What is the Zen Attitude towards Death?

What is the Zen attitude towards death?

Laughter. Yes, laughter is the Zen attitude towards death. And towards life too, because life and death are not separate. Whatsoever is your attitude towards life will be your attitude towards death, because death comes as the ultimate flowering of life. Life exists for death. Life exists through death. Without death there will be no life at all. Death is not the end but the culmination, the crescendo. Death is not the enemy, it is the friend. It makes life possible.

So the Zen attitude about death is exactly the same as is the Zen attitude towards life – that of laughter, joy, celebration. And if you can laugh at death, in death, you are free from all. You are freedom then. If you cannot laugh at death you will not be able to laugh in life either. Because death is always coming. Each act in life, each move in life, brings death closer. Each moment that you live, you get closer to death. If you cannot laugh with death, how can you laugh with life and in life?

But there is a difference between the Zen Buddhists and the other religions. Other religions are not that deep. Other religions also say that there is no need to fear death, because the soul is immortal. But in the very idea of the immortality of the soul, your mind is seeking eternity and nothing else. In the very idea of immortality you are denying death, you are saying there is no death. You are saying “So why be afraid? There is no death. I am going to live – if not as this body, still I am going to live as this soul. My essential being will continue. So why fear death? Death will not be destroying me. I will remain, I.will persist, I will continue.” The other religions compromise with your desire to remain for ever. They give you a consolation. They say, “Don’t be worried. You will be in some other body, in some other form, but you will continue.” This seems to be a clinging.

But the Zen approach towards death is utterly different, immensely profound. Other religions say death is not to be worried about, not to be feared, because the soul is eternal. Zen says: There cannot be any death, because you are not. There is nobody to die. See the difference – there is nobody to die. The self exists not, so death cannot take anything away from you. Life cannot give you anything, and death cannot take anything away. There is no purpose in life and no purpose in death. There is nobody to die. Other religions say you will not die, so don’t be worried about death. Zen says: You exist not – for whom are you worrying? There is nobody in life and there will be nobody in death. You are pure emptiness. Nothing has ever happened there.

Zen does not compromise with your desire for eternity. It does not compromise for your security; it does not compromise with your ego in any form. Zen is utterly radical, it cuts the very root. Zen says: The idea to survive for ever is idiotic. What are you going to do if you survive for ever? Are you not yet finished with your doing? Have you not yet become frustrated enough with your doing? Have you not seen the foolishness and the stupidity of your being? What does it bring to you except misery? The more you are an ego, the more miserable you are. Can’t you see it, that the ego functions like a wound? It hurts. Still you want to continue this wound, still you want to continue this wound for ever and ever. You don’t want to be cured. Ego is illness, to be egoless is to be cured. But you want to be saved for ever.

In your very idea of remaining forever, being saved for ever, there is a kind of miserliness. Other religions say: Save. Save yourself. Zen says: Spend. Spend yourself. Because to be utterly spent is to be saved.

A Christian was walking with Mulla Nasruddin, they had gone for a morning walk. And the Christian showed Mulla Nasruddin his church. He said, “This is my church. Look.” And on the church there was a big board – on the board was written: Jesus Saves! Mulla Nasruddin looked at it and said, “So what! My wife saves better.”

Saving of any kind is a miserly attitude towards life. Spend – don’t hoard. Relax your clinging. Don’t keep your hands clenched like fists. Open them, be spent. Be spent like a flower which has released its fragrance to the winds. Be spent like a candle which has lived its night, danced, and now is no more. The Buddhist word for nirvana means ’putting out the candle’. When you are utterly spent, when you have authentically lived and spent yourself totally and there is nothing left in you except emptiness, you have arrived home. Because emptiness is the home.

You are the world. When you are not, you have come home.

The Zen attitude towards life is that of laughter, of living, of enjoying, of celebrating. Zen is not anti-life it is life-affirmative. It accepts all that is. It does not say deny this, deny that. It says all is good: live it, live it as totally as possible. Being total in anything is to be religious. Being partial in anything is to be worldly. And live so totally that when death comes you can live death totally too. Laugh so totally that when death comes you can have your last laugh.

A great master, Lo-shan, was coming closer to his death. When he sensed that death was close, Lo-shan called everyone into the Buddha-hall and ascended the lecture seat. First he held his left hand open for several minutes. No one understood, so he told the monks from the eastern side of the monastery to leave. Then he held his right hand open. Still no one understood, so he told the monks from the western side of the monastery to leave. Only the laymen remained. He said to them, ’If any of you really want to show gratitude to Buddha for his compassion to you, spare no efforts in spreading the Dharma. Now, get out! Get out of here!’ Then, laughing loudly, the master fell over dead.

Now this man, Lo-shan, is going to die. He gathers all his disciples. He opens one of his hands, nobody understands. He is saying, “With an open hand I lived, with an open hand I am going. Totally I lived, totally I am going. I was never closed. Now death is knocking on the door, my doors are open.” Then he raised his other hand. People did not understand. Then he said to the people, “Buddha had such immense compassion on you.”

What is the compassion of Buddha? The compassion of Buddha is this – that knowing perfectly well that you will not understand, he tried. That is his compassion. Knowing perfectly well that it is impossible to understand something that Buddha says, he tried his whole life to help you to understand. That is his compassion. He is trying to help you see that which you cannot see. Trying to bring into language and words that which cannot be reduced to words. Trying to do the impossible, that is his compassion.

Lo-shan said to the people, “Do one thing also – spread Buddha’s word, his dharma. Whatsoever he has said, go on spreading it.” Maybe somebody may understand sometime. Even if one understands in thousands, that’s enough. Even if one blooms in millions, that is enough. One person flowering fills the whole earth with his fragrance. Yes, a single individual flower of consciousness transforms the whole quality of consciousness on the earth. It raises the consciousness of the whole earth.

And then he told them, “Now, get out! Get out of here!” What does he mean by “Get out, get out of here!”? He is telling them: The mind in which you are, get out, get out of the mind. The ego in which you are, get out of the ego. But Zen masters have their own ways of expression. First, he threw out half the monks from one gate, then the other half from another gate. Then only laymen remained. And now he tells them, “Get out! Get out of here!” Then, laughing loudly, the master fell over dead.

What is his laughter? Why is he laughing? There is a Zen parable:

Thus he arrived before a great castle on whose facade were carved the words “I belong to no one and to all. Before entering you were already here. When you leave you will remain.”

He is laughing at the ridiculousness, absurdity. The absurdity of everything and all. Everything is so contradictory. Life exists through death, love exists through hate, compassion exists through anger. And only those who are not can be. And those who are cannot be. It is so absurd, it is so contradictory. He is having his last laughter at this whole situation of so-called life. It is not logical, that’s why he is laughing. It is so illogical. What can you do with such an illogical phenomenon? You can have a good laugh.

Another master, Etsugen, shortly before he died, called his monks together. It was December first. “I have decided to die on the eighth of this month,” he told them. “That’s the day of the Buddha’s enlightenment. If you have any questions left about the Teaching, you’d better ask them before then.”

Because the master continued with his regular duties during the next few days, some of the monks thought he was having a little fun at their expense. Most, however, were struck with grief.

By the evening of the seventh, nothing unusual had happened. Nonetheless, Etsugen had them all assemble and taught them for the last time about the Buddha’s enlightenment. He then arranged his affairs and went into his room.

At dawn he took a bath, put on his ceremonial robes, and sitting erect in the lotus posture composed this death poem:

Shakyamuni descended the mountain.

I went up.

In my teaching,

I guess I’ve always been something of a maverick.

And now I’m off to hell – yo-ho!

The inquisitiveness of men is pure folly.

Then, shutting his eyes, and still sitting, he died.

A Zen master can die any moment. He can decide. Why? Because he is already dead. The day he became enlightened, he died. Now only the visible form goes on living – inside, all is emptiness. He is thoroughly dead. So any day he can drop this form. It is just a soap-bubble: a small prick and it will be gone. And you cannot choose a better day to die than Buddha’s enlightenment day, because that day Buddha died.

About Buddha there is a beautiful story. He was born on a certain day, the same day he became enlightened, and the same day he died. The birth, the enlightenment and death, all these three great things happened on the same day. This is very indicative – it says birth, enlightenment and death are all the same. It has a message: They are all alike. They are not different, their quality is the same.

Birth is a kind of death. When a child is born out of the womb, if the child can verbalize what is happening he will say, “I am dying.” Because he has lived for nine months in the womb in such comfort, in such luxury, in such convenience. No worry, no problem, no work. Everything is available, you need not even ask for it. He need not even breathe on his own, the mother breathes for him. He need not eat, the mother eats for him. He simply lives. It is paradise.

Psychologists say that the search for paradise is nothing but the memory, the nostalgia, of the womb. Because you have lived in those nine months at the highest peak of comfort, luxury. And the whole search for paradise is for nothing but how to enter into that kind of warm womb again.

In India, the innermost part of the temple is called garbha, womb – very meaningfully. Where the deity of the temple sits, the innermost shrine, is called garbha – the womb. In ordinary life also we are searching the same comfort. When you feel a room is cozy, what do you really remember when you say that the room is cozy? Warm, alive, receptive, welcoming. You are not a stranger, you are a welcome guest. You are reminded of something of those nine months. Science goes on improving comfort, luxury, but not yet have we been able – and I think we will never be able – to create the womb situation again.

The child has lived in such abundance, it is just a continuous celebration. In silence, in utter silence. Now he is being thrown out. And he does not know anything about the outside world, whether there is any world or not. He is thrown out of his home. If the child can say anything he will say “I am dying.” You call it birth, you who are outside – but ask the child, just think of the child. The child will think, ”I am being uprooted, I am thrown out. I am being rejected.” The child clings, the child does not want to go out. The child feels it a kind of death. On one side it is death, on another side it is birth.

And so is enlightenment, again. On one side, on the side of the mind, it is death. The mind feels “I am dying.” The mind clings. The mind tries in every way to prevent this enlightenment happening. The mind creates a thousand and one questions, doubts, inquiries, distractions. Wants to pull you back – “Where are you going? You will die.”

This happens here every day. Whenever a person starts moving closer to meditation, fear arises. Great fear. His whole being is at stake, he starts trembling. Actual trembling arises in his being. Now he is facing the abyss – on one side it is death, on another side it will be birth. If the mind dies he will be born as consciousness. If thought dies he will be born as samadhi, as no-thought. If the mind disappears he will be born as no-mind. If this noise of the mind disappears then he will be born as silence. On one side it will be death, another side birth.

And so is death. Each death is also a birth, and each birth is also a death.

This story of Buddha’s being born on a certain day at a certain time, then at the same time and the same day becoming enlightened, at the same time and the same day dying, is meaningful. It simply says that all these three things are the same. One thing is missing, I would like to add that too. If you really fall in love then the whole list is complete. All these four things, then your whole life is complete. If I am to write Buddha’s story again, I will add this too, that he fell in love on the same day at the same time. Because that too is a birth and a death. The people who were writing Buddha’s story were not so courageous. They have dropped the idea of love, that seems to be dangerous.

These are the four greatest things in life, the four directions of life. This is the whole sky of life.

Etsugen decided to die on Buddha’s enlightenment day. Many Zen monks have been deciding to die on that day. And they die on that day. And they don’t commit suicide and they don’t take any poison – they just collapse. But their collapse is beautiful. They collapse with a smile, with laughter.

And this is a tradition in Zen, that before a master dies he has to compose a death poem. That too is very significant. Death should be received with poetry, with joy. That is your last statement, your testament. It should be in poetry. It should be poetry – prose won’t do, prose will look a little too worldly. Something more, something of a song. Etsugen wrote this poem. “Shakyamuni” is the name of Buddha.

Shakyamuni descended the mountain.

I went up.

He is saying “I have been just the opposite of Buddha.” Only a Zen master can say that. Otherwise, followers are followers – they are imitators, they are carbon-copies. But real followers are not, they are authentic beings. They live their life. They live with great respect for the master, with immense respect for the master, but they live their life. In fact, that immense respect for the master will make you capable to live your own life.

Buddha lived his own life. If you are really respectful towards him you will live your own life, that’s how you will pay your homage.

Shakyamuni descended the mountain

I went up.

In my teaching

I guess I’ve always been something of a maverick.

And now I’m off to hell – yo-ho!

The inquisitiveness of men is pure folly.

He is saying “Now I am off to hell.” He is joking. Only a Zen master can joke at the last moment. Only a Zen master can have the guts to say, “Now I am off to hell.” In fact, Zen people say that wherever a master is, there is heaven. If he is in hell, hell will be heaven. Heaven is his climate; he carries it with himself.

“Then, shutting his eyes, and still sitting, he died.” So silently, so poetically, so radically.

And the third story.

When the master, Tenno, was dying, he called to his room the monk in charge of food and clothing in the temple. When the monk sat down by the bed, Tenno asked, “Do you understand?”

Now, he has not said anything and he asks, “Do you understand?”

“No,” the monk was puzzled and said.

Tenno laughed, and said, “Do you understand?”

The monk said, “No.” And was more puzzled.

Then Tenno, picking up his pillow, hurled it through the window, and said, “Do you understand?”

And the monk said, “No. And you are making me more and more confused.”

Then he said, “Okay, then I will do the real thing.” He closed his eyes, gave a lion’s roar, and died.

He was dying. This disciple was not yet insightful. He was dying – if you have loved your master, if you have really loved your master, you will know what is happening to him. That’s why he asked, “Do you understand?” He is asking “Have you not come to know that I am dying? Has it not reached to your heart yet that I am dying?” At the last moment he is testing his disciple. Even death is being used as a kind of teaching. Even death is being used as the last effort to awaken the disciple. Then he laughed, and asked “Do you understand?” The laughter was so total, if the disciple had looked into the eyes of the master and heard the laughter, there was the whole teaching of Buddha in it, all the scriptures in it. The totality of it. And he would have seen that the master is leaving the body.

But he must have got into thinking. The master asked, “Do you understand?” And he has not said anything – what does he mean by “Do you understand?” The disciple must have gone into his mind. Because he had gone into his mind, the master laughed to bring him out of his mind. Because nothing brings you out of your mind like laughter.

Somebody has asked “Why, Osho, do you go on telling jokes?” That’s why. Nothing brings you out of your mind like laughter. When you have a good laugh the logic disappears – at that moment, at least. And the jokes are so absurd. They are jokes because they are absurd; you laugh because they are ridiculous, you laugh because they don’t follow the rules of logic, they go just against it. They take such an unexpected turn that your thinking could not have concluded. Because of that unexpected turn, because of that sudden leap . . . the whole joke goes in one way, then comes the punchline. And the punchline is a leap, it is discontinuous.

 A joke is a great meditation.

The master laughed. Loud was his laughter, total was his laughter. He wanted to bring this disciple out of his mind – he had gone too much into thinking. He was thinking “Why has he asked, ‘Do you understand?’ What does he mean?” He has asked a simple question – a question to provoke the disciple to be alert of the master’s situation, what is happening to him. If the disciple was really in tune with the master, that would have been a shock: “Do you understand?” And he would have opened his eyes and he would have looked into the being of the master and would have felt that the master is ready to leave the body. But he went into thinking and missed the point. Hence the master tried again by laughing. And asked, “Do you understand?” Still the disciple was more puzzled, because he could not see why the master is laughing. He started thinking “Why?”

The moment you bring the question “Why?” you are moving into the rut, the dead rut, of the mind. Once you have asked why, you miss the meditative moment. Seeing that the disciple is very gross, he had to be gross. He had to throw his pillow out of the window – he had to do something absolutely meaningless, just to shock. But the disciple was more puzzled, even more puzzled.

Then he gave a lion’s roar. And died. It is said that for many centuries the roar was heard in his monastery. Whenever people would sit silently and meditate they would hear the lion’s roar. This was his last shock. And then he died. Why did he do this, this lion’s roar? Maybe nothing is bringing him out of his mind – this utterly absurd thing, a lion’s roar for no reason at all, may bring him out of the mind. And then he died. If nothing else brings him out of his mind, then death will bring him. And if even for a single moment you can taste the space called no-mind, then you know that there is nobody to die.

Nobody lives, nobody dies. Nothingness lives, nothingness dies. You are not. Have a good laugh at this situation. You are not and you exist. You are not and you are. This is the cosmic joke.

You ask me, What is the Zen attitude towards death?

Laughter. But that is their attitude towards life too.

-Osho

From This Very Body the Buddha, Discourse #8

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Nobody Comes Running – Osho

I love the expression, “Take one step towards Allah, and he will come running a thousand steps towards you.” It seems to suggest that receptivity is not a totally inactive waiting but requires a certain participation. Even to receive a flower, doesn’t one need to hold out one’s hand? Or am I on the wrong track again?

Yes, Maneesha, you are on a wrong track again. That saying comes from Mohammedism, “Take one step towards Allah, and he will come running a thousand steps toward you.”

But in the world of Zen there is no Allah, and as far as your inside is concerned, just take one step and you are the Allah. Nobody comes running. On the contrary, you come to a standstill. Just one step, inside – that Mohammedan saying is still about the outside God – you take one step and God will come running towards you. But that kind of God does not exist, so don’t unnecessarily waste your step! Save it, you will need it to go in. And the moment you go one step in, you are the Allah. In the world of Zen that kind of statement is not applicable at all.

-Osho

From Ma Tzu: The Empty Mirror, Discourse #2

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Sowing Seed – Osho

Maneesha, a great master on his own authority, Nangaku, is working on a greater master, Ma Tzu, who is just a seed right now, but contains a great buddha.

You are also seeds. It is up to you if you remain closed. Then you will never know your ultimate nature as a buddha. A little courage, a little opening, a little dying of the cover of the seed and the buddha starts sprouting in you.

You cannot blame the climate. The rains are there. The clouds have even entered into the auditorium, they are just passing before my eyes. So close are the clouds . . . but the strange thing is that the closer the clouds are, the more the seed becomes afraid. Afraid of the unknown, afraid of . . . one never knows what is going to be outside. Hidden inside a cover, the seed feels safer, more secure.

On the path of Zen, you have to learn these important words: openness, joy in insecurity – a challenge from the unknown has always to be welcomed. That is the way of growing up. Most of the people in the world, who Wilhelm Reich has called “little men,” die as little men, although their destiny is not to be little men. Wilhelm Reich was perfectly right in respect of the masses, the crowd, to call his book Listen, Little Man. But he was absolutely wrong because he could not see that hidden in the little man is the greatest buddha.

He simply condemned the little man because all the little men were condemning him. He was a genius; not a buddha but an intellectual giant, and he has been condemned by the crowds. Finally he was forced within the walls of a madhouse. And he was saying immensely sensible things. He was bringing a new territory to be explored.

But all those fearful people, afraid of the unknown, afraid of losing the security and the safety of the bank balance, forced him into a madhouse. And he was not mad. In his madhouse days he wrote his best books. They are evidence that he was not mad. But the politicians and the crowd and the government all conspired to force him to live in a madhouse. They all laughed at his immensely valuable discoveries about human energy. Naturally he was angry.

So when he wrote the book Listen, Little Man, it was not out of compassion, it was out of reaction. They had done harm to him, and he at least was able to condemn them. His book is beautiful in describing the little man. But the essential part of the little man is the seed, his potentiality, which Reich completely forgets in his anger.

Otherwise, he was very close to becoming enlightened. But in his anger, his reaction, he was incapable of seeing the point that the people were bound to condemn him – his being a genius was enough reason for their condemnation. They were bound to crucify him and it had to be understood as the natural course of things. But he could not take it as the natural course of things. He could not understand that it is something that has to happen to every genius who opens the doors of insecurity.

And because of this great cloud of anger, he was completely blind, unable to see that the little man is a buddha, hidden deep down as a seed.

Nangaku is instructing Ma Tzu.

After his first instructions from his master, Nangaku, on the meaning of the dharma, Ma Tzu felt as if he were drinking the most exquisite nectar.

After bowing to the master, Ma Tzu asked him, “How must one be attuned to the formless samadhi?”

The first thing to understand is the meaning of dharma. Unfortunately, the Sanskrit word ‘dharma’ – or the Pali word which Buddha used, ‘dhamma’ – has been wrongly translated as ‘religion’ by the theologians, and by scholars it has been translated as ‘law’, the ultimate law. Both have missed the point.

Dharma is not religion. In fact if you go to the roots of the words, religion means that which binds you, and dharma means that which frees you. They are absolutely contrary to each other. Dharma simply means your intrinsic nature. It is not written in scriptures and nobody can tell you what your dharma is. You have to find it yourself. This is a great dignity, conferred on the individual by existence, that you don’t have to live on borrowed knowledge. The living source of life is just flowing close by. Why not drink it and be quenched?

Ma Tzu says, after understanding the meaning of the dharma, that He felt as if he were drinking the most exquisite nectar. The deeper you go in your meditations, the closer you will come to the eternal stream of your life sources. It is pure nectar, because it declares your immortality, it declares your eternity. It declares that death is a fiction; it has never happened and will never happen to anyone. One only changes the house; one gets into another form or maybe into the formless existence.

Ma Tzu’s statement that He felt as if he were drinking the most exquisite nectar shows his tremendous understanding. He is very new in meditation; he is so young. But age has nothing to do with your realization. It is not that when you get old, you will be able to become a buddha easily. On the contrary, the older you become the more difficult it becomes for you to drop your lifelong habits, concepts, ideologies.

Just two years ago Pope the Polack was in India and he was surprised to see that the very poor and the orphans who have been converted to Christianity were doing the same in their churches as they had been doing before: burning incense, bringing flowers for Jesus Christ. He could not believe what the priests were doing, because these people were doing exactly what they used to do in their temples. Instead of Krishna, now Christ is there, everything else is the same.

But the priests told him that they had to make a few considerations, a few compromises. These people cannot understand a religion without incense, without flowers. And the pope conceded that for Indian Christians it is okay.

As you become old, it becomes very difficult to change your ideology, your lifelong belief. It becomes hardened. The old man becomes hard, and in the same way everything around him becomes hard. The best situation in which to grow into your potential is childhood. Next to it is your youth. Most probably the childhood will be spoilt by the parents, by the priests.

The authentic religion has to depend on youth, because youth has a certain rebelliousness natural to it. A young man can rebel against the whole past without any guilt. He can clean his heart of all the old dead scriptures and statues, and the challenge of the unknown stirs his heart. He wants to accept the greatest challenge, and this is the greatest challenge in life – to allow your seed to open to the unknown skies, to the winds, the sun, the rain; one never knows what is going to happen.

There is nobody to guide the seed, there are no scriptures for the seed to read. The seed is taking a risk by coming out, and you should understand that the risk is not small. The risk is exactly a death. The seed has to die in the soil; only then the sprouts of the potentiality of the seed will start growing. Perhaps it will become a rose flower, or a lotus, or some other kind of flower. It does not matter. What matters is flowering, not the name of the flower. A wild flower is as beautiful as the most precious rose. They are brothers in one way, that they both have come to their flowering. They have both enjoyed the joy of growth, they both have seen with their own eyes what was hidden in their seed. They have both taken the same risk and the same challenge.

In fact, it is a death and a resurrection. The seed dies and resurrects into many flowers, into many fruits, into many seeds. It is said that a single seed can make the whole earth green. Just one plant is not its potential. On that one plant there will come thousands of seeds again, each seed again carrying thousands of seeds.

Just a single seed can fill the whole earth with absolute greenness. Such tremendous possibility in a small seed! And you are a living seed, conscious. The most precious thing in existence is within you: consciousness. The seed is groping in the dark, still finding the way. And you are conscious, you have a little light, but you don’t move from your position, you remain a little man. In fact you hate all those who have gone to the other shore because their very going condemns you, that you have failed to fulfill your own destiny.

After bowing to the master, Ma Tzu asked him, “How must one be attuned to the formless samadhi?”

The master must have said to him that unless you become attuned with existence in utter silence, you cannot know the dharma, the very principle of life and existence. Ma Tzu’s inquiry is that of an honest seeker. He loved what was said, he felt it as if it was exquisite nectar – but he would not believe it. There are still things to be settled. His question is not the question of a student, it is the question of a would-be master.

“How must one be attuned to the formless samadhi?”

He cuts out all unnecessary questions and comes exactly to the right thing, how one should be attuned to the formless samadhi.

Samadhi is a Sanskrit word, very beautiful in its meaning. It comes from a root which means, when there is no question and no answer, when your silence is so profound that you don’t even have the question; answers are left far away but you don’t have even the question. Such innocence which is just silent is called samadhi. And in this samadhi you can fall in tune with the heartbeat of the universe. Only in samadhi can you become one with the whole. There is no other way.

Every day what we are doing in the name of meditation is moving towards samadhi. Meditation is the beginning and samadhi is the end. Ma Tzu’s question is that of a potential buddha. He is not asking about non-essentials, just the very essential.

The master said, “When you cultivate the way of interior wisdom, it is like sowing seed. When I expound to you the essentials of dharma, it is like the showers from heaven. As you are receptive to the teaching, you are destined to see the Tao.”

Tao is Chinese for what we call samadhi; the Japanese call it satori, the Chinese call it Tao. Tao is perhaps the best of all these expressions, because it is not part of language. It simply indicates something inexpressible, something that you can know but cannot say, something that you can live but cannot explain. It is something that you can dance, you can sing, but you cannot utter a single word about it. You can be it; you can be the expression of Tao, but you cannot say what it is that you are expressing.

Ma Tzu again asked: “Since the Tao is beyond color and form, how can it be seen?”

You have to understand this dialogue very deeply, because it will give you the right direction for what has to be asked. There are thousands of things to ask, but the essentials are very few and unless you start by asking the essentials, you will not come close to the truth.

As Nangaku mentioned the Tao, Ma Tzu immediately asked: “Since the Tao is beyond color and form, how can it be seen? – you are saying that if you enter into samadhi, you will see the Tao.”

The master said: “The dharma-eye of your interior spirit is capable of perceiving the Tao. So it is with the formless samadhi.”

It was for this reason that the East had to develop the concept of the third eye. These two eyes can see only the form, the color, but they cannot see the formless and the colorless. For the formless and colorless they are blind. In samadhi you close these eyes and a new perceptivity, which can be metaphorically called ‘the third eye’, arises in you; a new sensitivity which can feel and see what is not possible for your outer senses.

The dharma-eye, which is the third eye of your interior spirit, is capable of perceiving the Tao. When I say to you in meditations, “Go deeper, look deeper,” I am trying in every way so that your third eye, which has remained dormant, opens up.

Ma Tzu still asked, “Is there still making and unmaking?”

Can we do something inside? Can we make a buddha inside? Is there still some creativity inside? It is a very profound question.

To this, the master replied, “If one sees the Tao from the standpoint of making and unmaking, or gathering and scattering, one does not really see the Tao. Listen to my gatha.”

He says that as far as your inner world is concerned your buddha is already there; you don’t have to make it. Everything is as it should be in your inner world.

I am reminded of the Russian scientist, Kirlian, who brought a new vision to the objective scientist; its implications are immense. He was a great photographer and he went on perfecting and refining his lenses. His whole idea was that if something is hidden in a seed as a potential, then perhaps the photograph of the potential can be caught with a better lens.

It was a very strange idea, but scientists and mystics and philosophers and poets are all a little bit crazy. Everybody tried to persuade him: “Don’t do such nonsense, how can you see the rose in the seed?”

He said, “If it is going to be, then it must be present in some way – perhaps our eyes are not capable of seeing it.” And finally, he succeeded. He managed to create lenses which could take a photograph of what was going to happen in the future. He would put the seed in front of his camera and a photograph would come of a rose flower.

And then he would wait for the seed to die into the soil – and it was one of the miracles of modern genius, that when the real rose came, it would be exactly the same as the photograph. He has caught the future in his net.

He became convinced that if it is true about the seed then it can be used in many things. For example, Kirlian photography has now become an absolute must in Russian hospitals. People come just to be checked, to see if there is any possibility of disease in the future.

His lenses have become even more refined now after his death; a whole school of Kirlian photographers has been working on it. They can see at least six months ahead. If you are going to be sick in six months’ time, the photograph will show it – that after six months you will have cancer.

There is no other way to find it out, but it can be treated although it has not become manifest. It is a tremendous blessing to medicine. We can cure people before they become sick.

What we see with our eyes is not all. Even in the outside world our eyes have limitations. Kirlian photography has gone beyond our eyes into the objective world. In the same way the third eye opens in the inner world and brings you your whole potentiality in its fullness. You don’t have to do anything, you have just to recognize it. A buddha is not made, a buddha is only remembered.

Nangaku said, “Listen to my gatha.” That is an ancient way; ‘gatha’ means poetry. “What I could manage to say in prose, I have said. Now listen to my poetry. Something that I have not been able to say in prose can be said in poetry.

“The ground of the no-mind
Contains many seeds
Which will all sprout when
Heavenly showers come.”

They have come and now it is up to you to take the challenge.

“The flower of samadhi
Is beyond color and form.

How can there be any more
Mutability?”

It is said that at this, Ma Tzu was truly enlightened, his mind having transcended the world of phenomena. He attended upon his master for a full ten years. During this period, he delved deeper and deeper into meditation.

Kanzan wrote:

In my house there is a cave,
And in the cave is nothing at all –
Pure and wonderfully empty,
Resplendent, with a light
Like the sun.
A meal of greens will do
For this old body,
A ragged coat will cover
This phantom form.

Let a thousand saints appear
Before me – I have the
Buddha of heavenly truth!

Once you have looked into your inner cave and found the light, the life, the very source of your being, then the so-called saints don’t mean anything. They are just moralists, following a certain system of morality, beliefs, but they don’t have the truth. If you have the truth then even a thousand saints cannot weigh more than your buddha. Your buddha is the ultimate and it is not borrowed. You have discovered it.

Maneesha has asked:

-Osho

From Ma Tzu: The Empty Mirror, Discourse #2

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

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All You Can do is Drop Your Mind – Osho

Maneesha, the way of Zen requires certain conditions to be fulfilled. They are not the conditions that other religions require; they are the conditions of receptivity, of awareness, of listening, of an understanding of the wordless, a deep penetration into silence. No other religion asks you these things. They want you to be virtuous, to be moral, not to indulge in adultery. Their requirements are very superficial.

Zen requires real qualities of being. Only then the master can impart his understanding of the ultimate. In other words, Zen is not a theology, but a being-to-being communion. The disciple has to rise to the same height as the master, otherwise he will miss whatever is being said to him. These qualities will bring him very close to the height of the master.

A master certainly knows at what height you are and he speaks accordingly. He never wastes a single word or a single moment.

Maneesha has brought this small anecdote, which will explain to you what Rinzai, who was the founder of Zen in Japan, is about.

When Rinzai once visited Horin, Horin said: “Into the sea, the moonlight falls clear and shadowless, but the wanton fish deceive themselves.”

Rinzai commented: “If the moonlight on the sea is without shadows, how can the fish be deceived?”

All deception is taking the shadow for the real. But strangely enough – perhaps you have never observed it – a shadow itself cannot cast a shadow. Hence the ancient law that if you see a man without a shadow, remember he is a ghost, because a real man will have a shadow. Only a man who appears as a man but is transparent – you can pass your hand through him and you will not touch anything – will not make any shadow.

The reflection of the moon in the lake is a shadow itself. How can it cast a shadow? That is impossible. But what Horin wanted to say is not anything unnecessary or non-essential.

He said, “Into the sea, the moonlight falls clear and shadowless, but the wanton fish deceive themselves.”

What do they deceive themselves about? What is their deception? What is their illusion? Their illusion is to take the reflection as the real moon.

But Rinzai commented: “If the moonlight on the sea is without shadows, how can the fish be deceived?”

The fish can certainly be deceived, because even men are deceived by shadows. Rinzai’s question is clear and from a height of consciousness. Everybody in the world is deceived by shadows. What are all your imaginations? What are all your dreams?

Have you ever considered the fact that while dreaming you never think that this is unreal? While awake you may think perhaps that all you are saying is unreal, only a dream; but in a dream you can never think that it is a dream, for the simple reason that if you are so much aware as to experience the dream as a dream, the dream will stop. Dreaming can continue only in a very unconscious, unaware state.

The real question is not about the fish. The fish is only a symbol. The real question is about the man.

“If the moonlight on the sea is without shadows, how can the fish be deceived?”

There is only one way for the fish to be deceived, and that is to take the reflection as the real moon.

Horin missed the point. He started explaining why the fish gets caught into a deception. That was not what Rinzai wanted him to do. For him the fish was not the point at all, neither was the reflection of the moon. His concern was this, that what to say about a fish, even men are deceived by shadows – and not only in dreams, but in actual life when they are awake. Every day you continue to get deceived, but you are not aware, hence it does not hurt you and your dignity.

You see a woman as very beautiful – and she is certainly beautiful, but where does that beauty go after the honeymoon? Then you want to kill the same woman for whom you were ready to die one day.

You can appreciate other women’s beauty, but I have never heard of any husband appreciating his own wife’s beauty. Perhaps what he saw was not the real woman as she is; he saw the woman as he wanted to see her.

It was a dream projection, and a dream projection cannot be prolonged for long. Sooner or later the dream projection drops away, and suddenly you see the real person. Nothing has changed: the woman is the same, the man is the same, but neither the woman thinks you are the same man she fell in love with, nor do you think she is the same woman you had fallen in love with.

What happened? Just within a week . . . and if you are intelligent enough, then just over the weekend. It depends on intelligence. The idiots can live out their whole lives. The more intelligent a person is, the sooner he will see his projections, imaginations dropping, the clouds disappearing, and he will see the pure sky without any clouds – and it is going to change his opinion.

Rinzai is saying that we are all living in shadow. You think, you project, you imagine, you dream. The greatest lovers in the world were those who never met; their love is eternal. People sing songs of Siri and Farhad, of Laila and Majnu, of Soni and Mahival, and the only reason why their love is remembered is that they were never allowed by their parents and the society to be together.

If Laila and Majnu had got married, you would never have heard their names. Have you ever heard any story, any poetry concerning a married couple? I at least have searched enough, and I have not found it. It seems to be intrinsically impossible, because as they come close, their projections start falling. If they are kept away, forced to be apart, then their dreams become even more beautiful. Their imagination takes wings.

And not only in this matter but in other matters also, you live in shadows, in your hopes. What have you got in your hopes? Just empty imagination that tomorrow something will happen that has not happened up to now, and you will feel fulfilled. It never happens. What happens tomorrow is death, and death creates fear for a simple reason you may not be aware of.

The fear of death is that it takes the future out of your hands. You have been living in the future in your imagination, and death comes and puts a full stop. No more tomorrow. The future is simply your idea of how things should be. The existence has no obligation to you to fulfill your desires and your hopes. People even give promises, people say to each other, “I will love you my whole life,” not knowing at all that the whole life is a long thing.

One man was saying to his girlfriend, “I will love you my whole life.”

Then for a moment he became silent, and the woman said, “Why have you become silent suddenly?”

He said, “Just tell me one thing. In your old age, will you start looking like your mother? – because then I cannot give that promise. Suddenly I thought, ‘What am I saying? In the old age this woman is going to look like the mother-in-law!’” And mother-in-laws . . . it is just strange that people don’t shoot them.

I have heard, a hunter was going into the forest for hunting. His wife insisted on going and she also insisted on taking his mother-in-law. Not to create any trouble he said, “Okay, there is no harm in it. You can sit in the top of a tree and you can see.”

The mother-in-law was not too old to climb a tree, so she was sitting in a small tree when a lion came near. The wife saw it from her tall tree and shouted to her husband, “Just see, one lion is very close to my mother.”

The husband said, “It is not my problem, it is the lion’s problem. Now he has got into trouble. If he wants to get out, he will get out. You just keep quiet.”

People expect something, and it is never fulfilled. There is always frustration all around. People are living in despair, and the reason is that what they expected… existence has no desire, no reason to go according to their expectations. If you want to be happy, go along with existence and its ends wherever it takes you.

That’s what I mean by let-go: you simply drop your projections, your imaginations, and let the existence take hold of your whole life. Then there is no despair, because there is no possibility of being frustrated. There is no anguish and no anxiety; you are relaxed with existence. Whatever happens, that is good.

The whole existence is wiser than you, so whatever happens – Buddha says suchness – just whatever happens, remember, such is the nature of existence. Don’t stand aloof and against existence; be part, and feel a certain oneness.

That oneness can be called suchness, or isness, or thisness, but the meaning is that whatever happens is good. You have to find out the beauty of it and the joy of it. Only such a man can be blissful; otherwise there is always the feeling of being deceived.

Every man – out of a thousand, perhaps one man dies without the idea that he has been deceived by life. Almost everybody dies with the idea, “What was it? Seventy years I struggled; what is the game?” All your expectations are shattered, all your dreams are broken, all your promises remain unfulfilled. You are dying a bankrupt.

Almost everybody dies a bankrupt as far as his expectations are concerned. Only a man of let-go is not deceived by anything. He takes everything that comes in the way happily and joyously, and if things change, he allows the change without any hindrance, without creating any barriers to prevent the change. Such a man knows no deceptions. He knows life has never deceived him, but has always fulfilled those longings which he was not even aware of.

Horin then said: “Seeing there is wind, waves arise; playing with the water, the rough sail flaps.”

He did not understand that Rinzai was not talking about the fish, and he is trying to explain his own statement without listening to what Rinzai has raised as a question.

Rinzai said: “The frog in the moon shines brightly alone, and all rivers and hills are at peace. The long breath of the wind is the voice of autumn in earth and sky.”

Everything is as it should be. So peaceful are the hills in the full moon night . . . rivers are at peace, dancing in the full moon night. Because of their dance the full moon’s reflection becomes a silver spread over all. Everything is silent and peaceful, there is no frustration in the hills, there is no frustration in the rivers. Even the frog in the moon shines brightly alone.

If you look at nature, just taking man and his mind away, everything is bliss, everything is buddha. It is only man’s mind that creates trouble, because it cannot allow a let-go.

The long breath of the wind is the voice of autumn in earth and sky.

And there is great joy that autumn is coming. The moon is full of blissfulness and all that shines in the moonlight, except man . . .

Man can also be as happy as the hills and as peaceful as the rivers if he looks at the moon and the surroundings without any mind. With no thought, he will also become part of the whole scene.

But man remains always concerned with his own stupid ideas. When the whole existence is rejoicing, it is only man who is worried. Have you ever seen a tree worried? No animal is ever worried. Even in dying, it dies peacefully. Such is the way of existence, that anything that is born is going to die.

But man’s mind intrudes, always creates problems, because it expects things to be different than they are. He is not ready to accept the suchness of existence; he wants it according to him. This, according to him, is the whole misery. Everybody is trying that everything should be according to him. One may say it, one may not say it, but even without saying it, your mind is weaving thoughts about how things should be brought according to your idea – and this is impossible.

You cannot change existence.

All that you can do is drop your mind.

Horin said: “Though you may spread your three inches of tongue, and illuminate the celestial quietness, just try and say a single word to fit the occasion!”

Rinzai responded – and his response is of fundamental importance: “When you meet a master swordsman, show him your sword. When you meet a man who is not a poet, do not show him your poem.”

Each according to his worth, each according to his receptivity. You are not yet able to receive one word and understand it. I cannot recite a poem to you, because you will not understand it; you will certainly misunderstand.

I have heard, a thief was brought into the court, and the judge said, “Why have you entered this man’s house?”

The poor thief said, “I have entered to steal something. But the man was so strange: he caught hold of me, and when I tried hard to escape he said, ‘Don’t be worried, just sit down and listen. I have written a new poem.’ I thought it was better to listen silently, but the poem went on and on and on. And he was holding me by the hand, so this way the whole night he tortured me. I didn’t understand a single word of what he was saying, and I could not escape either.

“By the morning the police came, and now I am standing here before you with only one hope: that you will not give me the punishment to listen to this poet again. I am ready even to go to the gallows. I had no idea that this house belongs to a poet, otherwise I would not have entered.”

Poets are like that. It is very difficult for them to find audiences. They go on searching around to see if they can find somebody, and everybody goes on running away saying, “I have to do some special work. Right now, I am not available.” Who wants to waste time?

“Unless you are a poet,” Rinzai is saying, “don’t say anything to a person who is not worthy of it, because that is insulting him, that is degrading him, that is taking his dignity, that is bringing up his unworthiness. So don’t ask me for a single word; you are not yet capable of receiving it. You have not understood a single thing, and you went on explaining. You are not a fish and you don’t know what goes on in the mind of the fish.

“Talk about man and talk about his deceptions, and find out the reason why he gets deceived. It is his own resistance to existence, and an effort to give a mold to the whole life – which is not possible. He is trying the impossible and goes on failing.”

This failure is not just his mistake. It is not that he has not been doing rightly; whatever he does he will be a failure. Nobody can be wiser than the cosmic existence. So the wise people allow themselves to go along with the existential river, not even asking, “Where are we going?”

Existence is going nowhere. It is simply here, just playing with thousands of forms, thousands of situations, creating more and more consciousness, more and more happiness, more and more love. If it is not happening to you, it simply means you are keeping your doors closed.

Just open your heart and relax with existence and suddenly you will see, The frog in the moon shines brightly alone. No company is needed, no richness is needed – just a poor frog. No political position is needed – and all rivers and hills are at peace. They don’t have anything, but they have peace, which you cannot purchase.

The long breath of the wind is the voice of autumn in earth and sky. Just be with existence wherever it is going and you will be unworried. Your tensions will disappear. You will be as happy as a child, you will be as beautiful as a flower.

Ikkyu wrote:

When you break up a cherry tree

And look,

There are no flowers at all;

The flowers are brought by the

Spring wind.

Even though you soar boundlessly

Even beyond the clouds,

Just don’t rely on

The teachings of Gautama.

Two things Ikkyu is saying: one, you cannot bring the flowers, which will come in their own time. You have to wait; you have to be patient. You cannot ask, “Why are the cherry flowers not coming?” The tree is there, you are watering the tree . . . You can even, Ikkyu says, break up a cherry tree and look inside the tree to find where the flowers are hidden. There are no flowers at all.

The flowers are brought by the spring wind. Let the spring come, let the right moment and the climate and the right wind reach the cherry tree. It will blossom suddenly; it will explode into immense beauty.

The cherry tree is waiting; it is not in a hurry; it is not running somewhere to catch up with spring. It is simply waiting silently, joyously. Spring comes; even if it is a day or two late, what does it matter? It has always been coming.

The second thing Ikkyu says: Even though you soar boundlessly even beyond the clouds, just don’t rely on the teachings of Gautama. That can be said only by the Zen masters about their own originator: “Don’t rely on Gautama the Buddha’s teachings” – because his teachings were in a different context. He was talking to a different kind of people. You may not be that kind of person at all, and the times have changed; those teachings may be no more relevant.

Only rely on your own consciousness. Even Gautama’s consciousness is not reliable. He is not saying that Gautama is wrong; he is saying that Gautama was dealing with situations fifteen hundred years before.

I have told you of an instance when just in a single day . . . In the morning a man asked Gautam Buddha, “Is there a God?”

And Gautama said, “No, there is no God.”

In the afternoon another man asked, “What do you think about God?”

Gautama said, “Yes, God is.”

You can understand the trouble Ananda, who was continuously with him, was in. He started having a migraine. What kind of man is this? In the morning he says, “There is no God,” and in the afternoon he has forgotten completely, and he is saying, “There is God.”

He waited for the time in the night when there would be nobody around, but before that a third person came in the evening, sat down and asked Gautama, “I have no conception either for or against God. Just help me to understand.”

And Gautam Buddha did not say anything to the man, but on the contrary simply closed his eyes, remained silent. Seeing this, the other man also closed his eyes and sat. He thought perhaps Buddha was going to say something in his silence and they both remained in silence for two hours.

The man felt so beautiful and so fresh and so young, so rejuvenated, that after two hours he opened his eyes and he was a changed man. He touched Gautam Buddha’s feet, thanked him and told him, “I was not expecting that much. You have given me more than I had asked. You have given me a taste. I had come only to ask a question; you have taken me to the experience itself. I will remain grateful to you my whole life.”

In the night Ananda said, “You should at least think of me. The whole day I have been in such a trouble. What kind of man are you? In the morning you say no, in the afternoon you say yes, in the evening you don’t say anything, but just remain silent – and that fellow gets the answer and you have not said anything.”

Buddha said, “The first man, to whom I said, ‘There is no God,’ was an atheist, and he had come to get a confirmation of his atheism, that if Gautam Buddha also is an atheist, then there is no problem. Atheism is certainly the right approach. There is no God. “The second man had also come for confirmation of his own prejudice. He was a theist and he wanted support. They were not seekers; they were only asking for consolation. They had already got the idea; they were simply asking me to support their ideas. They were satisfied with their ideas without ever moving into any new space.

“But the third man was really a seeker. He plainly said, ‘I don’t have any idea for or against.’ For such a man only, silence is the answer. And because he had no prejudice, seeing me closing my eyes and becoming silent, he immediately understood the hint. He closed his eyes and he went deep into silence. Although I had not said anything to him, he went away immensely richer than he had come.

“And Ananda,” Buddha said, “you should not be disturbed, because none of these questions were yours. It is not your problem.”

Ananda said, “It is not my problem, but I have ears and I am always close to you.”

Buddha said, “You will have to learn that I don’t have any fixed philosophy so that I can hand over immediately ready-made answers. I have to see the person, his capacity. I don’t want to insult anybody. I don’t want to give something which they cannot understand, which is going to be over their heads.”

If this was the situation in Buddha’s own time, Ikkyu is right: Just don’t rely on the teachings of Gautama. Find out your own sources. Go deeper into your own being. You will find there the affirmation of Gautam Buddha.

But don’t rely on the teachings. Just don’t sit with the scriptures, reading them for years, studying them for years. That is not going to help. Gautam Buddha had not read those scriptures before he became enlightened, so it is absolutely certain that they cannot be the cause of anybody’s enlightenment. Just do what he did; don’t be too much concerned what he said. Whatever he said was meant for his contemporaries, for his time, for the people he was talking to.

Do what Buddha did. He became a no-mind, and becoming a no-mind, you will have to throw even Buddha and his scriptures out of your being. Only in this emptiness is there a possibility of the cherry blossoms of your being coming from the potential to the actual. You can bring the spring by bringing the no-mind.

As no-mind comes, thousands of miracles follow. But don’t desire those miracles; if you start desiring them, you will never have the no-mind, because those desires will not allow the mind to be empty.

So remember, it is one of the most significant things for a seeker that he should not become too much concerned about the search. He should remain playful. “If there is a truth in existence, someday, somewhere I am going to encounter it.”

But don’t be serious, just be playful. In playfulness you are relaxed, and in relaxation, utter relaxation, you will find Gautam Buddha himself, so why bother about his teachings? When you can find Gautam Buddha himself, then why bother about dead scriptures? Ikkyu is right, absolutely right.

Maneesha has asked a question:

Our beloved master,

Is the witness a presence or simply an absence – the absence of identification with body and mind?

Maneesha, it is a difficult question – difficult only because your mind never accepts contradictions, and existence absolutely is in favor of contradictions. In fact, existence is made of contradictions. So these two words, presence and absence, are both right.

In the witness there is absence, certainly, of your personality, of your mind, of your thoughts, feelings – anything that you are carrying within your mind is absent. If you look from this side, it appears that no-mind is empty mind.

But the moment all these things are emptied out, the potential of your being starts growing – a new presence which was hindered from growing by all the furniture that you have been carrying in the mind. Now that all that furniture and all those stones are thrown and the soil is ready, there comes a new presence.

So both are there as far as your mind is concerned. Meditation is an effort of creating absence. But when the mind is really absent, in that silence, in that unlimited space, your potential starts glowing, radiating, flowering. Suddenly you are full of cherry blossoms, a new presence, a new fragrance.

So absence and presence are both together in your meditation. On the one hand you are emptying, on the other hand the empty space is being filled with your potential. Before there was no space for it to blossom.

Meditation is simply creating a space for your potential to come to flower. A man of meditation has such a presence that you can feel it.

In my dining room I have got a small statue of Buddha. It is only a statue, but when Jayesh came for the first time and saw it, he said, “This statue has a great presence.” I have loved that statue and carried it from India to America, from America to India, because it has a presence. It is only a statue, but a statue of a meditating buddha. Something of meditation in that very posture radiates a very alive aura.

I have brought another statue for your Buddha Auditorium, to be placed just at the gate, so you can see that even a statue, because it is in a meditative posture, radiates something. Just sitting by the side of the statue you will find something flowing from the statue towards you. It is not a worship; it is just being silently close and watching the posture. Because the posture is of meditation, something of meditativeness radiates even from the stone.

So when you are meditating, you are doing both the things: on one hand you are throwing away all that is garbage, and on the other hand you are helping roses to blossom. You will have an absence and you will have a great presence, together: absence of all that was ugly in you, and presence of all that is beautiful.

-Osho

From Rinzai: Master of the Irrational, Discourse #6

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Dhyana has no Gate

Kinzan, Ganto and Seppo were doing zazen when Tozan came in with the tea. Kinzan shut his eyes.
Tozan asked, “Where are you going?”
Kinzan replied, “I am entering dhyana.”
Tozan said, “Dhyana has no gate, how can you enter into it?”

A monk asked Joshu, “What is the way without mistakes?”
Joshu said, “Knowing one’s mind, seeing into one’s nature, is the way without mistakes.”

A monk asked Ganto, “When the three worlds are attacking us, what shall we do?”
“Sit still!” said Ganto.
The monk was surprised and said, “Please explain a little more.”
“Bring me Mount Ro,” said Ganto, “And I will tell you.”

On another occasion, Zuigan asked Ganto, “What is the eternal and fundamental principle of things?”
Ganto replied, “Movement.”
Zuigan asked, “What is this movement?”
Ganto said, “When you see things move, can’t you see this eternal and fundamental principle of things?”
Zuigan was lost in thought, and Ganto said, “If you agree to this, you are still in the dust of this world, if you disagree, you will be always sunk in life and death.”

Maneesha, these small anecdotes are small only in size; in depth, no ocean can compete with them. It is a miracle that in such small dialogues, the greatest of experiences, which are inexpressible, are expressed. Look at this small anecdote:

Kinzan, Ganto and Seppo . . .

all masters,

. . . were doing zazen when Tozan came in with the tea.

Zazen, as you know, means simply sitting and doing nothing. Not even thinking, because thinking is also doing. Simply not doing anything – physical, mental, or spiritual – just being like a flame, unwavering, without any wind around.

. . . Tozan cane in with the tea. Kinzan shut his eyes. Tozan asked, “Where are you going?”

Do you see the point? By closing your eyes, certainly you are going inwards, but exactly where? Because just the word ‘inward’ is not indicative of any destination. The inwardness is as vast as outwardness.

“Where are going?”

Kinzan replied, “I am entering dhyana”

Meditation.

In an ordinary way, his answer is perfect. But Zen is not ordinary, never for a single moment. It is always and always extraordinary – because Tozan immediately said:

“Dhyana – meditation – has no gate; how can you enter into it?”

Now, great masters – just at tea time – talking of great things. Teatime becomes absolutely sacred. Tozan’s point is that dhyana has no gate; it is all openness, it is the whole sky inside – how are you going to enter? From what gate? It has no gate.

Of the remaining three, nobody said anything. It is true; there is no gate inside. And this is also true, that just by sitting silently, doing nothing, without any gate, you enter in. The gate is not a necessity. Can’t you enter this Buddha Hall without a gate? Inside there is no wall, no question of a gate; hence the remaining three masters did not say a single word. Tozan has uttered an ultimate question; only silence can be the answer.

A monk asked Joshu,

“What is the way without mistakes?”

Joshu said, “Knowing one’s mind, seeing into one’s nature, is the way without mistakes.”

Mind can commit mistakes but once you are beyond mind, there is no one to commit mistakes.

Mind can go wrong, but beyond mind there is no way of going wrong. Beyond mind, you are simply drowned into your own nature.

A monk asked Ganto, “When the three worlds are attacking us, what shall we do?”

By the Three Worlds is meant heaven, earth, and hell. And they are all attacking us, throwing us this way or that way, pulling this way or that way.

When the three worlds are attacking us, what shall we do?

Ganto said, “Sit still!”

The monk was surprised and said, “Please explain a little more.”

A little more is not possible. Sit still is more than enough already. Sit still and there is no hell, no heaven, no earth. Just one single universe, all boundaries dissolved, all divisions disappeared. Now what more can be said? But the poor monk could not understand. He asked, “Please explain a little more.”

Ganto said, “Bring me Mount Ro . . .

Ro is Japanese for Mount Sumeru – I have explained it to you, the gold mountain in heaven, a thousand times bigger than the Himalayas. Nobody knows its end and nobody knows its beginning. Ganto said, “Bring me Sumeru and I will tell you.” He is saying to the monk, “Don’t ask stupid questions; otherwise, I have to answer stupidly. Don’t be idiotic; otherwise out of compassion I have to be idiotic with you, just so you have companionship.”

Nobody can bring Mount Sumeru. It is just a mythology, it exists nowhere. And even if it exists, how can you bring it?

Asking a question that assumes something more can be said about meditation than “Sit still” is asking something absolutely impossible.

Sit still and all three worlds disappear. In this moment, listening to the cuckoo, all has disappeared. There is only a deep silence, in, deepening within your being.

On another occasion, Zuigan asked Ganto, “What is the eternal and fundamental principle of things?”

Ganto replied, “Movement”

Change.

Zuigan asked, “What is this movement?”

Ganto said, “When you see things move, can’t you see this eternal and fundamental principle of things?”

A rosebush growing, bringing roses . . . a cuckoo suddenly starts singing, and each moment everything is growing that is living. The bamboos are becoming bigger, and even the Himalayas are becoming bigger. Howsoever slow the change . . . the Himalaya becomes one foot higher every year. But in this eternity that is too much. Finally, you can imagine, if it does not stop growing it will become absolutely impossible for another Edmund Hillary to reach Mount Everest. But existence is growing. Trees are growing, you are growing, your consciousness is growing.

Nothing is static. Movement is the fundamental question, and Ganto has put it correctly: When you see things move, can’t you see this eternal principle of things? Life is growth, in short. The moment you stop growing, you are dead.

Life has to be a river, always moving. The moment you become frozen somewhere, the movement is stopped, life disappears.

Even your going in is growing every day, deeper and deeper and deeper. You have to find the eternal source of your being. It is a great dive inside. And every day, every moment, you can go on growing in it. There is no end to it. You don’t simply become a buddha and stop. If you stop, then you become just a stone statue.

I sometimes wonder: all these stone statues of Buddha around the world – are these real people who have stopped growing and become stones? Will they ever understand and start growing again, and talking and walking?

Even Gautam Buddha has accepted that there is something still beyond him. He is not the end, he is only the beginning. A true understanding, an honest expression – Buddha says, “I am only born, now the growth begins.”

Zuigan was lost in thought . . .

Listening to Ganto,

. . . and Ganto said, “If you agree to this, you are still in the dust of this world.”

This is a very beautiful point to be remembered. If you agree to this, to what I have said, remember: agreement means movement has stopped. You have already agreed. If you agree to this, you are still in the world.

And if you disagree, you will always be sunk in life and death.

What a great insight, that even agreement or disagreement are not allowed. You are to grow beyond all dualities, it does not matter what the duality is. Because every duality means choosing one against the other, and growth stops.

Life is a choicelessness. Never choose. Just be, and allow your being to grow to unknown skies, to unknown spaces. And you will find your buddhahood bringing more and more flowers, showering more and more blessings, bringing greater and greater ecstasies. And there is no end to it.

Manzan wrote a poem:

One minute of sitting, one inch of buddha.

Like lightning, all thoughts come and pass.

Just once look into your mind depths:

Nothing else has ever been.

Two points he is making in his small poem. One minute of sitting – even one minute of sitting without doing anything, no thought is stirred inside you, all is utterly silent – one inch of buddha. You have found at least one inch of buddhahood. And you don’t need much more. Each moment, go on. And whatever you have found will also go on growing. From one inch to one yard, and from one yard to one mile, and from one mile to one light year, and it will go on and on. Buddhahood is a pilgrimage which ends nowhere.

And what is the meaning of sitting? Like lightning, all thoughts come and pass. Just remain watchful. Don’t make any judgment or identification. Just like lightning, let them come and go. You remain in your depths, just silent and witnessing, and you will be surprised: nothing else has ever been, except your inner depth. Your innermost silence is the stuff existence is made of.

Maneesha is asking:

Osho,

The story of Zuigan seems to hit the nail on the head, doesn’t it?

Is it not so, that we are literally “lost in thought” and found again in meditation?

Maneesha, ordinarily what you are saying is absolutely right. In thought, you are lost, in meditation you are found. But if you want to listen to the answer in Zen language, there is no losing and no finding.

There is simply silence.

You are not.

These songs of cuckoos pass through you just as through a hollow bamboo.

In thoughts, you start imagining that you are. When thoughts are not there, don’t start imagining that now you are really. Once thoughts are gone, you are also simply a thought; you are also gone.

Then what remains is only a pure consciousness, without any “I” attached to it.

You don’t find yourself; you simply lose yourself, both the ways: either you lose yourself in thoughts or you lose yourself in no-thought. But losing yourself in thought is very ordinary; losing yourself in no-thought has a splendor and an eternity of joy and bliss. You are not there, but there is a dance of pure consciousness. It is not your dance – you are gone with your thoughts. You were nothing but the combination of your thoughts. As one by one your thoughts disappear, part by part you melt away. Finally, you are no more.

And this is the moment – when you are no more – that the ultimate is in your hands.

It is a strange situation:

When you are, your hands are empty.

When you are not, your hands are full.

When you are, you are simply misery, anguish. When you are not, there is bliss. You cannot say, “I am blissful”; there is only bliss.

There is only silence.

There is only truth.

-Osho

From Zen: The Solitary Bird, Cuckoo of the Forest, Discourse #11

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

On Hearing This, Kyozan was Enlightened – Osho

Once when he was still with his Master, Kyozan said to Isan, “Where does the real  Buddha dwell?”

Isan replied, “By means of the subtlety of thoughtless thought, contemplate the boundless spiritual brightness. Contemplate it until returning to the ground of being, the always abiding nature, and its form of the undichotomous principle. This is the real Buddha.”

On hearing this, Kyozan was enlightened.

It is a very strange incident.

Western education everywhere has made us very limited and one-dimensional. So if you read this you will simply laugh. You can understand each word and its implications, but that is not the real thing that is happening between Isan and Kyozan.

Once when he was still with his Master, Kyozan said to Isan, “Where does the real  Buddha dwell?”

Isan replied, “By means of the subtlety of thoughtless thought, – when the mind is thoughtless and just empty, that is the temple of the buddha – contemplate the boundless spiritual brightness. Contemplate it until returning to the ground of being, the always abiding nature, and its form of the undichotomous principle. This is the real Buddha.”

Always move into unity with the cosmos. Dichotomy is division; undichotomy is no division, no division of any kind. Contemplate it, and this very contemplation . . . you will not find the buddha; you will find you are the buddha. There will not be two, because that will create dichotomy. There will not be you standing looking at buddha. You will merge in silence, disappear in the oceanic experience of consciousness, the eternal serenity of existence. There is no knower and nothing is known, but everything is. This ‘isness’ is buddha.

On hearing this, Kyozan was enlightened.

This makes difficulty for the modern mind. How can one become enlightened just by listening to a few lines? You can go on reading these lines again and again, you will not become enlightened; you will simply become crazy.

Underneath, something else is happening. While the master is speaking, the disciple is not only listening because he has ears. The disciple is listening with his total being, every fiber of his being; not only with ears, he is also listening with his eyes, looking at the master; he is also feeling the master, his vibe. It is a total phenomenon. He has forgotten himself and disappeared in the tremendous statement.

The moment you forget yourself and only a silent consciousness remains, you have come home. Enlightenment is not something special; it is hidden in you, your hidden splendor. It is just that you are so much occupied with the outside world that you can forget anything, particularly those things which are very obvious.

In the first world war rationing was introduced and everybody had to appear before the rationing officer to get a ration card. Thomas Alva Edison, a world-famous figure – all your facilities and comforts, most of them are because of Edison; he discovered one thousand things – he was also standing in the queue. And as he was coming closer to the top of the queue, people were leaving, taking their cards, and finally the clerk shouted, “Now it is time for Thomas Alva Edison.”

Edison looked here and there; he could not see anybody. A long queue was behind him. Somebody from the back said, “As far as I know, the man who is standing in front of you is Thomas Alva Edison.”

Edison said, “Perhaps I may be, but for fifty years nobody has used my name in front of me.” He was so famous; in the university he was called ‘the professor’, nobody used his name. And he was so engrossed and engaged in his experiments, he had no time to meet people, to talk to people. He was a man who was absolutely alone in the crowd. He had forgotten his own name – fifty years is a long time.

If nobody uses your name, you will also forget, or you may think, “Perhaps I have heard this name somewhere far away, far back, as an echo, but I cannot guarantee it. I have to find witnesses.”

Now, if your name is not used by others out of respect and love, you are not going to use it yourself. Naturally, not being used for fifty years – and a name is an arbitrary device – Edison forgot his.

But you have forgotten your innermost being. His loss was not much of a loss, just a label. Your loss is far deeper and greater. For centuries you have lived, but you don’t know who you are.

The explosion of enlightenment is: Suddenly you become aware of your eternal being.

-Osho

From Kyozan, A True Man of Zen, Discourse #1

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Dive a Little Deep – Osho

Dogen said:

In the practice of the highest supreme wisdom, it is most difficult to meet prominent masters. Whether men or women, they must be those who have realized something indescribable . . . This is the realization of the essence of the Way. Therefore, they lead and benefit others, setting aside no causality or making no difference between the self and others.

Once we have met a master, we must practice the Way, aloof from worldly relations and grudging a spare time, even in thinking, non-thinking and neutral thinking. Therefore, we should train ourselves as singleheartedly as if we were saving our head from a burning fire. A Zen master who has dropped away his body and mind is none other than ourselves.

It is inevitably by sincerity and piety that we realize and receive the essence of our master’s Law. These qualities neither come from outside nor rise from inside, but from attaching more importance to the law than to our body, or from renouncing the world and entering the way. If we attach a little more importance to our body than to the Law, we shall be unable to realize and receive the Way.

. . .  When someone has realized the great Law and the essence of the Buddhas and patriarchs, we serve him, reverently prostrating ourselves . . .

Sakyamuni-buddha said: “When you meet a master who expounds the supreme wisdom, do not consider his birth, look at his appearance, nor dislike his faults or worry about his behavior. Rather, out of respect for his great Wisdom, treat him with a large sum of money or celestial meals and flowers, or reverently prostrate yourself before him three times a day, giving him no cause for worry; and you will surely find the supreme bodhi-wisdom.”

Dogen continued, . . . Both men and women can realize the way. In any case, the realization of the Way should be respected, regardless of sex. This is an extremely excellent rule in the Way . . . Even a little girl of seven can become the teacher of the four classes of Buddhists . . . If she practices and realizes the Law . . . We should make a venerative offering to her as if to the Buddhas.

This is a traditional manner in Buddhism. I feel sorry for those who have never known or received it personally.

Maneesha, it is one of the most ancient problems – how to recognize the master? Because without the master there is almost no way. I say almost, because perhaps one person in a million may reach to the truth without the master. But it is just accidental, it cannot be made a rule, it is just an exception that simply proves the rule.

And the great concern of masters has been to explain to people the ways of recognizing the master, because the master is the Way. Unless you have seen someone self-realized, you will not trust yourself that you can be realized. Once you have seen a buddha, an enlightened one, a tremendous flame suddenly starts blossoming in you, “If this beauty, this grace, this wisdom, this blissfulness can happen to any man, then why can it not happen to me?”

As far as human beings are concerned, we have the same seeds and the same potentiality. But a seed can remain a seed and may never become a flower, although there was every possibility available. But rather than disappearing in the soil, the seed can remain safe, hiding in a stone cave, thinking that it is too rainy outside, worrying that it is too sunny outside, fearing the unknown. It feels cozy in the closed silence of the cave, but there it cannot grow, there it will simply get rotten. There it will simply remain something . . . it could have been a beautiful manifestation, it simply remains unmanifested, a song unsung, a poetry unwritten, a life unlived.

It is very essential to find a man who can provoke in you the challenge to attain to your heights. The master is nothing but a challenge – if it has happened to me, it can happen to you. And the authentic master – there are so many teachers propounding doctrines, beliefs, philosophies – the authentic master is not concerned with words; is not concerned with beliefs, atheism or theism; is not concerned even with God, or heaven and hell. The authentic master is concerned only with one single thing – to provoke you to see your potentiality, to see inwards. His presence makes you silent, his words deepen your silence, his very being slowly starts melting your falseness, your mask, your personality.

What is the problem of the seed? It is the problem of you, too. The problem of the seed is that the cover is protective. In losing the cover it becomes vulnerable. The seed is perfectly happy covered, but it does not know that there are more skies beyond skies to be discovered, that unless it goes to the beyond it has not lived; because it has not known the world of stars, and it has not lived as a flower dancing in the rain and in the sun and in the wind, it has not heard the music of existence. It remained closed in its safety and security.

And exactly the same is the problem with man. Every man is a bodhisattva. The word ‘bodhisattva’ means, in essence a buddha. The distance between a bodhisattva and a buddha is the distance between the seed and the flower. It is not much; it just takes a little courage to bridge the distance.

But hidden in the darkness of a cave, who is going to give you the encouragement? Who is going to pull you out from your security? The master’s function is to give you a taste of insecurity, to give you a taste of openness. And once you know that openness, insecurity . . . They are basic ingredients of freedom; without them you cannot open your wings and fly in the sky of infinity.

It is absolutely essential to avoid the teachers, they are fake masters. It is very difficult, because they speak the same language. So you have not to listen to the words, you have to listen to the heart; you have not to listen to their doctrines, their logic and arguments, you have to listen to their grace, their beauty, their eyes; you have to listen to and feel the aura that surrounds a master. Just like a cool breeze it touches you. Once you have found your master, you have found the key to open the treasure of your potentialities.

Dogen is talking about this ancient and eternal problem. Dogen says:

In the practice of the highest supreme wisdom, it is most difficult to meet prominent masters.

It is difficult, and if it was difficult in Dogen’s time it has become more difficult nowadays. The world has become more worldly, education has become irreligious, science predominates – and science does not believe in the insight of your being. Our whole culture for the first time in history is absolutely materialistic. It does not matter whether you are in the East or in the West, the same educational pattern has spread all over the globe.

Although you may go traditionally, formally – just as a social conformity – to the temple, to the mosque, deep down you don’t have any trust, deep down there is only doubt. Deep down you are going into the temple not because of any realization, not because you have to show your gratitude to God. You are going there out of fear of the society in which you live – you don’t want to be an outcast. It is simply a social conformity.

It became very clear when in 1917 the Soviet Union went through a revolution. Before the revolution Russia was one of the most orthodox countries in the world. All kinds of superstitions were believed, there were many saints, a great hierarchy in the church. It was absolutely independent from the Vatican; it had its own church. But after the revolution, just within five years, all those beliefs, cultivated for centuries, disappeared. Nobody bothered any more about God.

That does not mean that everybody had understood that there is no God. That simply means the society had changed and you have to change with society – another social conformity. I don’t believe in Russian atheists, just as I don’t believe in any theists, Hindu, Christian or Mohammedan; for the simple reason that their religion is not their own experience, is not their own love affair, it is just a conformity to remain respectable in the crowd.

What is your religion except conformity?

By conformity nobody has found religion. Today it has become almost a universal conformity, because science overrules the mind, logic prevails on our thinking, logic denies anything irrational, science denies anything eternal. Obviously, it has become more and more difficult to find an authentic master. Even to find a teacher is difficult because that too has become out of date. A teacher will be talking about the Upanishads, will be talking about the Bible, will be talking about the Torah, will be talking about the Koran – all are out of date.

Do you think a newspaper twenty centuries afterwards will have any significance? Just within one day its significance is finished. In the morning you were waiting so curiously for the newspaper, by the evening it is thrown out. It has served its purpose: a curiosity to know what is happening around, just a new and more technical way of gossiping.

Now it is no more possible to continue the old type of gossiping because people are living so far away from each other. Newspapers, radio and television are the new forms of gossiping. They spread all kind of nonsense and stupidity to people. This used to be the work of the priest, of the teacher.

Even in the past, as Dogen says, it was very difficult to meet prominent masters. But they have never ceased to be. Even today it is possible, although it has become more difficult to find a master. Because the whole world and its climate, its mind, has turned away from the inner search. One who goes into the inner search today goes alone, without any support from the society. In fact the society creates all kinds of problems for the man who is going in search of himself.

People simply laugh, “Don’t be foolish, go in search of money, go in search of a beautiful woman, go in search of becoming the richest man in the world, go in search of being the prime minister of a country. Where are you going and what will you do even if you find yourself? You will be simply stuck. Once you have found yourself then what are you going to do? You cannot eat it. It is just useless.” The whole endeavor of the centuries has suddenly become completely useless, because so very few people have dared to cross the line, the boundary that the society creates around you.

These few people have found the very source of life, they have found that we are not born with our birth, and we are not going to die with our death. Neither birth nor death … our essence is eternal, beginningless, endless. Births and deaths have happened a thousand-and-one times, they are just episodes, very small things compared to our eternity.

Whenever anybody finds this eternity, it starts transforming him. He becomes a new man in the sense that his vision is clear. He does not belong to any crowd; he cannot be a Christian or a Hindu or a Mohammedan; because he knows in his innermost core that we are all part of one existence. All divisions are stupid. How can a man who has realized himself belong to a crowd, be a member of a crowd? He becomes a peak of consciousness, standing alone like the Everest. He is enough unto himself, and to find him is certainly difficult, but not impossible. You can make it impossible if you go on your search with certain prejudices, with certain criteria already decided by your mind.

For example, a Jaina, even if he comes across a buddha, will not be able to see him. His eyes are covered with his so-called Jainism. He can respect only a man like Mahavira, that is his criterion. And the trouble is, every realized soul is so unique you cannot make criteria. You will have to be more subtle, more intelligent. The Jaina cannot accept Buddha as self-realized because he still wears clothes. His idea of self-realization is that one renounces everything, even clothes; one stands naked.

But please remember, even an actor can stand naked, don’t make it a criterion. Mahavira is unique – he loves to be naked, in the open air, under the sky and the stars. It is beautiful but it is not a criterion. Gautam Buddha eats once a day. Now that is not a criterion, that if somebody eats twice a day he cannot be understood as a buddha. But even our so-called intelligent and our so-called religious people like Mahatma Gandhi make such stupid criteria.

According to him a man of realization cannot drink tea. All the Buddhist masters have been drinking tea, it has been their discovery. It was Bodhidharma who discovered tea. The name ‘tea’ comes from the mountain Tha in China, where Bodhidharma was meditating. And the name has remained the same in different languages . . . just slight changes. In Hindi it is chai, in Marathi it is cha, in Chinese it is tha, in English it has become tea. But a thousand masters have never denied tea as something unspiritual.

On the contrary, Zen has in its monasteries a special teahouse, and when they go for tea it is called a tea ceremony. They have transformed the simple act of drinking tea into a beautiful meditation. You have to leave your shoes outside as if you are entering into a temple. And there is a master who is going to lead the ceremony. Then everybody sits down in the silence of the monastery, the tea is prepared on the samovar and everybody listens to the music of the samovar boiling the tea. It becomes a meditation. Watchfulness is meditation, what you watch does not matter.

Then the master with great grace brings the tea to everybody; pours the tea with immense awareness, consciousness, carefulness, respectfulness, and everybody receives the tea as if something divine is being received. In that silence sipping the tea . . . and this very ordinary thing has become a spiritual experience. Nobody can speak in the teahouse; silence is the rule. When you put down your cups and saucers you also bow down with gratitude to existence. The tea was only a symbol.

But in Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram you could not drink tea, you could not fall in love with a woman. Every day you had to eat with your meal neem leaves, which are the bitterest leaves in the world, just to destroy your taste; because scriptures say that tastelessness is a criterion of spirituality. It can be a criterion of stupidity, it cannot be a criterion of spirituality; otherwise all buffalos will be spiritual.

Have you watched buffalos? They always chew the same grass, showing in no way whether they are happy or unhappy, remaining so content and aloof. And the whole day it continues, chewing and chewing. It cannot be very delicious. You can try, once in a while it is good to try what other species around the world are doing. But I will not say that tastelessness has anything to do with religion. On the contrary, the more you become meditative, the more your taste becomes deeper. Every sense becomes more sensitive, you hear more, you see better, your touch starts becoming warmer.

Just touch a few people’s hands and you will see the difference. Some people’s hands are warm. The warm hands show that they are ready to give, to share; the warmth is their energy moving towards you, it is really a love symbol. But holding some people’s hands will be just like holding a dead branch of a tree, nothing moves in their hands. But these people in the past have been called spiritual. The more dead you are the more spiritual. Don’t eat for the taste’s sake!

You cannot believe that Buddhist scriptures have thirty-three thousand rules for a person to be spiritual. At least I cannot become spiritual, just because I cannot count that many rules. I cannot remember that much – thirty-three thousand rules! Whenever I count, I count on my fingers and after the third finger I always get lost. But that does not mean that I cannot be spiritual, arithmetic has nothing to do with spirituality. And what are those rules?

One instance I will give to you. A young monk is going to spread Buddha’s word to the masses. Before taking his leave, he touches Buddha’s feet and asks him if he has something to say to him, because he will not be able to see him again until the second monsoon comes.

Buddha said, “Yes, I have a few instructions for you. One thing is, never look more than four feet ahead of you.”

The man said, “But why?”

Buddha said, “It is to avoid women. At the most you can see their feet. Then just move on, don’t look at their face. Keep your eyes glued to the ground.”

Now such a man cannot see the stars, such a man cannot see the sunset or the sunrise, such a man is utterly cut off from existence, his sensitivity has been killed. He has eyes but he is almost blind – eyes that can see only four feet ahead. His tremendous capacity for seeing is reduced to only four feet.

The young monk asked, “If once in a while I forget, or if there is some special situation in which I have to see a woman, what should I do?”

Buddha said, “Close your eyes. I am especially concerned, because once you have seen a beautiful woman you can close your eyes but you cannot forget the face.” In fact with closed eyes she becomes more beautiful.

If I were in the place of Gautam Buddha I would give everybody a magnifying glass! Carry it! Whenever you come across a beautiful woman, just look and then her eyes will look like monsters; her nose will become so big that no Jew could defeat it. But this is not spirituality, carrying a magnifying glass . . .

His restriction is nothing but repression, and a repressed person can never enter into his own being. Those repressed feelings and thoughts become a hard shell dividing him from himself, from his own origin. Only an unrepressed, thoughtless, silent being can break away the barrier and reach to his living source. And the moment you reach your living source . . . you don’t have to do anything, it does miracles. It starts changing your attitudes, your approaches, it starts changing everything that you have known about yourself. It brings to you a new beinghood.

To find a master is easy if you are available not only to words, but to silences too; not only to words because the truth never comes through words, but between the words, between the lines, in the silent spaces. If you are searching for a master don’t carry any criterion, any prejudice. Be absolutely available, so that when you come across a master you can feel his energy. He carries a whole world of energy around him. His own experience radiates all around him. If you are open and not afraid of experiencing a new thing, of tasting something original, it is not very difficult to find a master. What difficulty there is, is on your side.

But Dogen’s statement is right:

. . . It is most difficult to meet prominent masters. Whether men or women, they must be those who have realized something indescribable.

That’s what makes them masters: if they know something which cannot be described, if they have some experience which cannot be explained. The master is a mystery. He knows it but he cannot say it. He can share it if you are ready. He can invite you into his own very being. If you are unafraid and fearless, courageous enough to explore the most unknown part of existence, you can become a guest in the master’s home. But remember, the moment you enter into the master’s home the master enters into you. Two consciousnesses cannot remain separate. Once two consciousnesses come close they become one.

And this is the only thing that has to be remembered: if with someone you feel a deep affinity, a deep synchronicity, as if one soul is in two bodies, then don’t miss this man. He is going to lead you to the same incredible, indescribable, inexpressible experience.

This is the realization of the essence of the way.

Finding the master is finding the Way.

Therefore, they lead and benefit others, setting aside no causality or making no difference between the self and others.

A very famous Sufi mystic used to come to a place where I lived for twenty years, and his disciples always wanted me to meet their master. I said, “The only way is: next time your master can stay with me.”

So the next time the Sufi master came he stayed with me, and I asked him first thing, “Are you still Mohammedan?”

He looked surprised and shocked. He said, “Of course.”

I said, “Then you don’t know the indescribable. These divisions between Mohammedans and Hindus and Jainas and Buddhists are divisions of the mediocre and retarded.”

But he said, “I realized God. I see him.” I said, “It is all nonsense.”

Anando has just brought to me . . . There is in America a new species of priests, television priests, that has never existed before. A very famous television priest has become more famous since he has declared that he sees God every night. God is nine hundred feet long! I told Anando, “Write a letter to him from me, ‘Please tell me, do you carry a ladder and something to measure with? or is it just guess work?’” Nine hundred feet, exactly!

We think we live in the twentieth century. Even in America people are not living in the twentieth century, to say nothing of countries like India. Millions worship that man and nobody even bothers that this is so stupid.

Seeing this, another missionary started declaring that he also sees God and he has a long white beard. So I have sent him my picture, “You don’t be deceived, it is me who visits you in your dreams! In the first place, if God is eternal, he cannot have white hair. He will always be young. It is man who becomes old.”

He has even published his picture, which is similar to mine, so I have told him, “Just look at my picture. Just not to be recognized by everybody else I’m wearing the glasses. But it’s me you have been seeing in your dreams. Don’t exploit people by saying that you are seeing God.”

God is not an object. You cannot see God. God is your very consciousness. It is the seer, not the seen. It is you, not some object somewhere. It is your innermost center, which is the only eternal point, unchangeable, immortal, divine in its beatitude, in its blessings.

 

When you come close to a master just remember one thing: withdraw all defenses. Be as empty as possible, so that the master’s energy can penetrate you, can penetrate your being, can touch your heart. And it is an immediate realization. Just as when you fall in love, you don’t think about love, you don’t consult librarians about love, you don’t ask your elders how to fall in love. There is no school that teaches how to fall in love. But people fall in love, it suddenly happens.

Just as love suddenly happens on the lower level, on the physical and biological level … finding the master is a form of the highest love. The moment you come into the area of his influence – which is called the buddhafield, the field of the master – you suddenly start throbbing with a new energy, you suddenly feel a new freshness, a new breeze passing through you, a new song which makes no sound. All that is left for you is to relax in deep gratitude. Don’t even utter the word ‘thank you’, because that is separating. This is not the time to utter a word . . . just a gesture of gratitude.

Once we have met a master, we must practice the way. If the master himself is the Way, how do you practice? You simply watch how the master moves, what gestures he makes, how he responds to situations. Because he is every moment an absolute awareness. His every action is an indication of his innermost being. Watch him! Watch him when he is sleeping, watch him when he is waking, watch him when he is talking, watch him when he is sitting silently, doing nothing.

Watching the master with deep gratitude and love, absorbing his energy silently . . .  It is almost like drinking water when you are thirsty, a deep feeling of contentment comes to you.

. . . aloof from wordly relations and grudging a spare time, even in thinking, non-thinking and neutral thinking. Therefore, we should train ourselves as singleheartedly as if we were saving our head from a burning fire. A Zen master who has dropped away his body and mind is none other than ourselves.

The buddha and you in your deepest consciousness are one. The Upanishads declare: Aham brahmasmi – I am God. It is not out of any egoistic attitude – those people who wrote the Upanishads have not even signed it. We don’t know who wrote those Upanishads. Their statements are so clear – it is impossible to have an ego and make such clear-cut statements about the truth. And when they declared, “Aham brahmasmi,” they were not declaring it for themselves only; they were declaring for everybody, “You are the God.” Don’t search for him anywhere else. You will not find him in any holy place. If you cannot find him within yourself, you cannot find him anywhere else. The moment you find him in you, he is everywhere. Then you will see him in the song of a cuckoo or the chirping of the birds or in a thunderbolt or in this silence. Then he is everywhere.

Once you know him within you, you know him all over. The whole existence becomes one continent. The ego makes you small islands. And remember, no man is an island, because even the small island deep down is joined with the continent. Just one has to go a little deep, dive a little deep.

It is inevitably by sincerity and piety that we realize and receive the essence of our master’s Law.

This word ‘Law’ is a very difficult translation of the word dhamma. It gives a distorted view; the moment you hear the word ‘law’ you remember your courts and constitution, your legal authorities; you don’t remember the word ‘dhamma’.

Dhamma is a Pali translation of the Sanskrit dharma. And ‘dharma’ means: fire is hot – hot is the dhamma of fire; ice is cold, it is the dhamma of ice. And you are a buddha, it is the dhamma of you. Better translated, law should not be used as a translation for dhamma, but rather ‘nature’. It is your nature to be a buddha. It does not matter that sometimes you forget. You can remain in forgetfulness for your whole life or many lives. Still, as an undercurrent the same dhamma, the same buddha, the same consciousness continues.

Once it happened . . . George Bernard Shaw was traveling to some place from London. The ticket checker came and George Bernard Shaw looked into everything, searched his whole suitcase, perspiring. The ticket was not found, although he knew perfectly well that he had purchased a ticket. The ticket checker said, “Don’t be worried. I know you, everybody knows you. You must have put it somewhere. Don’t be worried. I will take care that nobody harasses you.”

Bernard Shaw said, “That is not the problem, my boy. The ticket is not the problem. The problem is how to know where I am going. Do you think I am searching for the ticket for you?”

You can forget. Forgetfulness is part of our nature, just as remembrance is. Sometimes you all must have come to a point where you were trying to remember some old acquaintance’s name. You say it is just on the tip of the tongue. What do you mean? If it is on the tip of the tongue, spit it out! You know perfectly well that you know, but it is not coming to expression. The harder you try the more difficult it will become, because the harder you try, the more narrow the passage becomes. Mind becomes tense and old memories cannot get through that tenseness. Finally you give up and just start smoking, and while smoking suddenly it comes. You cannot believe, you had been trying so hard, you knew it was just on the tip of the tongue, and still you could not express it. I say to you the buddha is just on the tip of your tongue. It is only a question of smoking a little. A little relaxation, that’s what the smoking gives.

People smoke cigarettes and cigars not knowing that psychologically it is simply their mother’s breast. That’s why it gives them so much relaxation. From the nipple of the mother’s breast lukewarm milk comes to the child; from the cigarette lukewarm smoke comes in – and you have forgotten everything, you have become again a child, innocent, relaxed. No government can stop people from smoking, because smoking is not really the question. It has a deep psychology behind it.

You can see the psychology without much erudition. Poets sing about the women’s breast more than anything else. Painters paint the woman’s breast more than anything else. There are a few painters who only paint women’s breasts and nothing else. They go on improving . . .

Why this obsession? Why this fixation? The reality is that more and more mothers are not willing to breast feed the child, because to feed the child this way is to misshape the breast. The child goes on pulling, it makes the breast longer, and every woman wants the breast to be shapely, round, a full moon, and these young monsters won’t allow it. They are interested in their work, because a round breast, a sculptor’s idea of a woman’s breast, will kill the child. If the breast is round the child cannot have his nourishment, his nose will be closed. Either he can breathe or he can drink; both together he cannot do. So all those Khajuraho paintings and statues, all those great painters, don’t understand that the poor child’s life is at stake!

Every woman becomes interested, and now it is even being discussed in parliaments around the world, “Should women be forced to feed the child, or should they be given the freedom to choose themselves?” No woman wants to distort her breasts. Unless they find some technological device . . . and it can be done. Just join the breast and the baby’s mouth with a small pipe. And the child is almost on a cigar from the very beginning!

I always see simple solutions to very great problems! Just a small plastic pipe . . . the child will enjoy it and he can continue to enjoy it later on also because he is going to be in companionship with women. Nobody can prevent by law something which has a psychological root. And nobody can prevent you from becoming a buddha, because it is your very nature. It is another matter that you get involved in the small things of the world – power, prestige, respectability – and you forget to give some time to yourself. Just a little time to yourself, forgetting the whole world . . . there is no need to renounce it. I am against renouncing anything.

All the religions of the world have been religions of renunciation. They wanted people to meditate, to renounce the world, to go to the mountains, to the forests, to the deserts where nobody comes along. But that did not work, it does not work. Even if you go to the mountain a crowd will follow you there – in your mind, not outside. Outside you will not see anybody, but with your eyes closed you will think about so many things: your wife, your children, your old parents, your friends and all kinds of stupid things – Lions Club and Rotary Club. Things that you have never thought of before will start coming to your mind, because having nothing else to chew . . . even chewing gum is not available, you have to chew something. People start thinking of strange things.

But this is not realizing oneself. I am against renouncing the world, I want you to be in the world as totally as possible. So just once in a while be on a holiday. Just in the early morning for a few moments renounce everything, forget everything, and just be yourself. In the dark night when everybody is asleep sit on your bed and just be yourself.

This is far more successful. The old renunciation was almost violent. Nobody has pointed it out because nobody wants to be condemned, but I am so much condemned now that I don’t care. All the religions are responsible for millions of women who became widows even while their husbands were alive; children who became orphans although their fathers were alive; old parents who became beggars because their young son on whom they were dependent had renounced the world. Nobody has counted how much harm the very idea of renunciation has done, and what is the gain? Just measure both, there seems to be no gain. All those who have renounced are simply dreaming about the same things, clinging in the same way, jealous in the same way.

I was in the Himalayas and I was just going to sit under a tree, when from another tree a monk, a Hindu monk, shouted, “Don’t sit there. That belongs to my master.”

I said, “My God, even here in this forest . . . You have renounced the whole world, but you have not yet renounced the tree. And the tree belongs to nobody.”

He said, “I am warning you; he is a dangerous man.”

I said, “He has to be dangerous, because renunciation of the world can be done only by violent people.”

How can you leave the world? This is your very sea, in which you are the fish. Leaving it you will die. How can a bird leave the sky? It is his very world. If he leaves the sky he will die. You cannot leave the world, but just on the margin you can take a few holidays, a few moments for yourself . . .  and nobody will even know about it.

These small moments in which you drop the whole world as if it is a dream – and your own being remains the only reality – are the greatest moments of joy, peace, silence, blissfulness. These moments are divine. In these moments you are no more the ordinary human being, you have suddenly transcended humanness, you have transcended all form, you have entered into the formless existence. Your heart becomes the heartbeat of the whole existence.

This is the only practice possible, everything else is non-essential and dangerous. Be ordinary in every way, just keep a few small spaces here and there. The world goes on, you don’t interfere in it, neither do you escape from it. You participate in it, and with participation you go on growing inside in these few moments. Remaining in the world and becoming a buddha, that is my message.

When someone has realized the great Law and the essence of the Buddhas and patriarchs, we serve him, reverently prostrating ourselves.

What can we do when somebody radiates consciousness, radiates the dance of existence? What do we have to offer? In the West people have always been concerned why people in the East touched the feet of their masters. They don’t know it has become a traditional thing. Unfortunately everything becomes traditional; but basically, essentially, it has a great beauty. It is not a question of feet. It is simply a question of a gratitude which cannot be said, but only expressed by touching the feet of the master

Sakyamuni-buddha said: “When you meet a master who expounds the supreme wisdom, do not consider his birth.”

Don’t ask what caste he belongs to, don’t ask about his appearance. He may not look beautiful according to your ideas, he may not come from a high caste, from the Brahmins; he may be a sudra like Kabir or Dadu. He may not have renounced a kingdom like Buddha and Mahavira.

But everybody does not have a kingdom to renounce. I used to know a postmaster, a very poor man. He lived just nearby my house, so we used to talk once in a while. When his wife died – he had no children – he renounced the world. The same people who had never paid any attention to the poor man started touching his feet, and soon he became very famous. After twenty years I met him again through one of his disciples who said, “You should see him.”

I said, “I know him.”

But they said, “He has changed, he is a transformed man. He has renounced millions.”

I said, “I know that in his post office account he had kept thirty-six rupees only. From where did he get millions?” But rumors . . . and he was enjoying those rumors. I said, “I am coming to put him in his right senses.”

I asked him, “Please tell to your disciples how many rupees you had left in your post office account.”

He looked so sadly at me. He said, “It will be better if we meet separately, alone, not with all these people.”

I said, “I have to meet here in front of everybody, because these people think you have renounced millions. Now say clearly how many rupees!”

He said, “Thirty-six.”

The disciples said, “Thirty-six? And you never told us before?”

He said, “I enjoyed the idea that I had renounced millions. And I never said anything . . . I simply did not deny it. So you cannot blame me.”

And I said, “Tell these people the real thing.”

He said, “What real thing?”

The real thing was that before he decided to renounce he asked me to write three speeches for him, one for ten minutes, one for twenty minutes, one for thirty minutes. He said, “I will memorize them completely and for a ten minute occasion I will use one; if twenty minutes are available I will use that one. I don’t think more than thirty minutes will be available to me at conferences.”

I said, “I am asking about those three speeches. Are you using them still or not?”

He said, “My God, you have come here to kill me completely! These people think I am a realized man!”

I said, “Tell these people that those three speeches were written by me.”

He said, “I have to admit it.” But he lost all his fame. Suddenly his disciples disappeared, everybody started laughing about the whole thing. But for twenty years continuously he had maintained his great learnedness with those three speeches.

I brought him back to my home. I said, “I need a gardener. You just do the garden and meditate with the plants, with the roses.” And India has so many beautiful flowers, incomparable, because of the climate. The Indian rose has a fragrance that is not possible in a cold country; the fragrance is not released, it needs the sun. India has so many beautiful flowers, unknown to the world. I had a beautiful garden, so I put him to work.

He said, “I was enjoying being an enlightened one, and unfortunately somebody brought you there. In this old age now I have to become a gardener again.”

I said, “This is far more authentic. Just be a gardener. It is a simple job. You can meditate and you can shower the water on the plants. The showering of water on the plants does not disturb your meditation. The flowers are not disturbing, the trees are very loving and very peaceful. I am giving you a really alive temple.”

Dogen is saying that when you meet a master don’t think about his birth, don’t bother about his appearance. All that is needed is a recognition that this is a man who has realized himself; everything else is non-essential. All that is needed now is a deep gratitude. It is a miracle to find such a man, and you have found him.

Your gratefulness will bring a spring to your being. The master’s experience will start flowing towards you just as rivers flow down from the mountains towards the ocean. Your gratefulness becomes just like an ocean: vast, available. And the master’s heights are like the mountains, from where the Ganges and thousands of other rivers come running, rushing, jumping from rock to rock, from valley to valley, reaching towards the ocean. If you are with a master all that you need is a humbleness, a gratitude. And the master is bound to pour himself into you.

Dogen continued, . . . Both men and women can realize the Way. In any case, the realization of the Way should be respected, regardless of sex, this is an extremely excellent rule in the Way. Even a little girl of seven can become the teacher of the four classes of Buddhists . . . if she practices and realizes the Dhamma . . . We should make a venerative offering to her as if to the Buddhas.

Neither age matters nor birth matters, nor country nor race. What matters is your awareness, and awareness is neither Hindu nor Christian nor Mohammedan. It is just a fire, an eternal fire, invisible to the outside eye but visible when you close your eyes and go inward.

A haiku:

Mountains of green
Mountains of blue arise:
My gratitude wells up
And fills my eyes.

Ryokan wrote:

The thief
Left it behind –
The moon at the window.

This is just what Ryokan wrote after the thief had gone. The whole story is beautiful. One night a thief entered into Ryokan’s small hut. Ryokan had only one blanket which he used day and night to cover his body. That was his only possession. He was lying down but he was not asleep, so he opened his eyes and saw the thief entering. He felt great compassion for him because he knew there was nothing in the house. “If the poor fellow had informed me before, I could have begged something from the neighbors and kept it here for him to steal. But now what can I do?”

Seeing that there was nothing, that he had entered into a monk’s hut, the thief started to go out. Ryokan could not resist. He gave his blanket to the thief. The thief said, “What are you doing? You are standing naked. It is a very cold night!”

He said, “Don’t be worried about me. But don’t go empty-handed. I have enjoyed this moment; you have made me feel like a rich man. Thieves usually enter the palaces of emperors. By your entering here my hut has also become a palace, I have also become an emperor. In my joy this is just a gift.”

Even the thief felt sorry for him and he said, “No, I cannot receive this gift because you don’t have anything. How you are going to pass the night? It is so cold, and it is getting colder!”

Ryokan said with tears in his eyes, “You remind me again and again of my poverty. If it was in my power I would have taken hold of the full moon and given it to you.”

When the thief left he wrote in his diary:

The thief
Left it behind –
The moon at the window.

These haikus are not ordinary poems. These are statements of deep meditativeness.

Maneesha has asked:

Our Beloved Master,

What is the essence of our Master’s Law?

Maneesha, here I am not – just an empty space, a hollow bamboo. If you want to join with me, nothing else is needed. Just be utterly empty and silent. This is your master’s dhamma. And in fact, this is all the masters’ dhamma. Become a hollow bamboo so that you can be turned into a flute and songs of immense beauty can pass through you. They will not be your songs; they will be songs of existence.

-Osho

From Dogen, the Zen Master: A Search and a Fulfillment, Discourse #4

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

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Be a Rare Person – Osho

Daio wrote:

The sphere of perfect communion
Is clear everywhere.
The water is alive,
The willow eyes are green.
Why are people these days
In such a great hurry?
In each land,
The sphere of perfect communion.
Those who go right in
Are rare.

Daio is saying: everything is so beautiful, the stars and the trees and the birds, why can’t you simply sing and dance and join into the cosmos? Where are you hurrying to? Wherever you go you will be frustrated, because the thing that you are trying to find is hidden within you.

This very moment can become your illumination. Not a single step has to be taken.

In each land,
The sphere of perfect communion.
Those who go right in
Are rare.

Just go right in, be a rare person! Don’t search it outside. This is the whole teaching of all the buddhas.

Maneesha has asked one question:

Our Beloved Master,

I have met someone with enlightened eyes who does not just bring us water to drink, but showers us with it. And yet, and yet . . . are we so neurotic, so complex, so far removed from innocence, that we can only receive that for which we have suffered?

It is the whole wrong training of the religions, of the societies, of the cultures, which says that unless you deserve a thing, unless you are worthy of it, you cannot get it. That is the reason, Maneesha, that if I tell you that you are enlightened, you look here and there. You cannot trust — “My god, I am enlightened! And I have not done anything. I have not tortured myself; I have not prayed. I have not fasted; I don’t know the scriptures.”

But I say to you that for everything except enlightenment you will have to work. If you want money, you cannot sit with closed eyes. If you sit with closed eyes, you may even lose money — somebody may cut your pocket. For money you have to work hard. If you want political power, you have to work hard. You have to be cunning; you have to be dishonest; you have to be a hypocrite. You have to use all kinds of right or wrong means to achieve the end. Only enlightenment, in the whole phenomenon of existence, is without any need to deserve it.

It is already there. You can deny it as long as you want, you can find excuses as long as you want, but finally you will be tired of excuses and you will have to accept it — “Yes, I am enlightened.”

It is just a totally different phenomenon. It is neither money, nor power, nor prestige, nor reputation. You don’t have to learn it; you don’t have to earn it. It is in your very heart; it is your heartbeat. You have just to look into your own being.

-Osho

From The Language of Existence, Discourse #6

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

So Be It – Osho

Ikkyu wrote:

Whether I elevate this message
Or put it down,
Everything under the heavens
Is the imperial domain.
I salute and say,
“So be it . . . so be it.”

That is another version of total relaxation with existence, another version of let-go, another version of suchness, thisness, isness.

He is saying, “Whether I elevate this message or put it down, everything under the heavens is the imperial domain. I salute and say, ‘So be it . . . so be it.’ Whatever happens, my absolute determination, my absolute commitment is that whatever happens is good. So be it.”

It may seem sometimes that something is a misfortune – but still Ikkyu is right. Many times blessings come in disguise, and those who are ready to accept even misfortunes joyfully, they transform the misfortune into a joy. Just by accepting them, without any resistance, is the way of transforming them into a beautiful space.

So be it.

Whatever happens, don’t have any grudge, don’t have any complaint against existence. That is the purest message of Zen.

-Osho

From Rinzai: Master of the Irrational, Discourse #8

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

Go Beyond Emptiness – Osho

Sekiso has a poem:

For six years sitting alone
Still as a snake
In a stalk of bamboo,
With no family but the ice
On the snow mountain . . .
Last night, seeing the empty sky
Fly into pieces,
He shook the morning star awake
And kept it in his eyes.

A tremendously beautiful poem. He is saying, for six years sitting alone – that means meditating; sitting, in Zen, is equivalent to meditation, just sitting and doing nothing. Six years sitting alone, still as a snake . . . When the snake is waiting to catch something to eat, he remains absolutely immobile as if he is dead. The slightest movement, then the bird he was going to catch will be gone, then the butterfly he was going to catch will not be there. He has to remain just dead, no movement.

Still as a snake in a stalk of bamboo, with no family but the ice on the snow mountain. Last night . . . those six years sitting matured. Last night the moment came of great benediction.

Last night, seeing the empty sky fly into pieces, he shook the morning star awake and kept it in his eyes. He is talking about the inner sky, the inner emptiness, that suddenly gave way. For six years he was holding. Last night, suddenly the emptiness also fell into pieces. He was thinking that just to be empty is enough for meditation. Just to be empty is only the beginning. A moment comes when emptiness falls into pieces. You go beyond emptiness.

Last night, seeing the empty sky fly into pieces, he shook the morning star awake . . . He is talking about his own inner being. That emptiness flying into pieces shook the star awake and kept it in his eyes. Now he is carrying that star in his eyes, that clarity, that light, that shining jewel which is not in the sky, which is hidden somewhere inside your emptiness, which is covered by your thoughts and emotions. Your mind is blocking the path, but somewhere inside you, it is shining bright. Just a little turning in, and you will be fulfilled.

-Osho

From Nansen: The Point of Departure, Discourse #2

Copyright © OSHO International Foundation

An MP3 audio file of this discourse can be downloaded from Osho.com  or you can read the entire book online at the Osho Library.

Many of Osho’s books are available in the U.S. online from Amazon.com and Viha Osho Book Distributors. In India they are available from Amazon.in and Oshoworld.com.

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