Our love for music, poetry, dance, our love for love itself – Doesn’t that suggest an urge in us to disappear? If that is so, why does meditation, the art of disappearing, not come more naturally to us?
Maneesha, music, poetry, dance, love are only half way. You disappear for a moment, then you are back. And the moment is so small…. Just as a great dancer, Nijinsky, said, “When my dance comes to its crescendo, I am no more. Only dance is.” But that happens only for a small fragment of time; then again you are back.
According to me, all these – poetry, music, dance, love – are poor substitutes for meditation. They are good, beautiful, but they are not meditation. And meditation does not come naturally to you, because in meditation you will have to disappear forever. There is no coming back. That creates fear.
Meditation is a death – death of all that you are now. Of course there will be a resurrection, but that will be a totally new, fresh original being which you are not even aware is hidden in you. It happens in poetry, in music, in dance, only for a small moment that you slip out of your personality and touch your individuality. But only because it happens for a small moment, you are not afraid; you always come back.
In meditation, once you are gone in, you are gone in. Then, even when you resurrect you are a totally different person. The old personality is nowhere to be found. You have to start your life again from ABC. You have to learn everything with fresh eyes, with a totally new heart. That’s why meditation creates fear.
The Upanishads say that the master is a death. It is an incomplete sentence. The master is a death but also a rebirth, a resurrection. A master is nothing but meditation. A master simply gives you a meditation; he cannot do anything else. He gives you the meditation to die and to be reborn.
A meditator can play music and it will have a totally different significance. A meditator can write poetry, but then the poetry will not be only a composition of words. It will express something inexpressible. A meditator can do anything, but he will bring to it a new grace, a new beauty, a new significance.
Music, poetry, dance or love can become hindrances to meditation if you stop at them. First comes meditation, and then you can create great poetry and great music. But you will not be the creator; you will be just a hollow bamboo flute. The universe will sing songs through you, will dance dances through you. You will be only an address – c/o you. Existence will express itself, and you will be just a hollow bamboo.
Meditation makes you a hollow bamboo; then whatever happens through that hollowness, that empty heart belongs to existence itself.
Then existence sings songs. There are very few songs which existence… For example, in the Bible, the Old Testament, the Song of Solomon is existential. It is very strange that Jews don’t want even to mention the Song of Solomon. They are very much worried if somebody discovers the song. It is so beautiful, so authentic and true, but in this world of falseness, phoniness, hypocrisy, anything authentic is suspected.
The Upanishads, the Book of Tao or the Book of Mirdad, very few sculptures… some old classical music – a few pieces have descended from existence itself and the musician has been just an instrument, he has allowed it to take shape, to take form through him. As far as I am concerned, poetry and music and love and dance are more religious activities than the so-called religious rituals, because at least they give you a little glimpse. If you follow that glimpse you will enter into meditation.
Meditation directly and naturally does not attract you because of a great fear of death. You don’t know after death whether there is going to be a resurrection or not. That’s the place where a master is needed to give you a promise, a trust: “Don’t be worried. That which is dying is not you, and that which is arising is your original being.”
But you can have a master only if you can trust someone. It is going into very dangerous ways. Meditation is the most dangerous thing. You need someone who has been on the path, who has been treading on the path, coming and going. You need someone who can create courage, encouragement and trust in you that you can take the quantum leap.
From Rinzai: The Master of the Irrational, Chapter One
Copyright© OSHO International Foundation