Cleaning the floor can be a tremendously creative act


Osho, how to be creative while doing jobs which seem not to leave any space for creativity, like cleaning etc?

Osho speaking in Buddha Hall

…Cleaning a floor can be a tremendously creative act. Remember, creativity has nothing to do with any particular work. Creativity has something to do with the quality of your consciousness. Whatsoever you do can become creative. Whatsoever you do can become creative if you know what creativity means.

Creativity means enjoying any work as meditation; doing any work with deep love. If you love me and you clean this auditorium, it is creative. If you don’t love me then of course it is a chore, it is a duty to be done somehow, it is a burden. Then you would like some other time to be creative. What will you do in that other time? Can you find a better thing to do? Are you thinking that if you paint, you will feel creative?

But painting is just as ordinary as cleaning the floor. You will be throwing colors on a canvas. Here you are washing the floor, cleaning the floor. What is the difference? Talking to somebody, a friend, and you feel time is being wasted. You would like to write a great book; then you will be creative. But a friend has come: a little gossiping is perfectly beautiful. Be creative.

All great scriptures are nothing but gossips of people who were creative. What do I do here? Gossiping. They will become gospels some day, but originally they are gossips. But I enjoy doing them. I can go on and on for eternity. You may get tired some day, I am not going to get tired. It is sheer delight. It is possible that one day you may get so tired that you disappear and there is nobody – and I will be talking. If you really love something, it is creative.

But this happens to everybody. Many people come to me. When they come for the first time they will say: “Any work, Osho. Any work – even cleaning!” Exactly they say: “Even cleaning! – but your work and we will be happy.” And then after a few days they come to me and they say: “Cleaning… We would like to have some great creative work.” […]

While cleaning, go on thinking you are painting. This is not a cleaning. This is great creativity. And it will be. It is just your mind playing tricks. If you understand, then you bring your creativity to every act that you do.

A man of understanding is continuously creative. Not that he is trying to be creative. The way he sits is a creative act. Watch him sitting. You will find in his movement a certain quality of dance, a certain dignity. {…}

When you understand, whatsoever you do – cooking, cleaning… life consists of small things; just your ego goes on saying these are small things. You would like some great thing to do – a great poetry. You would like to become Shakespeare or Kalidas or Milton. It is your ego that is creating the trouble. Drop the ego and everything is creative.

I have heard:

A housewife was so pleased with the promptness shown by the grocer’s boy that she asked him his name. “Shakespeare”, replied the boy.

“Well, that is quite a famous name.”

“It should be. I have been delivering in this neighborhood for almost three years now.”

I like it. Why bother about Shakespeare? Three years delivering in a neighborhood – it’s almost as beautiful as writing a book, a novel, a play.

Life consists of small things. They become great if you love. Then everything is tremendously great. If you don’t love, then your ego goes on saying: “This is not worthy of you. Cleaning? This is not worthy of you. Do something great – become Joan of Arc.” All nonsense. All Joan of Arcs are nonsense.

Cleaning is great. Don’t go on an ego-trip. Whenever the ego comes and persuades you towards some great things, immediately become aware and drop the ego, and then by and by you will find the trivia is sacred. Nothing is profane; everything is sacred and holy. And unless everything becomes holy to you, your life cannot be religious.

A holy man is not what you call a saint. A saint may be just on an ego-trip. And also he will look a saint to you because you think he has done great deeds.

A holy man is an ordinary man who loves ordinary life. Chopping wood, carrying water from the well, cooking – whatsoever he touches becomes holy. Not that he is doing great things, but whatsoever he does, he does it greatly.

The greatness is not in the thing done. The greatness is in the consciousness that you bring while you do it. […]

Osho, Nirvana: The Last Nightmare, Ch 10, Q 5 (excerpt)

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