It’s old-fashioned to think about meditation as retirement activity. Youth is the time of rebellion, and meditation is the only real rebellion.
“Youth is the best time for inner transformation because youth is the most flexible time. Children are more flexible than young people, but they are not so understanding. They need a little experience. Youth is exactly the middle; you are no longer a child, no longer ignorant of life and its ways and not yet settled as an old man. You are in a state of transition, and the state of transition is the best time that you can jump out of the wheel of life and death. Youth is the most significant time to take any jump, because the jump needs courage, it needs energy, it needs risk, it needs daring.
“To be a youth, to be young, to be fresh, a great benediction. It is the time of rebellion. And if you miss your youth, it will be more and more difficult later on. Not that it is impossible – it can happen even when you are old – but it will take more arduous effort and things will not be so easy.[…]
“Youth is the time for meditation, because meditation is the greatest rebellion; no other rebellion is so great. Don’t waste your youthfulness on other ordinary revolutions – political, social, economic. Don’t waste your life energy on those stupid games. Put your total energy, focus your total energy, on a single point: the spiritual revolution – because that is a radical change, and other changes can follow that change.
“If your inner being changes, your whole outer life will be totally different. It will have a different fragrance, a different beauty, a different grace. And when your inner being is changed and becomes a flame of light, you will become a light unto others too. You will become a beckoning light, a great herald of a new dawn. Your very presence will trigger revolutions in other people’s lives.
“The only danger is irresolution. A life uncommitted, uninvolved, is not worth calling life. It is only through commitment, involvement, that your life attains sharpness, your intelligence becomes a sword. Through idleness you gather rust; your sharpness disappears. You become old even while you are young. And if you remain sharp and you remain rebellious, even when you are old, you will not be old. You will be physically old, but your inner being will remain young.
“And that is one of the greatest experiences of life: when your body becomes old, but your inner being keeps its youthfulness. That means you have not lost track of life, that you are keeping yourself in step with life.”
Excerpted from Osho, The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 8, Talk #1