The woodpecker

1001 Tales told by the Master Discourses

In answer to the question, What is this ego? Osho tells an ancient story. From our series 1001 Tales, compiled by Shanti.


A young woodpecker, who felt exceedingly vigorous one morning, looked around the forest and decided to start the day by pecking a huge oak.

He had just gotten off to a good start when a bolt of lightning split the tree from top to bottom.

The bird hustled out from under the debris, looked up at what was left of the tree, and murmured with a shudder, “My! I did not even know my own strength.”

This is what ego is. It is a misinterpretation – what is already happening, you think you are doing it. Just a translation from happening to doing is the creation of the ego. Watch, and whenever you feel that you are doing something translate it to “It is happening.” Read “It is happening” and the ego will disappear.

All is happening, nothing is being done. There is no doer and no ‘do-ee’, it is all happening.

Osho, Take It Easy – 13 Discourses based on the doka of the Zen Master Ikkyu, Vol 2, Ch 6, Q 4

Series compiled by Shanti
All excerpts of this series can be found in: 1001 Tales

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