Have you ever thought about why, all over the world, in every culture, in every society, there are a few days in the year reserved for celebration?
These few days for celebration are just compensation—because these societies have taken away all celebration out of your life. And if nothing is given to you in compensation, your life can become a danger to the culture.
Don’t get fooled by society
Every culture has to give some compensation to you so that you don’t feel completely lost in misery, in sadness. But these compensations are false.
These firecrackers and lights outside cannot make you rejoice. They are only for children; for you they are just a nuisance. But in your inner world there can be a continuity of lights, songs, joys.
Always remember that society compensates you when it feels that the repressed may explode into a dangerous situation if it is not compensated. The society finds some way of allowing you to let out the repressed. But this is not true celebration, and it cannot be true.
Think beyond the calendar
True celebration should come from your life, in your life. And true celebration cannot be according to the calendar, that on the first of November you will celebrate. Strange, the whole year you are miserable and on the first of November suddenly you come out of misery, dancing.
Either your misery is false, or the first of November is false; both cannot be true. And once the first of November is gone, you are back in your dark hole. Everybody in his misery, everybody in his anxiety.
Life should be a continuous celebration, a festival of lights the whole year round. Only then you can grow up, you can blossom.
Celebrate like the Japanese
Transform small things into a celebration. For example, in Japan they have the tea ceremony. In every Zen monastery and in every person’s house who can afford it, they have a small temple for drinking tea. Now, tea is no longer an ordinary, profane thing; they have transformed it into a celebration.
The temple for drinking tea is made in a certain way—in a beautiful garden with a beautiful pond, swans in the pond, flowers all around… guests come and they have to leave their shoes outside. It is a temple.
And as you enter the temple, you cannot speak; you have to leave your thinking and thoughts and speech outside with your shoes. You sit down in a meditative posture. And the host, the lady who prepares tea for you—her movements are so graceful, as if she is dancing, moving around preparing tea, putting cups and saucers before you as if you are Gods. With such respect… she will bow down, and you will receive it with the same respect.
The tea is prepared in a special samovar, which makes beautiful sounds, a music of its own. And it is part of the tea ceremony that everybody should listen first to the music of the tea. So everybody is silent, listening… birds chirping outside in the garden, and the samovar… the tea is creating its own song. A peace surrounds….
When the tea is ready and it is poured into everybody’s cup, you are not just to drink it the way people are doing everywhere. First, you will smell the aroma of the tea. Then, you will sip the tea as if it has come from the beyond, you will take time—there is no hurry.
Somebody may start playing on the flute or on the sitar. An ordinary thing—tea—and they have made it a beautiful religious festival, and everybody comes out of it nourished, fresh, feeling younger, feeling juicier. And what can be done with tea can be done with everything—with your clothes, with your food.
People are living almost in sleep; otherwise, every fabric, every cloth has its own beauty, its own feel. If you are sensitive, then the clothing is not just to cover your body; then it is something expressing your individuality, something expressing your taste, your culture, your being.
Everything you do should be expressive of you; it should have your signature on it. Then life becomes a continuous celebration.
Even if you fall sick and you are lying in bed, you will make those moments of lying in bed moments of beauty and joy, moments of relaxation and rest, moments of meditation, moments of listening to music or to poetry.
There is no need to be sad that you are sick. You should be happy that everybody is in the office and you are in your bed like a king, relaxing—somebody is preparing tea for you, the samovar is singing a song, a friend has offered to come and play flute for you…. These things are more important than any medicine. When you are sick, call a doctor. But more important, call those who love you because there is no medicine more important than love.
Call those who can create beauty, music, poetry around you because there is nothing that heals like a mood of celebration.
Medicine is the lowest kind of treatment. But it seems we have forgotten everything, so we have to depend on medicine and be grumpy and sad—as if you are missing some great joy that you were having in the office! In the office you were miserable. Just one day off, and you cling to misery too; you won’t let it go.
Make everything creative, make the best out of the worst—that’s what I call ‘the art’. And if a man has lived his whole life making every moment and every phase of it a beauty, a love, a joy, naturally his death is going to be the ultimate peak of his whole life’s endeavour. The last touches… his death is not going to be ugly as it ordinarily happens every day to everyone.
Excerpted from Beyond Enlightenment/Courtesy: Osho International Foundation/www.osho.com