Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

The Art of Staying in Balance

--by Osho (Aug 18, 2008)

The most difficult thing, the almost impossible thing for the mind, is to remain in the middle, to remain balanced. And to move from one thing to its opposite is the easiest. To move from one polarity to another is the nature of the mind. [...]

It is difficult for the mind to come to the right diet, difficult for the mind to stay in the middle. It is just like a clock's pendulum. The pendulum goes to the right, then it moves to the left, then again to the right, and again to the left; the clock's working depends on this movement.

If the pendulum stays in the middle, the clock stops. And when the pendulum moves to the right, you think it is only going to the right, but at the same time it is gathering momentum to go to the left. The more it moves to the right, the more energy it gathers to move to the left, and vice versa.

Thinking means momentum. The mind starts arranging for the opposite. When you love a person you are gathering momentum to hate him. That's why only friends can become enemies. You cannot suddenly become an enemy unless you have first become a friend. [...]

Logic is superficial, life goes deeper, and in life all opposites are joined together, they exist together. Remember this, because then meditation becomes balancing.

Buddha taught eight disciplines, and with each discipline he used the word right. He said: Right effort, because it is very easy to move from action to inaction, from waking to sleep, but to remain in the middle is difficult.

When you are standing in the middle you are not gathering any momentum. And this is the beauty of it -- a man who is not gathering any momentum to move anywhere, can be at ease with himself, can be at home.


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Previous Reflections:

On Aug 19, 2008 Aakash Jivani wrote:
THis meditation reminder is a very good service. It's frequency should be increased.

On Aug 19, 2008 sharon wrote:
I feel very pulled and torn between many thoughts and feelings at the moment, I felt very peaceful reading the above passage.. thank you

On Aug 19, 2008 Divye Jha wrote:
OSHO is great and so is Meditation reminder.

On Aug 19, 2008 Vinay wrote:
The Message is good but in one sentence of your message says

"That's why only friends can become enemies. You cannot suddenly become an enemy unless you have first become a friend. [...]"

I seriously dont agree with this comment,
I am not getting what exactly you want to say by those words

On Aug 19, 2008 Judy White wrote: it a good or bad thing to stay in the middle. Is staying in the middle what we should strive for? I think not...I hope to always be gathering momentum to make a change. Change is good...if we're not changing we are not growing and if we're not growing we surely must be ready for death?

On Aug 19, 2008 supun wrote:
I had the same thought Vinay had when I read
"That's why only friends can become enemies. You cannot suddenly become an enemy unless you have first become a friend."

I don't buy into that.

It bugged me so much so that I had to find a resolution to that before I could really get into the rest of the passage.

Sometimes passages become sentences (eg, prison sentences). Some spirtual words are carelessly put out just to prove some other point. And it makes me stuck and can't move through the passage.

In my experience, the friends that become enemies were never friends at all. I think Osho would himself say that those kinds of friends are the ones we never got to know, ie, we "fell in love with an illusion".

I think the more useful aspect is to note the times I have started off as enemies with some people. Just started off on the wrong foot. But one day, they 'll surprise me with some un-forseen kindness and then I get reminded why we should never throw anyone out. And with familiarity and understanding some level of friendship happens.

Some of those words can become mental traps. Enemies are enemies and friends and friends and change can come. But that's not the point, the point is to know the "karma" behind it. How did it result? Do you need to know how it resulted? What do you want from the result? Do you want anything at all?

That answers Judy's question. My opinion is that you shouldn't strive for one mode of being alltimes. Sometimes you need momentum. Sometimes you need to stay in the middle. You need to learn when you need what. We'll always be growing if we choose to learn how to (as one of the other meditaton reminders) reminded us to "time shift" as well as time manage. The times that I'm born to seems to demand that we go go go. But then I get a nice meditation reminder that the clock don't always need to move, I can reset it whenever I want if I choose to let it stop. It's not a question of "good" or "bad". It's a question of when to choose what's useful

When it comes to 4th noble truth where the 8-fold path lives I was told that we can replace the word "Right: with "skillful".
Skillful Understanding
Skillful Thought
Skillful Speech
Skillful Action
Skillful Effort
Skillful Livelihood
Skillful Mindfulness
Skillful Concentration

that makes me think more of a mental tool set and reminds me the need for "Practice" as opposed to "Discipline". These are just words and we make our own existence from them, right?

So maybe to stay in balance we need to think about being centered as well as moving and growing? Maybe I need to learn to move through passages as opposed to being sentanced into convictions :-)

On Aug 19, 2008 Steven wrote:
i have many enemies who were never my friends. Guys who just don't get along happen all the time. And even then we are gaining momentum to become friends. This article is a bit weird.

and one last thing, i dont know what they are saying about going from waking to sleep. I lie in bed for an hour before i fall asleep, and the vice versa of that is incredibly harder.

On Aug 19, 2008 France wrote:
Thank you Supon. You stated my concern about " When you love a person you are gathering momentum to hate him. That's why only friends can become enemies. You cannot suddenly become an enemy unless you have first become a friend.
I also very much appreciated the Right/Skillful distinction

On Aug 19, 2008 Archana wrote:
A great explanation for the working of mind. One of the same theory is shared by ancient rishis in Hindu religion. Lord Ganesha is always depicted to be accompanied by a mouse. It means that mouse represents our mind's desires which if not under control can create havoc.

Mind has to be balanced so that desires don't take you for a ride.

On Aug 19, 2008 arun wrote:
This is a very good passage by Osho.
Osho has given a very good analogy between the clock and the mind.
When pendulum is at the centre,
the clock is at rest for a fraction of second.
When the mind is at rest, there is no thought in it, neither positive nor negative.
This is similar to the pendulum which is momentarily at rest.
Osho expects our mind to be at rest,similar to the pendulum at rest. Here,mind and pendulum are not 'dead',but are very active.
The mind here, is active but no thought is present.Such state of mind is said to be in meditative state.

On Aug 21, 2008 Jeremey Mburu wrote:
This is a great creatively thought article. It's describes the truth that anyone would be ashamed to dispute. Its describes the reason, and leaders should know, why once respected individuals have suddenly found themselves unwelcome in our societies because of some mistakes that betrayed the trust of their followers. People who were formerly regarded as liberators becoming oppressors with time. The high momentum of respect takes a turn-to the opposite direction.

On Aug 22, 2008 shweta singh wrote:
I think true friends never become enemies because a friend is one person to share every things either happiness or sorrow.

On Aug 23, 2008 Ramanand kowta wrote:
NAMASTE is not e mere welcome gesture but a Balance 'tween the Opposites.

On Oct 18, 2008 MEGHANA wrote:
Read it... and try to take it in a right way..... Only then you will get the exact meaning of what the whole thing is about.....

On Aug 26, 2010 Meher wrote:
osho is very true Maximum damage is done by people who r close to u So its better to have no friends indirectly there no enemies im the makin

On Aug 31, 2013 sundar wrote:

When you are in meditation, time stands still....rather time disappears and everything connected with it like past and are in eternity. It is my blessing that I found osho in my life...thanks for giving me an opportunity to express this...with love in gratitude 

On Aug 6, 2015 sanjay wrote:


On Sep 22, 2015 Aashima wrote:

Such a wonderful insight and beautifully put into words.

On Oct 10, 2016 seema wrote:


On Feb 18, 2018 suresh jain wrote:

 not a comment but a question.does an enlightend person suffer  from the physical pain?
suresh jain

On Nov 16, 2018 S wrote:

Yes they do and they are higly sensitive .SO they will perceive more but hey know to come out of it or throw it away or remain undisturbed by it..Also in another perspective as long as one possess physical body even though they are enllightened they are subjected to all norms of nature..