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  • Writer's pictureMadhusudan

A man on the hill top – Osho (short story)

A man on the hill top

Osho – Source

There is a very famous Zen story: A man was standing on a hilltop. Three persons saw him; they started arguing about him, about what he was doing there. One said ‘He must have lost his cow — I know that man — and he must be looking for his cow from the hilltop.’

And the second said ‘I cannot agree, because when one is looking for something one does not stand like a statue, unmoving; one moves, looks this way and that. But he is just standing like a Buddha-statue He is not looking for something — he is waiting. Maybe a friend has come with him for a morning walk and is left behind and he is waiting for him to come.’

The third said ‘I disagree, because when somebody waits for somebody who has been left behind, once in a while he looks back to see whether he has come or not. But that man is not looking back at all; he is not even moving. He is not waiting. My feeling is that he is meditating.’

They could not agree on what that man was doing so they decided to go to the man and enquire. The first man said ‘Are you looking for your cow?’ The man said ‘No, I am not looking for anything.’ The second said ‘Then I must be right: you must be waiting for your friend who has been left behind?’

The man said ‘No, I am not waiting for anybody.’ The third said ‘Then I have to be right — now there is no other alternative left — you must be meditating.’ And the man said ‘No, I am not meditating either.’ Then all three asked ‘Then what are you doing?’ He said ‘I am just standing.’

But Zen people say that this is real meditation: just standing, not even doing meditation! See the beauty of it: the man said ‘I am just standing. Is there any need to do anything? Can’t I just stand? Won’t you allow me this freedom, just to stand? Have I to look for something, wait for something or do something? Can’t I just be?’

So just sit — no meditation, nothing — and you will feel a great joy welling up inside.


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