Osho on Bamboo and Zen

Osho – Zen people have always liked the bamboo. The bamboo is their symbol. And the reason? It is green all the year. In every season it is green — come rain, come summer, come winter, it is green. Nothing changes it. It lives a kind of eternity. Its greenness means its freshness, its youth, its radiance, its aliveness. To does not gather dead weight.

Secondly, it has very full roots in the ground, it is very grounded. That too is a very, very significant point to remember. A man needs to be very grounded. We are on the earth and we are of the earth and we are made of the earth. We need to be tremendously grounded. Very few people are really grounded; they have become like trees which are up-rooted. And, particularly, your so-called religions make you very up-rooted. You start living in the heaven, in the high sky, and you forget the earth. In fact, not only do you forget, you have been taught to be against it. You condemn it. How can you get grounded if you condemn the earth?

Zen is very grounded in the world. Is is not against the world, it is beyond the world — remember it. It does not teach you any anti-worldly religion, it teaches you a very worldly religion and yet a very unworldly one. It says: be in the world but don’t be of the world. It does not say to you: renounce the world.

That’s my standpoint too, hence nay love for Zen. We pulsate on the same wavelength. The bamboo is very grounded. It goes high into the sky. Impossibly high it goes. A bamboo is a thin tree but it defeats many trees. It goes very high. It moves int he winds with no fear because it is grounded int he earth. It sings a thousand and one songs in the sky but it is not against the earth. It has wings but it has roots too.

And the third thing which is very, very significant is: it is empty inside. And that’s how man should be. Grounded, every green, young, fresh, alive, living, pulsating, streaming with energy, dancing, celebrating, and yet empty inside — just empty like a bamboo.

Source – Osho Book “Zen: The Path of Paradox, Vol 1”

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