Like the Empty Sky it has no Boundaries – Osho

And now this profound sutra.

Like the empty sky it has no boundaries, yet it is right in this place, ever profound and clear.

Replace ‘it’ by ‘God’ and you will immediately understand – but Zen people don’t use the word ‘God’, they say ‘it’.

Like the empty sky it has no boundaries, yet it is right in this place, ever profound and clear.

If you start looking for the sky you will never find it. If you start searching and you become very serious you will never find the sky. Where will you find the sky? The sky is not somewhere, it is everywhere and that which is everywhere cannot be searched for. You cannot locate it; you cannot say it is in the north, you cannot say it is in the south, you cannot say it is there – because it is everywhere. That which is everywhere cannot be found somewhere. And where will you search? You will be rushing into the sky itself, here and there. And it is all sky. God is like the sky, like the empty sky.

It has no boundaries so it cannot be defined. You cannot say where it begins and where it ends. It is eternal, it is infinite – yet it is right in this place, just in front of you. If you are relaxed it is there; if you become tense it disappears.

A Zen Master used to say, ‘It is clear and so it is hard to see. A dunce once searched for a fire with a lighted lantern. Had he known what fire was he could have cooked his rice much sooner.’

Now with a lighted lantern you are searching for fire and you are carrying fire in your hands all the time. Yes, the Zen Master was right: had he known what fire was he could have cooked his rice much sooner. You could have always cooked your rice much sooner. And you are hungry, and you have been hungry for centuries, for eternity. And you have been searching for fire with a lighted lantern in your hand.

People go on asking where God is and he is just in front of you. He surrounds you. He is in and he is out because only he is. But Zen people call it ‘it’ so that you don’t get trapped into the word ‘God’.

When you seek to know it, you cannot see it.

Why? Because when you want to know it your very wanting becomes a tense state of affairs. You become narrow. You become concentrated. When you seek to know it, you cannot see it. You miss – because it can be seen only when you are utterly relaxed, when you are open from everywhere, when you are not concentrated.

Listen to it. Ordinarily people who don’t know what meditation is, write that meditation is concentration. There are thousands of books in which you will find this statement, this utterly stupid statement – that meditation is concentration. Meditation is not concentration – it is the last thing that meditation can be. In fact, concentration is just the diametrically opposite. In concentration you are very tense, focused, looking for something. Yes, concentration is good if you are looking for tiny things. If you are searching for an ant, concentration is perfectly good – but not good for God. God is so vast, so tremendously vast. If you look with concentration, you will find an ant, not God. For God you have to be utterly open, unconcentrated, open from every side, not searching, not looking. An unfocussed consciousness is what meditation is – unfocussed consciousness. […]

When you seek to know it, you cannot see it.

So the very effort to see it, the very desire to see it becomes a barrier. Don’t seek God. Don’t seek truth. Rather, create the situation of unfocusedness and God comes to you, it comes to you. It is there. […] God is unconditionally available.

When you seek to know it, you cannot see it.

You cannot take hold of it, but you cannot lose it.

See the beauty of this statement. You cannot take hold of it. If you want to possess God you will not be able to. God cannot be possessed. […]

Life cannot be possessed because life is God. Existence cannot be possessed because existence is God.

You see a beautiful flower – a rose – on a bush, and you immediately take it away from the bush. You want to possess it. You have killed it. Now you put it in your buttonhole – it is a dead flower, it is a corpse, it is no more beautiful. How can a dead thing be beautiful? It is just a memory and it is fading. It was so alive on the bush; it was so beautiful on the bush. It was so young and so happy and there was dance in it and there was a song around it. You killed all. Now you are carrying a dead flower in your buttonhole.

And this is what we are doing in everything. Whether it is beauty, love, God, we want to possess.

You cannot take hold of it – remember.

But you cannot lose it.

So beautiful. Yes, you cannot possess it, but there is no way to lose it either. It is there. It is always there. If you are just silent you will start feeling it. You have to fall in tune with it. You have to become silent so you can listen to it. You have to become silent so the dance of God can penetrate you, so God can vibrate in you, so God can pulsate in you. You have to drop your rush, your hurry, your ideas to go somewhere, to reach, to become, to be this and that. You have to stop becoming. And it is there; you cannot lose it.

In not being able to get it, you get it.

In not being able to get it, you get it. The moment you understand that you cannot possess it, and you drop your possessiveness, it is there – and you have got it. The moment you understand that love cannot be possessed, a great understanding has arisen in you. And now you will have it, and you will have it forever. You cannot exhaust it.

But you will have it only when you have got the point that it cannot be possessed, that there is no way to get it.

This is the Zen paradox – Zen is the path of paradox. It says that if you want to possess God, please don’t possess him – and you will possess him. If you want to possess love, don’t possess, and it is there and it is always yours. You cannot lose it; it is not possible to lose it.

When you are silent, it speaks; when you speak, it is silent. […]

Either you speak’ and God is not there, or God speaks and you are not there. If you dissolve, disappear, then you hear him. Then he is speaking from everywhere – from every chirping of every bird and from every murmur of every brook and from every wind passing through every pine. He is everywhere – but you fall silent.

When you are silent, it speaks; when you speak, it is silent.

The great gate is wide open to bestow alms, and no crowd is blocking the way.

There is no competition, there is nobody blocking your way, there are no competitors. You need not be in a hurry. You need not make any effort to grab. There is nobody competing with you and there is nobody standing in front of you – only God, only God. You can relax. You need not be afraid that you will miss it. You cannot miss it in the very nature of things. You cannot lose him. You relax.

All these statements are just to help you to relax. God cannot be lost – relax. There is nobody blocking the way – relax. There is no hurry because God is not something in time – relax.

There is nowhere to go because God is not distant on some star – relax. You cannot miss in the very nature of things – relax.

The whole message of all these paradoxical statements is – relax. It can be condensed into one thing – relax. Don’t seek, don’t search, don’t ask, don’t knock, don’t demand – relax. If you relax, it comes. If you relax, it is there. If you relax, you start vibrating with it.

That’s what Zen calls satori . . . utter relaxation of your being; a state of your consciousness where there is no becoming left; when you are not an achiever anymore; when you are not going anywhere; when there is no goal; when all goals have disappeared and all purposes have been left behind; when you are, simply are. In that moment of isness you dissolve into totality and a new tick arises that has never been there. That tick is called satori, samadhi, enlightenment. It can happen in any situation – whenever you fall in tune with the whole.


From Zen: The Path of Paradox, V.1, Discourse #1

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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