An ancient proverb says:
Sow a thought, reap an act. Sow an act, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny.
And I say to you: sow nothing, and reap meditation or love.
Sowing nothing — that’s what meditation is all about. And its natural consequence is love.
If, at the end of the journey of meditation, love has not flowered, then the whole journey has been futile. Something went wrong somewhere. You started but you never reached.
Love is the test. For the path of meditation, love is the test. They are two sides of one coin, two aspects of the same energy. When one is there, the other has to be there. If the other is not there, then the first is also not there.
Meditation is not concentration. A man of concentration may not reach to love; in fact, he will not. A man of concentration may become more violent because concentration is a training to remain tense, concentration is an effort to narrow down the Mind. It is deep violence with your consciousness. And when you are violent with your consciousness you cannot be non-violent with others. Whatsoever you are with yourself, you are going to be with others.
Let this be a fundamental rule of life, one of the most fundamental: whatsoever you are towards yourself, you will be towards others. If you love yourself, you will love others. If you are flowing within your being, you will be flowing in relationships also. If you are frozen inside, you will be frozen outside also. The inner tends to become the outer; the inner goes on manifesting itself in the outer.
Concentration is not meditation; concentration is the method of science. It is scientific methodology. A man of science needs the deep discipline of concentration, but a man of science is not expected to be compassionate. There is no need. In fact, a man of science becomes more and more violent with nature. All scientific progress is based on violence towards nature. It is destructive because, in the first place, the scientific man is destructive to his own expanding consciousness. Rather than expanding his consciousness he narrows it down, makes it exclusive, one-pointed. It is a coercion, violence.
So remember, meditation is not concentration but neither is meditation contemplation. It is not thinking. Maybe you are thinking about God — even then, it is thinking. If there is ‘about’, there is thinking. You may be thinking about money, you may be thinking about God — it basically makes no difference. Thinking continues, only objects change. So if you are thinking about the world, or about sex, nobody will call it contemplation. If you are thinking about God, virtue, if you are thinking about Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, then people will call it contemplation.
But Zen is very strict about it — it is not meditation, it is still thinking. You are still concerned with the other. In contemplation the other is there, although of course not so exclusively as it is in concentration. Contemplation has more fluidity than concentration. In concentration the mind is one-pointed; in contemplation the mind is oriented towards one subject, not towards one point. You can go on thinking about it, you can go on changing and flowing with the subject, but still, on the whole, the subject remains the same.
Then what is meditation? Meditation is just being delighted in your own presence; meditation is a delight in your own being. It is very simple — a totally relaxed state of consciousness where you are not doing anything. The moment doing enters, you become tense; anxiety enters immediately. How to do? What to do? How to succeed? How not to fail? You have already moved into the future.
If you are contemplating, what can you contemplate? How can you contemplate the unknown? How can you contemplate the unknowable? You can contemplate only the known. You can chew it again and again, but it is the known. If you know something about Jesus, you can think again and again; if you know something about Krishna, you can think again and again. You can go on modifying, changing, decorating — but it is not going to lead you towards the unknown. And God is the unknown.
Meditation is just to be, not doing anything — no action, no thought, no emotion. You just are. And it is a sheer delight. From where does this delight come when you are not doing anything? It comes from nowhere, or, it comes from everywhere. It is uncaused, because the existence is made of the stuff called joy. It needs no cause, no reason. If you are unhappy you have a reason to be unhappy; if you are happy you are simply happy – there is no reason for it. Your mind tries to find a reason because it cannot believe in the uncaused because it cannot control the uncaused — with the uncaused the mind simply becomes impotent. So the mind goes on finding some reason or other. But I would like to tell you that whenever you are happy, you are happy for no reason at all, whenever you are unhappy, you have some reason to be unhappy — because happiness is just the stuff you are made of. It is your very being, it is your innermost core. Joy is your innermost core.
Excerpt from Dang Dang Doko Dang, Chapter Five
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