Watching is Not a Doing – Osho

Whatsoever is going on in your mind, don’t interfere, don’t try to stop it. Do not do anything, because whatsoever you do will become a discipline.

So do not do anything at all. Just watch.

Watching is not a doing. Just as you watch the sunset or the clouds in the sky or the people passing on the street, watch the traffic of thoughts and dreams, nightmares – relevant, irrelevant, consistent, inconsistent, anything that is going on. And it is always rush hour. You simply watch; you stand by the side unconcerned.

The pseudo-religions don’t allow you to remain unconcerned, because, they say, greed is bad. So if a thought of greed comes you jump to prevent it; otherwise you will become greedy. Anger is bad; if an angry thought passes by, you immediately jump – you have to change it, you have to be kind
and compassionate, and you have to love your enemy just like yourself. If something against your neighbor comes up… no, you have to love your neighbor just like yourself. So all the old religions have given you ideas of what is right and what is wrong – and if the wrong thing is passing by, you
certainly have to stop it. You have to interfere, you have to jump in and pull that thing out. You miss the point.

That’s why I don’t say to you what is right and what is wrong. All that I say is: to watch is right; not to watch is wrong.

I make it absolutely simplified: Be watchful.

It is none of your business – if greed is passing by, let it pass; if anger is passing by, let it pass. Who are you to interfere? Why are you so much identified with your mind? Why do you start thinking, “I am greedy… I am angry”? There is only a thought of anger passing by. Let it pass; you just watch.

There is an ancient story…. A man who has gone out of his town comes back and finds that his house is on fire. It was one of the most beautiful houses in the town, and the man loved the house. Many people were ready to give double price for the house, but he had never agreed for any price, and now it is just burning before his eyes. And thousands of people have gathered, but nothing can be done.

The fire has spread so far that even if you try to put it out, nothing will be saved. So he becomes very sad. His son comes running, and whispers something in his ear: “Don’t be worried. I sold it yesterday, and at a very good price – three times…. The offer was so good I could not wait for you.
Forgive me.”

But the father said, “Good, if you have sold it for three times more than the original price of the house.” Then the father is also a watcher, with other watchers. Just a moment before he was not a watcher, he was identified. It is the same house, the same fire, everything is the same – but now he
is not concerned. He is enjoying it just as everybody else is enjoying.

Then the second son comes running, and he says to the father, “What are you doing? You are smiling – and the house is on fire?”

The father said, “Don’t you know, your brother has sold it.”

He said, “He had talked about selling it, but nothing has been settled yet, and the man is not going to purchase it now.” Again, everything changes. Tears which had disappeared, have come back to the father’s eyes, his smile is no more there, his heart is beating fast. But the watcher is gone. He is
again identified.

And then the third son comes, and he says, “That man is a man of his word. I have just come from him. He said, ‘It doesn’t matter whether the house is burned or not, it is mine. And I am going to pay the price that I have settled for. Neither you knew, nor I knew that the house would catch on fire.’” Again the father is a watcher. The identity is no more there. Actually nothing is changing; just the idea that “I am the owner, I am identified somehow with the house,” makes the whole difference. The next moment he feels, “I am not identified. Somebody else has purchased it, I have nothing to do with it; let the house burn.”

This simple methodology of watching the mind, that you have nothing to do with it…. Most of its thoughts are not yours but from your parents, your teachers, your friends, the books, the movies, the television, the newspapers. Just count how many thoughts are your own, and you will be surprised that not a single thought is your own. All are from other sources, all are borrowed – either dumped by others on you, or foolishly dumped by yourself upon yourself, but nothing is yours.

The mind is there, functioning like a computer; literally it is a bio-computer. You will not get identified with a computer. If the computer gets hot, you won’t get hot. If the computer gets angry and starts giving signals in four letter words, you will not be worried. You will see what is wrong, where something is wrong. But you remain detached.

Just a small knack… I cannot even call it a method because that makes it heavy; I call it a knack. Just by doing it, one day suddenly you are able to do it. Many times you will fail; it’s nothing to be worried about… no loss, it is natural. But just doing it, one day it happens.

Once it has happened, once you have even for a single moment become the watcher, you know now how to become the watcher – the watcher on the hills, far away. And the whole mind is there deep down in the dark valley, and you are not to do anything about it.

The most strange thing about the mind is, if you become a watcher it starts disappearing. Just like the light disperses darkness, watchfulness disperses the mind, its thoughts, it’s whole paraphernalia. So meditation is simply watchfulness, awareness. And that reveals – it is nothing to do with inventing. It invents nothing; it simply discovers that which is there.

And what is there? You enter and you find infinite emptiness, so tremendously beautiful, so silent, so full of light, so fragrant, that you have entered into the kingdom of God.

In my words, you have entered into godliness. And once you have been in this space, you come out and you are a totally new person, a new man. Now you have your original face. All masks have disappeared. You will live in the same world, but not in the same way. You will be among the same people but not with the same attitude, and the same approach. You will live like a lotus in water: in the water, but absolutely untouched by water. Religion is the discovery of this lotus flower within.


From From Unconciousness to Consciousness, Discourse #19

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from and


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