I enjoy my afternoon sleep

Discourses Press Interviews

Osho answers personal questions by Nathan Wood, The Rogers Cable System, Portland, Oregon about his typical day: “I have always slept from eleven till two for the simple reason that if you sleep in the day for one or two hours, you have two mornings instead of one. And why miss the other? And sleeping is just a beautiful activity.”

Osho Press Interview 2

I just have one final question to ask you. What is a typical day for you? What do you do first in the morning? How do you start your days?

First, I’m an absolutely lazy man. I call myself the lazy man’s guide to enlightenment, so I am a non-doer. In the morning I have to be awakened otherwise I’m not going to wake up. At six o’clock they wake my up, and then I take one and a half hours in my bathroom relaxing in my bath. I love my bathroom the best; it is my temple. They have made for me really beautiful, gorgeous bathrooms. And not only one because I’m always for two of everything, not less than that, because if something goes wrong in one bathroom I’m not going to miss my bath. A second bathroom has to be constantly alert and ready. So for one and a half hours I enjoy in my bathroom. I have the best bubble baths. I’m allergic to perfumes, so I can take only herbal bubble baths. If you come to my bathroom you will be surprised to see what a treasure I have got there: the world’s best shampoos, hair conditioners, liquid soaps without perfume, all kinds. It is really difficult every day for me to choose…. It takes my almost five minutes to figure out what this combination will do.

After my one and a half hours I take one glass of juice; that is my whole breakfast. And then I go for my morning talk, two and a half hours gossiping with my sannyasins. I don’t have any gospel I have only gossips, and I laugh with them, enjoy with them. By eleven I’m back. Eleven is my time for my lunch, and has been for my whole life. I have never missed my lunch at eleven. At eleven-thirty I go to sleep. That, too, I have never missed.

I have always slept from eleven till two for the simple reason that if you sleep in the day for one or two hours, you have two mornings instead of one. And why miss the other? And sleeping is just a beautiful activity. Patanjali, the founder of yoga, has described the ultimate state of consciousness as very similar to deep sleep. The only difference is that in the ultimate state of consciousness – what he calls samadhi – one is aware; in deep sleep one is not aware. For me now there is no difference: my sleep is my samadhi. I am aware, so I am enjoying my sleep in a double way. Patanjali, Buddha, Mahavira, all those great Indian founders of religion missed something that I am enjoying – they missed the afternoon nap.

They could not sleep because all these so-called great prophets and messiahs were fulfilling the expectations of mediocre people who were their followers. Now it doesn’t look right for a Buddha to sleep in the day – it looks lazy, it looks luxurious. And Buddha had not guts enough to say to those followers that “If you cannot accept me as having an afternoon nap, then just get lost. Just to fulfill your expectations, I am not going to change myself.”

Many times many people have told me that a religious man, particularly in India, should wake up at three o’clock in the morning. That is the traditional Indian spirituality, three o’clock in the morning. I said, “I am ready to lose my enlightenment, my religiousness and everything, but forget completely that I am going to wake up at three o’clock in the morning. That is the best time to sleep; the most precious time is between three and five – those two hours are the deepest. It is a scientific fact, but I have known it according to my own experience that those two hours are the most important because you go deeper. And I am fully conscious, so I can see when I go deep. Now science has come to support it. They have found a way – your temperature falls down when you go deeper into sleep. Between three and five, your temperature comes down; otherwise for twenty-two hours it remains the same, normal. For two hours, it suddenly falls.

So I enjoy my afternoon sleep. Then at two o’clock I have to be awakened again. I go for a drive that I have always loved, and my sannyasins have made a beautiful road just for me. Perhaps I am the poorest and the richest man in the world: I don’t possess anything, but everything that anybody can possess, I use it. I don’t think even the Queen of England has a private road going into the forest in the hills by the side of a lake. It is used only for one hour, and there is no traffic, so there is no question of following any stupid laws of being on the right or being on the left. Mostly I follow being in the middle, which is not allowed anywhere else in the world. That’s why I enjoy it.

Back at three o’clock, I rest just sitting in my chair. I have a beautiful haiku from a Japanese poet which says: “Sitting silently, doing nothing, and the grass grows by itself.” That’s all – haikus are very small statements, but of tremendous meaning. So for one and a half hours, I am just sitting silently, doing nothing, and let the grass grow itself. And it is growing. My grass is not green, it is red. And it is growing all around the world while I am simply sitting in my room, doing nothing. Even Basho was not aware – he was thinking only of the grass by his side in the Zen garden where he was silently sitting. My grass is growing all over the world and I am not doing anything for it.

But one and a half hours I enjoy sitting; then again for one and a half hours, I am back in my bathroom for my evening shower. Then I have my supper, and from the supper I come directly here for the interviews. By nine, nine-fifteen, I will be back. Then my personal secretary has one or two hours – whatsoever she needs – for any advice for the commune around the world, any letters to be answered. Mostly, they do them themselves, unless they find something that needs my advice; then they bring it to me. At eleven in the night, all my life I have eaten a certain kind of Indian sweet that I eat and go to bed. Without eating my sweet, I cannot sleep.

What kind of a sweet is it?

It is a Bengali sweet which is not known in the West, but is the best. It is made of milk but the cream is taken out. You heat the milk and just pour lemon juice into the boiling milk. It separates, and what is left is called rasogulla.

It is something that the West has not used. It is the lightest sweet. In Bengal it is given to patients or to those who are recovering from a long sickness. It is very helpful and tremendously delicious. From eleven to six, I am again knocked out. And if existence wants me again tomorrow, I will be awakened; otherwise I am gone – gone with the wind.

My life is very simple – the same. For thirty-five years it has been the same. I never got bored by it for the simple reason that I never compare two days. If you go on giving me the same food for a whole year, I will not complain because I don’t compare. Yesterday is gone, finished. I again enjoy the same food with the same freshness, with the same excitement, with the same enlightenment as I have always done.

Osho, The Last Testament, Vol 1, Ch 23 (excerpt)

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