Osho on Boredom and Restlessness

Boredom and restlessness are a package. Whenever you feel bored, you feel restless, says Osho.

Man yawning between the meeting due to boredom and restlessness

Try to understand the mechanism of boredom and restlessness. Whenever you feel bored you want to move away from that situation. If somebody is saying something and you are getting bored, you start becoming fidgety. This is a subtle indication that you want to move from this place, from this man, from this nonsense-talk. Your body starts moving. Of course, because of politeness, you suppress it, but the body is already on the move — because, the body is more authentic than the mind, the body is more honest and sincere than the mind. The mind is trying to be polite, smiling. You say, “How beautiful,” but inside you are saying, “How horrible! I have listened to this story so many times and he is telling it again!”

Whenever you feel bored you will feel restless. Restlessness is an indication of the body; the body is saying, “Move away from here. Go anywhere, but don’t be here.” But, the mind goes on smiling and the eyes go on sparkling, and you go on saying that you are listening and you have never heard such a beautiful thing. The mind is civilised; the body is still wild. The mind is human; the body is still animal. The mind is false; the body is true. The mind knows the rules and regulations — how to behave and how to behave rightly — so even if you meet a bore you say, “I am so happy, so glad to see you!” And, deep down, if you were allowed, you would kill this man. He tempts you to murder. Then you become fidgety; then you feel restlessness.

Buddha was bored

Boredom is one of the most important things in human life. Boredom is the first indication that a great understanding is arising in you about the futility, the meaninglessness of life and its ways. A man becomes human when he starts feeling bored. You can see it: the most intelligent child will be the most bored child, because nothing can keep his interest for long. Sooner or later, he stumbles upon the fact and asks, “Now what? What next? This is finished. I have seen this toy, I have looked into it, I have opened it, and I have analysed it, what is next?” By the time he becomes young, he’s already bored. And then restlessness follows. Boredom and restlessness are a package.

Buddha was utterly bored and therefore restless. He left his kingdom when he was only 29, at the peak of his youth. He was utterly bored, with wine, wealth, kingdom, with everything. He had seen all; he had seen through and through. Traditionally, it is said he renounced the world because the world is bad; that is absolutely nonsense. He renounced the world because he became so bored with it. And, what was he doing then for six years sitting in those forests? He was getting more and more bored. What can you do, sitting in a forest? Watching your breath, day-in, day-out, year in, year out. He created that boredom to its ultimate peak, and one night it disappeared. It disappears of its own accord.

Boredom and restlessness

If you listen to the body and run away, the restlessness will disappear. Try it. If somebody is boring you simply start jumping and running around. See. Restlessness will disappear because restlessness simply shows that the energy does not want to be here. The energy is already on the move; the energy has already left this place. Now, you follow energy.

So, the real thing is to understand boredom, not restlessness. Boredom is a significant phenomenon. Only man feels bored, no other animal. You cannot make a buffalo bored. Impossible. Only man gets bored because only man is conscious. Consciousness is the cause. The more sensitive you are, the more alert you are, the more conscious you are, the more you will feel bored. In more situations you will feel bored. A mediocre mind does not feel so bored. He goes on; he accepts, whatsoever is okay; he is not so alert. The more alert you become, the more fresh, the more you will feel as if some situation is just a repetition, as if some situation is just getting hard on you, as if some situation is just stale. The more sensitive you are, the more bored you will become.

Boredom means you are sensitive

Boredom is an indication of sensitivity. Trees are not bored, animals are not bored, rocks are not bored — because, they are not sensitive enough. This has to be one of the basic understandings about your boredom — that you are sensitive.

But Buddhas also are not bored. You cannot bore a Buddha. Animals are not bored and Buddhas are not bored, so boredom exists as a middle phenomenon between the animal and the Buddha. For boredom a little more sensitivity is needed than is given to the animal. And, if you want to get beyond it then you have to become totally sensitive. Then, again the boredom disappears. But, in the middle the boredom is there. If you become animal-like, then boredom disappears. So, you will find that people who live a very animalistic life are less bored. Eating, drinking, marrying — they are not very bored, but they are not sensitive. They live at the minimum. They live only with that much consciousness as is needed for a day-to-day routine life.

Monotony is boring

You will find that intellectuals, people who think too much, are more bored, because they think. And, because of their thinking they can see that something is just repetition. Your life is repetition. Every morning you get up almost the same way as you have been getting up all your life. You take your breakfast almost the same way. Then you go to the office — the same office, the same people, the same work. Then you come home — the same wife. If you get bored it is natural. It is very difficult for you to see any newness here; everything seems to be old, dust-covered.

Watch people walking on the street and you will see them completely bored. Everybody is bored, bored to death. Look at their faces — no aura of delight. Look at their eyes — dust-covered, no glimmer of inner happiness. By and by, the whole life becomes a mechanical routine, a constant repetition. And, one day they die… almost always people die without ever having been alive.

Bertrand Russell is reported to have said, “When I remember, I cannot find more than a few moments in my life when I was really alive, aflame.” Can you remember? How many moments in your life were you really aflame? Rarely it happens. One dreams about those moments, one imagines those moments, one hopes for those moments — but, they never happen. Even if they happen, sooner or later, they also become repetitive.

The solution is to be more conscious

When you fall in love with a woman, or a man, you feel a miracle, but by and by the miracle disappears and everything settles into a routine. Boredom is the consciousness of repetition.

Hence, people try to change. They move into a new house, they bring a new car home, they divorce the old husband, they find a new love affair, but again that thing is going to become repetitive, sooner or later. Changing places, changing persons, changing partners, changing houses, is not going to do anything. And, whenever a society becomes very bored, people start moving from one town to another: from one job to another, from one wife to another, but sooner or later they realise that this is all nonsense because the same thing is going to happen again and again with every woman, with every man, with every house, with every car.

What to do then? Become more conscious. It is not a question of changing situations; transform your being, become more conscious. If you become more conscious you will be able to see that each moment is new; but for that, tremendous energy of consciousness is needed.

Existence is available for those who are available to existence. And, then I tell you, there is no boredom and restlessness. Life is infinite delight.

Last updated on

Magnifying lens over an exclamation markSpot an error in this article? A typo maybe? Or an incorrect source? Let us know!

Osho was never born never died. He only visited this planet earth between 11 December 1931 and 19 January 1990. He was a charismatic and gifted speaker who became the leader of a worldwide new spiritual movement.


  1. I’ve been reading a lot about his topic and never found anything good until this!

    You’ve made an excellent point and have written this in a way that really speaks to me, thank you.

    Any tips on how I to become more conscious?

  2. I’m bored and restless. When I do try to be more conscious and live in the present by admiring everything around you and feeling great fun then I’m able to feel less bored. Still being conscious is a lot of work for me.

  3. I love this article…

    But i have a question. How do we stay content and happy with repetition and still progress? Is there some practical use for boredom? If a child is being supported by his family. And has everyone he loves around him. And is content and happy with what he has. When the child gets older what is going to motivate him to get a job and get out of the house if he is already happy where he is?

    That’s a really bad example of what i’m trying to say but i’m interested if anyone has any thoughts on it.

    • The child will never be succesful in his life that way…its duty of their parents to realise their child that he needs to keep in touch with outworld….if parents dont then their child is at lost in future n his parents wont be there to help him at that time

  4. This article is superb. If you don’t understand it, maybe you should read it again?

    I completely agree with everything said. This article was awesome. Great job.

  5. What does this article mean?! I mean i rarely feel “bored”? Does this article claim I am not “intelligent” coz i do not get restless with my surroundings soon enough? Because a sense of calm comes naturally to me with “sameness” around? Maybe that’s coz one who is not actually getting bored might be able to see the “newness” in the “sameness” all the time! Now that’s not what being conscious meant to be?

    “If you become animal-like, then boredom disappears.” and what does this mean!.. that’s insane!

    • U rather need to disclose ur age to get the right answer…..everything in this world has exceptions….u must be among the ones who is fully satisfied with worldly things n has lived the way u ever planned…..but its not true in all cases or rather majority of the cases……if ur still young, u might be feel it in future…

  6. this is good article but i did not get any answer here…. only the way i live my life is just explained in the words… I did not get the conscious means… I may be harsh but please take it positive criticism…

  7. This article has definitely helped me get rid of some boredom in my life.

    Thanks for a beautiful article.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here