Create a little distance

Tiny Meditations

“Next time somebody insults you, give it five minutes, sit silently for five minutes, and then you can become angry.”

Angry man

Unawareness is a state of robotlike existence. You go on repeating mechanically. You go on living without any alertness in it; sleepy, a somnambulist you are.

Out of ten people, one person can walk in his sleep, do you know it? That is a big number. Out of a hundred, ten people are capable of walking in their sleep. If you have ten persons in your family, that means one person is capable of walking in his sleep. People get up, they can walk in darkness, they can reach the fridge, they can eat things, they can come back to the bed. In the morning they have forgotten all – and then they are worried why they go on becoming fatter and fatter! In the day they fast or diet and in the night they compensate as much as they can.

You will have to be a little separate from your acts; then you will be able to know what unawareness is. Somebody insults you; immediately, instantly, anger arises. It is like pushing a button and the light comes on. There is no gap: you push a button and the light comes on. The light has no time to think whether to come on or not. Somebody insults you; he pushes a button and immediately you are enraged.

Gurdjieff used to say to his disciples, “Wait at least for five minutes. What is the hurry? Let him insult you, let him finish first. Then you close your eyes and wait for five minutes, and watch what is happening inside you – anger boiling.”

Gurdjieff himself became enlightened through this simple procedure: that whatsoever is mechanical in man he tried to make it nonmechanical. And all is mechanical in you – anger, lust, greed, jealousy – all is mechanical. It simply is there whenever somebody pushes a button. You are functioning like a robot. Become a man.

That’s what meditation is all about, that’s what sannyas is all about. Create a little distance. Next time somebody insults you, give it five minutes, sit silently for five minutes, and then you can become angry. I am not saying “Don’t become angry” – because that will be too much. I am saying that just for five minutes allow a gap, and you will be surprised: after five minutes it is not the same anger that it would have been five minutes before.

Osho, The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol 8, CH 10, Q 10


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