Once there was a baron who was extremely fond of chrysanthemums. He had the whole rear garden of his mansion planted with them, and spent a lot of time and effort cultivating them.

In fact, the baron paid more attention to the care of his chrysanthemums than to his wife and concubines.

Many of his retainers were punished for inadvertently breaking off a blossom. In short, the baron’s passion for chrysanthemums made life miserable for everyone around him.

On one occasion, when a certain retainer accidentally broke off a blossom, he was ordered into confinement by the furious baron. Enraged by this treatment, the retainer resolved to disembowel himself in protest, according to the traditional warrior code.

Now it so happened that Zen master Sengai heard of this and hastened to intervene, preventing the retainer from committing suicide over such an affair.

Not content with a temporary measure, Sengai resolved to effect a permanent solution. One rainy night when the chrysanthemums were in full bloom, Sengai sneaked into the baron’s garden with a sickle and cut down every single chrysanthemum.

Hearing a strange sound from the garden, the baron looked out and saw someone there. Rushing out, wielding his sword in great alarm, he demanded to know what Sengai was doing. The Zen master calmly replied, “Even weeds like this eventually become rank if they are not cut.”

Now the baron realized how wrong he had been. It was like awakening from a dream. From that time onward, he no longer raised chrysanthemums.

Drop Obsession

Zen master never gives you any knowledge. They guide you to live in reality.

According to them – If you love a person, you project things which are not there. If you hate a person, again you project things which are not there. In love the person becomes a god. In hate the person becomes a devil – and the person is neither god nor devil. The person is simply himself or herself. These devils and gods are projections. If you love, you cannot see clearly. If you hate, you cannot see clearly.

When there is no liking, no disliking, your eyes are clear, you have clarity. Then you see the other as he is or as she is. And when you have a clarity of consciousness the whole existence reveals its reality to you.

When Zen Master replied to Baron – Even weeds like this eventually become rank if they are not cut.

He meant that – When you choose, you divide. Then you say, “This is good, that is wrong.” And life is a unity. Existence remains undivided, existence remains in a deep unison. It is oneness. If you say, “This is beautiful and that is ugly,” mind has entered, because life is both together. And the beautiful becomes ugly, and the ugly goes on becoming beautiful. There is no boundary; no watertight compartments are there. Life goes on flowing from this to that.

Mind has fixed compartments. Fixedness is the nature of mind and fluidity is the nature of life. That’s why the mind is obsessed; it is always fixed, it has a solidness about it. And life is not solid; it is fluid, flexible, goes on moving to the opposite.

Something is alive this moment, the next moment is dead. Someone was young this moment, next moment he has become old. The eyes were so beautiful, now they are no more there – just ruins. The face was so rose-like, now nothing is there – not even a ghost of the past. Beautiful becomes ugly, life becomes death, and death goes on taking new birth.

What to do with life? You cannot choose. If you want to be WITH life, with the whole, you have to be choiceless.

Baron got it. Immediately he realized his obsession. He dropped it from that very moment.

Learning from the story Baron And Chrysanthemums: Drop Obsession

Experience Learning

One seeker asked Osho – How can one drop an Obsession? Or is it not to be dropped at all, but enjoyed?

To which Osho replied – an obsession simply means a wound in your being, which keeps attracting you again and again, which goes on declaring itself, which wants your attention. You cannot drop it. How can you drop your wound? An obsession is a psychic wound, you cannot drop it. Understand it. Watch it. Pay attention to it. Be meditatively with it. And the more you are – meditatively with it, the more it will heal.

Meditation is a healing force. The words ‘meditation’ and ‘medicine’ are derived from the same root; they both mean healing forces. Meditation is medicine – medicine for the soul.

So if you have any obsession, don’t call names. The moment you call it an obsession you have already started condemning it. And if you condemn something you cannot watch it – you are prejudiced against it. How can you watch the enemy? No need to condemn; whatsoever is the case, is the case. Just by condemning it you can’t change it; by condemning it you can only repress it. You can avoid seeing it, but the wound will continue; it will become cancerous, it will go on growing inside.

Rather than condemning it, rather than calling it names, giving it labels, watch it – without any conclusion. See what it is. See as deeply as possible, with great friendliness towards it, with intimacy. It is YOUR obsession, YOUR wound! It says something about you, it is part of your biography. It has arisen in you, just as flowers arise in trees. It is essential because it says something about your past. Go deep into it, with care, with love, and you will be surprised: the more care you show about it, the less it hurts, the less it dominates, the less it forces itself upon you.

Yes, in a certain way, enjoy it! But by enjoying it I don’t mean, become identified with it. If you become identified with it you go insane. If you condemn it, if you repress it, you go insane again. Avoid both the extremes. Keep yourself exactly in the middle, neither condemning nor identifying. Just be a pure witness.

And slowly slowly, it will be healed. Slowly slowly, it will lose all its poison. Slowly slowly, you will see it changing into a positive energy rather than a negative force. It will become helpful. Each obsession is a knot in your being. Once it is opened, great energy is released.

And everybody is carrying obsessions; our whole society is obsessive. A few obsessions are accepted by the people; then you don’t call them obsessions. If they are not accepted, then they become obsessions. In one society one thing is thought to be obsessive, in another society it is not obsessive. It may be even respected, may be thought saintly, holy.


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