Believe in your inner strength: The earthquake story

In one of his discourses, Osho narrated the story of a zen philosopher who was sitting on the 10th floor of a restaurant in Japan, having dinner with a friend when suddenly an earthquake struck.


In seconds there was chaos as people tried to find shelter and protection. The staircases were jammed, fear was palpable and shrieks and commotion pervaded the air. As the friend of the zen philosopher ran towards the stairs he noticed his dinner companion sitting calmly. If anything, he had made himself more comfortable. His eyes were closed as if in meditation. The philosopher’s friend did not have the heart to run after witnessing this unusual sight in the midst of all the pandemonium.


He went to his friend “Why are you stillsitting here? Let’s run” he urged. The philosopher opened his eyes and said; “We are on the 10th floor…where can we go? The earthquake is on the 9th floor, on the 8th floor and on every other floor of this building. It’s even outside this building. If I must run I will run to the only place where this earthquake cannot touch me. That place is deep within me…not outside. So, I’m running inward just as everyone else is running outside.”


When facing a problem, we almost always seek help, run outwards to fix it, not realising that the solutions we seek are often inside us. The world is a loud noisy place and other people’s voices often pour in and drown out your words. All we need to do is find silence, open a gap for the voice within, create a space and be patient.


At our deepest level, within our soul, we are created in God’s image. There is a deity inside who speaks to us so clearly that we need no other assurance. It is ironical how it’s hard for us to believe in our inner strength, in our own profundity and yet we believe in abstract notions such as love and sorrow. It is the divine light within us that lights up the universe and once we understand this; understand that the world is only an extension of who we are inside – no earthquake can shake our state of equilibrium.