When there is pain be with pain, and when there is pleasure be with pleasure. Become so totally sensitive that each moment of pain and pleasure is a great adventure. And I would like to tell you one thing: if you can do this you will understand that pain too is beautiful. It is as beautiful as pleasure. It brings sharpness to your being and it also brings awareness to your being – sometimes even more than pleasure.

Pleasure dulls. That’s why people who live just in indulgence will be found to be shallow, you will not see any depth in them. They have not known pain at all; they have lived only on the surface, moving from one pleasure to another. The playboys – they don’t know what pain is.

Pain makes you very alert, pain makes you very compassionate and pain makes you sensitive to others’ pains too. Pain makes you immense, huge, big. The heart grows because of pain. It is beautiful, it has its own beauty. I am not saying seek pain; I am only saying whenever it is there, enjoy that too. It is a gift of existence and there must be a hidden treasure in it. Enjoy that too, don’t reject it. Accept it, welcome it and be with it. In the beginning it will be difficult, arduous. But by and by you will learn the taste of it.

The taste has to be learned – it is just like other tastes. When you start anything new you have to learn the taste. And of course the taste of pain is bitter. But once you have learned it, it gives such sharpness and brilliance to you. It shakes all dust, all stupor and sleepiness away from you. It makes you more fully mindful that anything else. In pain you can be more meditative than in pleasure.

Pleasure is more distracting. Pleasure engulfs you. In pleasure you abandon consciousness. Pleasure tends to make you unconscious; pleasure is a sort of oblivion, a forgetfulness. Pain is a remembrance: you cannot forget pain.

Have you not observed? – whenever you are in pain you remember God, never when you are happy and in pleasure. Who bothers? In fact when you are in pleasure you forget yourself, you forget God, you forget everything: things are going so well. But in pain you remember God.

Pain can become a very creative energy.

It can become a remembrance of the divine.

Pain can become prayer,

it can become meditation

and it can become awareness.

What do I teach? I teach: when pain is there use it as awareness, as meditation, as a sharpening of the soul. And when pleasure is there then use it as a drowning, as forgetfulness. Both are ways to reach the divine. One is to remember yourself totally and one is to forget yourself totally. Both pain and pleasure can be used but to use them you have to be very, very intelligent.

What I am teaching is not the stupid person’s way; what I am teaching is the intelligent, the wise man’s way. Whatsoever existence gives you, try to find a way to use it in such a way that it becomes a creative growth situation for you.

(Osho: The Discipline of Transcendence)

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