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.

There is no Final Destination – Osho

Ikkyu wrote:

Myself of long ago,
In nature
Non-existent:
No final destination,
Nothing of any value.

He is giving you the very manifesto of Zen. Myself of long ago, in nature . . . I have disappeared in nature, I don’t know when, I have not kept a diary and I don’t remember that I was anything else at any time.

Myself of long ago, in nature non-existent: I don’t find myself, I find only nature. No final destination . . . I am going nowhere. There is no final destination, because final destination will mean death.

Life is a continuity always and always. There is no final destination it is going towards. Just the pilgrimage, just the journey in itself is life, not reaching to some point, no goal – just dancing and being in pilgrimage, moving joyously, without bothering about any destination. What will you do by getting to a destination? Nobody has asked this, because everybody is trying to have some destination in life. But the implications…

If you really reach the destination of life, then what? Then you will look very embarrassed. Nowhere to go . . . you have reached to the final destination – and in the journey you have lost everything. You had to lose everything. So standing naked at the final destination, you will look all around like an idiot: what was the point? You were hurrying so hard, and you were worrying so hard, and this is the outcome.

I have told you about one of Rabindranath’s stories. It is a song. The story says in song, “I have been searching for God for centuries. Sometimes he was around the moon, but by the time I reached there he had moved to some other star. I saw him at another star, but by the time I reached there he had moved again. This went on and on, but there was great joy in that he is there, and one day I am going to find him. How long can he hide? How long can he escape?

“And it happened that one day I reached a house where there was a board saying that this was the house of God. I had a great sense of relief that my destiny was fulfilled. I went up the steps and I was just going to knock on the door when I became aware that, ‘Just wait, have a second thought! What are you going to do if God comes and opens the door? What will you do next?’”

Your whole life has been a journey, a pilgrimage, finding, searching. You are trained as a runner since millions of years, and suddenly you meet God and you don’t have anything to say. What will you say?

Have you ever thought that if you meet God by chance, neither will you have anything to say, nor will he have anything to say? You unnecessarily burned yourself out, finished. Final destination means ultimate death.

Ikkyu is right when he says, “No final destination, nothing of value” – everything is just to enjoy and dance and sing. But don’t ask about value; don’t ask what is virtue and what is good. Rejoice in everything, and go on in different pilgrimages knowing perfectly well that life is not going to end anywhere, the journey will continue, the caravan will continue. There is no place where the road ends.

Maneesha has asked:

Our beloved master,

When there is nothing to perceive – no input from the body or the mind and so one has nothing by which to define oneself – is what is left witnessing? There does not even seem to be a witness, but just the awareness that there is no one there.

That’s exactly right. There is no witness, there is only witnessing. There is only consciousness, but no personality to it, no form. There is only awareness, like a flame arising from nowhere and disappearing into nowhere, and just in the middle you see the flame.

Have you watched a candle, where the flame goes? Gautam Buddha himself used as the word for the ultimate experience, blowing out the candle. Nirvana means blowing out the candle. Nothing is, just a pure awareness, not even confined into your individuality, but just a floating cloud, no firm shape – a tremendous isness, a great joy.

But it is not your joy; you are absent. Then arises in your absence the joy, the blissfulness. The moment you are not, then the witnessing is pure. And this witnessing brings the greatest benediction possible. This witnessing is the buddha.

-Osho

From Rinzai: Master of the Irrational, Discourse #7

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.

Inscape – The Ultimate Annihilation – Osho

Apparently sex was used by some Zen masters – for example, Ikkyu – as a way to transform energy. However, in no translation to date does evidence of this appear. It seems disciples excluded from their records about their master any mention of sex, for fear that their master would be misunderstood. Would you like to comment?

It is a long story . . .

Zen has moved from one country to another country, from one climate to another climate. It was born in India.

Hinduism, as such, in its early stages, was very natural, very existential. It had no taboos about sex, its seers and saints had wives. Celibacy was not an imposition; it came on its own accord through the natural experience of sex. Hinduism in its early stages was a very natural, very existential approach – almost like Zen.

But then there was another tradition which is represented by Jainism. It is a very puzzling question, and historians are almost silent, because nobody wants to stir any controversy. It is left to me to create all kinds of controversies.

Jainism is not a part of Hinduism; it is far more ancient than Hinduism. […]

And Jainism has never indicated that it belongs to Hinduism. Its whole approach is different. […]

Jainism has nothing in common with Hinduism. Its language is different, its conception about the world is different, it has no God. It does not have any yoga system, it does not have any Tantra. It is absolutely against sex, it is repressive of sex. But this repressive tradition of Jainism influenced the whole of India.

Of course, their saints looked far more deeply holy than the Hindu saints who were married, who had children. And not only children, but they were allowed to have concubines. These saints were just householders and lived in the forests, they had all the possessions that anybody can have. In fact, they had more possessions than ordinary people, because thousands of disciples brought presents to them. Each seer had become almost a university in himself. Around him thrived hundreds of teachers, disciples, visitors. But compared to the Jaina saint, these Hindu saints looked very ordinary.

Because of this comparison, Hinduism also became contaminated with the idea of repression of sex. Otherwise, you can see beautiful statues of men and women in deep embrace, in different postures even in the temples in Khajuraho, in Konarak, in Puri. Such beautiful sculpture you cannot find anywhere else. These temples were Hindu. Of course, sex was accepted by the Hindus – not only accepted, but a system of transforming the sexual energy, Tantra, was developed by the Hindu saints.

Jainism has remained a very small current, but very influential. It is one of the very important things to understand: the more miserable your saint, the holier he seems. If the saint is happy, joyous, loves life, and enjoys everything that existence allows him, you cannot think of him as very holy. To be holy, one has to be miserable.

In short, pleasure in any direction is condemned. Jaina saints looked more saintly, more holy, and Hindus felt that they had to change – and by and by, they did change, but not consciously. They started respecting the repressed person. Tantra became taboo, and Hindus became completely disoriented from their own sources. It happened again when Christianity came, and Hindus became even more repressed.

Gautam Buddha is the original source of Zen. He was born into a Hindu family, but he lived a very different life than is possible for ordinary people. From his very childhood he was allowed everything that he wanted; he was kept surrounded by beautiful girls; he was married. His whole life up to the age of twenty-nine years was wrapped in pleasure, in dancing, in music, in women, in wine, because the astrologers had predicted that this boy either would become a great saint or would become a great conqueror of the world.

And of course, his father was concerned and worried – he did not want him to become a saint. He was his only son, and he wanted him to become a world conqueror. He asked the astrologers how to prevent him from becoming a saint. Those idiots advised that he should be surrounded with pleasure: “Don’t let him know that there is misery. Don’t let him know that there is sickness, old age, death. Don’t let him know at all about these things. Just let him be drowned in music, in dancing, surrounded by beautiful girls. Make three palaces in different places for different seasons: a cooler place when it is summer, and a warmer place when it is winter . . . ”

And the father followed all the instructions of all those so-called wise men; in fact, their advice made him a saint. Twenty-nine years of continuous luxury – he became fed up. And suddenly, when he saw one sick man, it was a shock, because for twenty-nine years he had been kept unaware of sickness, old age, or death. And when he saw these things… how long can you prevent? Even twenty-nine years must have been very difficult for the father to manage him not to see a flower dying, or a pale leaf falling from the tree. In the night, the garden had to be cleaned of all dead flowers, dead leaves. Gautam Buddha should not know that there was something like an ending.

But this created exactly the situation in which he became first, exhausted, bored . . . so many beautiful women. By the age of twenty-nine years, he became as old as a man cannot experience in three hundred years. In twenty-nine years, he saw everything of luxury, of sex, of licentiousness. And when he suddenly came to know old age, and saw the body of a dead man being carried, he was shocked. He would not have been shocked if from the very beginning he had known that people become old – it is natural. These twenty-nine years of protection proved dangerous. When he saw the dead man, he inquired of his charioteer, “What has happened to this man?”

The charioteer said, “I am not allowed . . . in fact, the whole city has been told that you are passing by this road, so no old man, no sick man, no dead man, should be allowed on this path. How he has entered . . . but I cannot be untruthful, he is dead.”

And the second question immediately was, “Is the same going to happen to me?” And the charioteer said, “I don’t want to say it, but the truth is, it happens to all. Nobody is an exception.”

And just then he saw a sannyasin in orange robes. He asked, “What kind of man is this, and what kind of uniform . . . ?”

The charioteer said to him, “This man is in search of the eternal. He has become aware that this life is momentary, made of the same stuff as dreams are made of. Hence, he has started a search to see whether there is something inside him which will survive even death, or if there is nothing. He is an inquirer.”

Gautam Buddha was going to inaugurate the annual festival of youth. He told the charioteer, “Take me back home. I am no longer interested in the festival. I have been cheated. For twenty-nine years I have not been allowed to know the truth.”

That very night he escaped from the house. And because he was bored and fed up, those who followed him after his enlightenment obviously thought that sex was dangerous because it keeps you attached to the world. Naturally those who followed Gautam Buddha became escapists. For Buddha it was right, it was not an escape; it was simply getting out of the prison. But for others, it was not getting out of the prison. They had not even lived in the prison, they did not know the prison, they had not explored the prison. It had not come to their consciousness that it was a bondage. They simply followed Gautam Buddha. For them, sex became repressive, pleasure became contaminated.

But fortunately, Bodhidharma took Gautam Buddha’s message to China. That was a different climate. Tao was the climate in China, and Tao is very life affirmative. So in China, a new development happened: the meeting of Bodhidharma and Tao, a totally new concept. Zen is not just Buddhism; in fact, the orthodox Buddhists don’t accept Zen even as Buddhism, and they are right. Zen is a crossbreed between Gautam Buddha’s insight and Lao Tzu’s realization, the meeting of Buddha’s approach, his meditation, and Tao’s naturalness.

In Tao, sex is not a taboo; Tao has its own Tantra. The energy of sex has not to be destroyed or repressed, it is not your enemy. It can be transformed, it can become a great help in the search of your ultimateness. So in Zen, the idea of celibacy was dropped. There was no insistence on it, it was your choice, because the question is meditation. If you can meditate and live your life in a natural way, it is acceptable to Tao.

And then another transformation happened: Zen reached from China to Japan, where Shinto, the native religion, was very natural. There it became absolutely affirmative; hence it is not even talked about. There is no need, it is not a question.

You are asking, “Apparently sex was used by some Zen masters – for example, Ikkyu – as a way to transform energy. However, in no translation to date does evidence of this appear.” That does not mean that sex was a taboo. It was so natural that there was no need to discuss it. You don’t discuss urination. That does not mean you have stopped urinating. You start discussing things only when you start going against nature. If you are natural, there is nothing to discuss.

Life is to live, not to discuss.

Live as deeply and intensely as possible.

Ikkyu is certainly known to have used Tantra as a way of transformation. The sexual energy is nothing but your very life energy, it is only the name. You can call it sex energy, but by it ‘sex’, it does not become different, it is life energy. And it is better to call it life energy, because that is a wider term, more inclusive, more comprehensive. When you are going deeper into your center, that experience can be explained in many ways. It can be explained the way Hindus have explained it: it is realization of the ultimate, brahmabodh. But Brahma is not a person. The word is dangerous; it gives an idea as if we are talking about a person.

Brahma is simply the whole energy of the existence.

Jainas will call it self-realization, atmabodh, but their self is not synonymous with the ego. It is synonymous with Brahma. You are no more – in your self-realization you are no more. Buddha and Mahavira were contemporaries, and Buddha insisted again and again, that if you are no more, then why do you call it self-realization? That gives a very distorted description. Call it no-self realization. But Mahavira has his own reasons not to call it no-self realization – people are afraid of no-self realization; if you are going to be nothing, then it is better to remain something. And Mahavira knew that it does not matter whether you call it self-realization or not, you are going to disappear. But keep a positive word which is more attractive.

I can see Mahavira’s compassion in it, but I also can see Buddha’s truthfulness. He says, “If it is really no-self realization, then call it what it is. Don’t deceive people.”

Tantra will call it samadhi.

The names are different, but it is exactly life, pure life without any contamination. Once you reach to your center you can think in different categories. You can use the yoga method, then you can say this is the very center of your being: sambodhi. You can use the Tantra method, then you can say this is the center of your sex energy. And sex energy in Tantra is equivalent to life energy. These words have unnecessarily kept people discussing and discussing.

The reality is one. It is better to experience it.

Zen masters don’t talk about it for the simple reason Zen is a very natural phenomenon. It is not anti-life; it is not escapist. But most of the Zen masters have left their household life. Tired, seeing no point in the marketplace, they moved to the mountains. It was not against the marketplace, it was simply that the mountains were more silent, more peaceful. They allowed you to be yourself without any interference.

Sex is not mentioned in the records, for the simple reason that there is no reason to record it, it is accepted. If one has lived it, and there comes a time when you have outgrown it, then there is no point to go on and on, tired and disgusted. While it is beautiful, enjoy, and when it becomes a tiring, disgusting phenomenon, then just leave it for others. But there is no reason to condemn it.

A natural person simply passes beyond stages without condemnation. He has lived life, he has known life, now he wants to know something more. He wants to know something of the eternal. He has reproduced children, now he wants to know who he is in his innermost core. He has lived the world of the outside, he has been a Zorba. Now a moment comes of turning in. The outside reality has been explored without any inhibition, then you will naturally one day turn inwards.

It is the inhibition, the repressive mentality, that goes on forcing you to think of sex, because you have never lived it. Your Christianity, your Jainism, did not allow it, or allowed it and then created guilt in you that you were doing something which should not be done. Then you are living halfheartedly.

And when a thing is lived halfheartedly you never transcend, you never go beyond it. Dance to the moment when you stop automatically.

Live everything in life so you can transcend joyfully without any guilt. That is difficult for people who have been programmed with taboos: sex should not even be mentioned; death should not be mentioned either.

Sex and death are the two points: one is the beginning, the other is the end. People are kept unaware of both. About sex, it is dirty; about death, it is dangerous and gloomy . . . don’t talk about it. It is always somebody else who dies, don’t be worried. But in reality, you are born out of sex, and you are going to die. That which is born out of sex is going to disappear in death. Sex and death are the two points of the same energy. That which appears in sex, disappears in death. And both have to be understood, because both are the most important points in your life, and both have to be accepted and lived.

But religions like Christianity and Jainism are very repressive. Their very repression makes people guilty, sinners. They cannot live their life with totality, intensity, and they cannot meditate, because meditation’s first condition is to be total, to be total in everything. Then everything becomes meditation. Even making love, if you are total, then it becomes a meditation.

My own understanding about meditation is that in the beginning it must have happened to someone while making love, because that seems to be the only thing in which you can come to such a totality that time stops, mind stops, and everything becomes absolutely silent.

But that silence can be created by meditation also. The secret is known through sex, that if there is no time and no mind, you have entered into the ultimate. Through sex you enter for a single moment, and you fall back into the temporary. Through meditation you can remain in the ultimate, twenty-four hours around the clock, in an orgasmic joy. Your every moment becomes a dance. Knowing that you are not, there is nothing to fear.

Knowing that you are the whole, there is nothing to lose.

Sex is not talked about by Zen masters, simply because it is taken for granted.

One of our sannyasins has been working with John Stevens, author of One Robe, One Bowl.

He claims to have found ancient manuscripts never before published, in which Zen masters speak of sex as a tool for transformation. He has compiled a book of this material, which he is calling Lust for Zen. He anticipates that he is going to “upset Buddhists everywhere” by publishing this material.

Do it quickly, because without upsetting, it is very difficult to bring people to come to a settling. First upset, only then can they settle down in a zazen.

But there is nothing upsetting to the real Zen masters; only Buddhists may be upset. The Buddhists of India will be upset, because they have borrowed the sex-repressive idea from Jainism, from Hinduism, and from Buddha’s own experience.

But you cannot afford Buddha’s experience, because he was first a Zorba. Even Zorba was not such a Zorba as Buddha. His father found as many beautiful girls as possible from his whole kingdom . . .  and he became tired.

One night after much drinking and dancing, everybody had fallen asleep. He looked around – those beautiful faces… Foam was falling from their mouths, their makeup was upset, their hairdo was not in the right place . . . and it was disgusting. But that kind of experience is not available to everybody.

It should be available to everybody, then at the age of thirty everybody is going to escape from the world. But this escape will not be out of fear.

This escape needs a new name. It is inscape. One has lived outside, now one wants to live inside. One is bored of repetition, but because of the guilty, life-negative religions predominating over humanity, nobody ever comes to meditation through his love life. Nobody comes to an orgasmic experience where time stops, where mind stops, where suddenly a new sky opens its doors.

Tantra has used the method in India. And in China, Tao has used its own different technique of Tantra to bring people through sexual experience to a meditative state. But it is not a necessity that you should come to a meditative state through sexual experience. You can come by the direct route, by the immediate . . . this very moment, through meditation.

Sex is a long way. Nothing is wrong if somebody chooses the long way; if he enjoys the journey, there is no harm. But if somebody wants a shortcut, then meditation is available as a shortcut. It is really reaching to the same experience, but by a shortcut.

And as far as my sannyasins are concerned, there is no question of renouncing anything unless something renounces you. Many things will renounce you. By and by, you will start seeing – “Why go on playing these games . . . ?” Sooner or later, you will be sitting silently, doing nothing, rejoicing in the ultimate annihilation, disappearing into the ocean, losing all your boundaries.

[…]

The sutra:

Beloved Osho,

A monk asked Daiten, a disciple of Sekito, “How is it when one meets the person-in-there?”

Daiten replied, “The person is not in there anymore.”

When you go in, you don’t meet any person, you simply meet the whole; you simply meet the impersonal existence. You are only on the surface; once you go deeper you disappear. The deeper you go, the less you are. And when you are not, then only have you touched the real depth.

You don’t meet any person, you simply meet the impersonal existence.

Daiten was right when he said, “The person is not in there anymore if you go in.” It is only when you don’t go in . . . it is a conception, an idea. If you remain in the mind, you remain a person. The moment you go beyond the mind, the person starts melting. There comes a point you are no more, everything is – you have become one with the whole.

The monk asked, “What is ‘in there’? If there is no person, then who is there?”

Mind cannot conceive of nothingness; it can only conceive of something limited. If the person is not there, then who is there? God is there?

Buddha is reported to have said, “If you meet me in you, immediately kill, immediately cut my head! Because you have loved me, when you meditate, the image of your master may come to you. It is just an image, don’t let that image prevent you from meeting the whole. Cut the head.”

The monk asked, “What is ‘in there’?”

Daiten said, “Don’t ask that question. That is the only question that cannot be answered. You better go in and see who is there.”

Daiten is a very clear master. Without much philosophy he simply says, “Don’t ask that question. Simply go in and see.”

The monk then asked, “In the ocean of misery, the waves are deep. With what can we make a boat?”

Daiten replied, “Make a boat with wood.”

The monk said, “If we do, can we go across the ocean?”

Daiten replied, “The blind are still blind, the dumb are still dumb.”

He is showing his frustration. This monk cannot understand. You don’t have to go to the other shore of the ocean, you have to melt in the ocean. You don’t need a boat for melting. The other shore will be just like this shore. You can change places, but that is not going to change your inner space.

Hence, he said, “Whatever the masters say, people still remain blind and still are dumb.” They don’t change. They go on listening. If it is a philosophy, they can understand it, but if it is an existential experiment, they simply remain blind, deaf and dumb.

Going in is not a philosophical question. Who is there inside you? What is the point of asking when the inside is yours? Go in and see who is there. You will not find any person. You will find a pure nothingness, an existential grace, a beauty, a song without sounds, a great drunkenness, a tremendous ecstasy. You will not find any person, just experiences, but those experiences are going to transform you. Those experiences are going to change your individuality, because you will now know there is absolute silence inside, no individuality.

Then, if somebody insults you, you will not feel insulted, because you don’t exist. He is throwing stones at nothing. Then even in your ordinary life you will function like a buddha – aware, alert, compassionate.

On another occasion a monk from Korea came to see Daiten. When the monk unrolled the sitting mat to make a bow, Daiten said, “Before you leave your country, get the single phrase!”

The monk had no answer. He could not understand what Daiten was saying to him. He is saying, “Before you leave your country, get the single phrase!” By “country” he does not mean Korea. By country he is meaning, before you go from your personality, the boundary that you have lived in, get one phrase. What is that phrase?

Rather than asking, the monk had no answer. He could not understand Daiten. That single phrase is zazen. Before you leave your personality and your individuality and your mind, remember to sit silently without asking any question, and without creating any hallucination, and without creating any dream.

Just get one thing: sitting silently.

In Japanese it is one word: zazen.

Daiten then came forward and said, “If you ask about the single phrase here,

I will answer with two phrases.”

He is saying that if you don’t go in by yourself, and somebody else has to show you the way, the oneness of inside becomes two, a duality of the mind. Anything said is dual; only the unsaid is non-dual.

You say day and it includes night; you say life and it includes death. You say man and it includes woman.

You say this – and it includes that.

You cannot say anything without implying its opposite. But inside, you can experience oneness without any duality – a pure silence not against sound, a beauty not against ugliness, a truth not against lies.

The function of the master is not to tell you what is in, but to lead you inwards, force you inwards. All that is said is in the service of that which cannot be said.

Basho wrote:

The wild heron
Sleeping –
Undisturbed nobility.

Have you seen a wild heron sleeping? Basho says, “undisturbed nobility.” That’s what you are when silence happens to you – an undisturbed nobility. Suddenly you become an emperor. The insight gives you the whole universe. It takes away all that is false, and it gives you all that is truth, all that is beauty, all that is grace, all that is sheer joy.

A man like Basho – a man of deep meditation – will start seeing it everywhere. Even in a heron sleeping, he will see an undisturbed nobility. In a wild bird on the wing, he will see immense freedom.

In the sky, he will see his own nothingness.

He will start having a new sight about everything – even a wildflower will become more beautiful.

Jesus says, “Look at the wild lilies in the field. They are more beautiful than even Solomon the emperor was in all his splendor.”

Solomon was an ancient Jewish king of great beauty, and of great understanding. In the whole of the Holy Bible, only his song, Solomon’s Song, has some truth; otherwise, everything is ordinary. But Jesus says, “These wild lilies are more beautiful even than the splendor of the great King Solomon.”

To the man of meditation, everything becomes totally new and fresh, young, alive. He radiates love and compassion and joy.

-Osho

From The Zen Manifesto: Freedom from Oneself, 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.

My Abiding Place Has No Pillars – Osho

Zen has no teaching; Zen has no doctrine. Zen gives no guidance, because it says there is no goal. It says you are not to move into a certain direction. It says you are already there, so the more you try to reach there, the less is the possibility of reaching. The more you seek, the more you will miss. Seeking is the sure way of missing it.

Getting it simply means getting the point that it is already available, that it has already happened, that it is the very nature of existence.

Enlightenment is not a goal but the quality of being herenow. How can it be a goal? because the goal is never herenow – it is always therethen, it is always somewhere else. It is like the horizon: it is always distant and yet looks close by. And one feels that “If I travel a little bit, I will reach the horizon.” But one never reaches, because the more you reach towards the horizon, the more the horizon goes on receding back – because in fact there is nothing. Just an illusion.

The earth and the sky are not meeting anywhere. They can’t meet because they are not two, they can’t meet because they are one. The earth is just a materialization of the space of the sky; it is a wave in the ocean of the sky. How can they meet? For meeting, at least two are needed. And they are not two. The horizon exists only in the mind of man; it has no existential truth in it. But you can go on searching and searching. And the more you feel that you are not getting it, the more and more anxious you can become to find it. You can become mad after it.

Zen says: There is nowhere to go, so no guidance is needed. Then what is the purpose of a Zen master? His purpose is to bring you herenow. His purpose is to hit you so hard that you awake herenow. You have fallen asleep and you have started living in dreams.

Another story:

Zen student: “So, master, is the soul immortal or not? Do we survive our bodily death or do we get annihilated? Do we really reincarnate? Does our soul split up into component parts which get recycled, or do we as a single unit enter the body of a biological organism? And do we retain our memories or not? Or is the doctrine of reincarnation false? Is perhaps the Christian notion of survival more correct? And if so, do we get bodily resurrected, or does our soul enter a purely Platonic spiritual realm?”

Master: “Your breakfast is getting cold.”

That’s the way of Zen: to bring you herenow. The breakfast is far more important than any paradise. The breakfast is far more important than any concept of God. The breakfast is more important than any theory of reincarnation, soul, rebirth, and all that nonsense. Because the breakfast is herenow. For Zen, the immediate is the ultimate, and the imminent is the transcendental. This moment is eternity. . . you have to be awakened to this moment. So Zen is not a teaching but a device – a device to disturb your dreaming mind, a device somehow to create such a state that you become alarmed, that you have to get up and see, to create such strain around you that you cannot remain comfortably asleep.

And this is the beauty of Zen and the revolution that Zen brings to the world. All other religions are consolations; they help you to sleep better. Zen tries to awake you; it has no consolation at all. It does not talk about great things. Not that those great things are not there, but talking about them is not going to help. […]

Zen is not a belief system. It is a way of awakening. And the Zen master is bound to be tough. That is his compassion. He has to hit you. And he goes on finding devices how to hit you.

Just listen to this story:

A Zen master was worshipping at a statue of the Buddha. A monk came by and said, “Why do you worship the Buddha?”

“I like to worship the Buddha.”

“But I thought you said that one cannot obtain enlightenment by worshipping the Buddha?”

“I am not worshipping the Buddha in order to obtain enlightenment.”

“Then why are you worshipping the Buddha? You must have some reason!”

“No reason whatsoever. I like to worship the Buddha.”

“But you must be seeking something; you must have some end in view!”

“I do not worship the Buddha for any end.”

“Then why do you worship the Buddha? What is your purpose in worshipping the Buddha?”

At this point, the master simply jumped up and gave the monk a good slap in the face!

It looks so wild, unexpected. And the monk is not asking any irrelevant question: he is asking a simple human question out of curiosity. He should not be treated like that; there is no need to hit him. No Hindu priest would hit him, no Catholic priest would hit him. Their purposes are different – only a Zen master can hit him. His purpose is different.

Why didn’t he hit him in the first place? Why did he bother to answer so many questions and then hit him? He created the situation, the right situation. He created the heat. He created the curiosity more and more and more. He brought the monk to a state from where the hit could simply shock him to a kind of awareness.

He helped the monk to think about it more and more and more, to bring a peak of thinking – because only from the peak can the hit be of any help. But his hitting the monk is neither wild nor arrogant – it is not out of anger, remember. This story I have found in a book written by an American who thinks the master became angry because of the persistent query of the monk, and out of anger he hit him back. This is stupid. You have missed the whole point. It is not out of anger! He is not offended by the question; he is enjoying the question. He is bringing the monk to a more and more feverish state by answering in such a way that the question is not answered but enhanced. Just see the difference.

Ordinarily, you answer a question so that the question is finished. The Zen master is answering so that the question becomes even more pointed and poignant. He is helping the question to arise with a totality. He is giving the idea to the monk that his question is very important and the master is unable to answer it. He is helping the ego of the monk to become a big balloon so a small prick and . . . the balloon bursts.

It is not out of anger; it has nothing to do with anger. He is not angry with the monk, he is not annoyed with the monk. He must be feeling perfectly happy with the monk that he has asked – now he is giving a chance for the master. But it is a device. He is not answering.

Even the slap is not the answer, remember. A few people start thinking as if the slap is the answer – that is not the answer either. The slap is just to give you a jerk, just to shake your foundations, so even if for a single moment you slip out of your thinking you will have a glimpse of reality. Then you will forget about God and about Buddha and worship . . . and you will just see that your breakfast is getting cold. You will come herenow. Zen is an existential approach, not a philosophical approach towards life. And it has helped tremendously, it has brought many people to awakening. Zen does not believe in analyzing a problem, because it does not believe that any problem can be solved at its own level. No problem can be solved unless your consciousness is raised a little higher than the problem. This has to be understood. This is something very fundamental.

You ask me a question. I can answer it, but you remain on the same level of consciousness. My answer cannot raise your consciousness. You ask, “Does God exist?” I can say yes or no – but you remain the same! Whether I say yes or no will not help you in any way to become more conscious. It will not give you more being; it will only give you more knowledge this way or that. If you are an atheist and you ask, “Is there a God?” and I say no, you will feel very happy. You will say, “So I was right.” Or if I say yes, you will say, “This man is wrong. He does not know anything. He is just a blind person. I have argued, I have looked into the matter deeply, and I can’t find any proof for God.”

Whether I say yes or no, whether you are a theist or an atheist, either you will accumulate the knowledge, receive it if it fits with you, or, if it doesn’t fit with you, you will reject it. That’s what you are doing continuously in your mind. But your consciousness is not raised. And unless your consciousness is raised no problem can be solved. In the first place the problem is created because of your conscious-ness, and it can be solved, not by any answer – it can be solved only by helping your consciousness to go a little higher from where it is.

That’s the work of Zen. It is not a transfer of knowledge – it is a transfer of consciousness, being. By slapping the monk, the master has simply helped the monk to become a little more alert. And if the monk becomes a little more alert, that slap is not only a slap – it is a leap of the master’s being into the disciple. But for that you need great love for the master, otherwise you will miss the slap. You need great trust in the Master. […]

Sannyas simply means that you are ready to go with me even if I hit you. You are ready to go with me even if I crush you, annihilate you. You are ready to go with me to any limits. Your trust is more. Your trust is more in me than your trust in yourself. Then the work starts. ‘The work’ simply means you have become available to the master – only then can you be awakened. Because awakening is going to be painful. It is not going to be very sweet, you have slept so long, and you have dreamt so many beautiful dreams. And awakening is certainly going to destroy all those dreams. They are dreams, but you have thought up to now that they are realities. And when somebody starts taking them away from you it hurts. You start feeling that “I am getting nothing – on the contrary, I am losing all that I had before.”

Zen is a particular milieu, a climate between the master and the disciple of trust, of love, of infinite love, so the disciple is ready to go to any end. You will be surprised: sometimes Zen masters have been really wild.

It happened in one Zen master’s ashram: whenever he used to talk, and he used to talk about truth, he would raise one of his fingers towards the sky. That was his particular gesture. Naturally, it became a joke. Anybody who wanted to imitate the master would raise the finger.

A young disciple, very young, became very artful in repeating and imitating the master’s gestures – his face, the way he walked, the way he talked, the way he sat. Just a young boy he was. And anywhere and everywhere, whenever there was some serious discussion going on, he would raise his finger towards the sky in the same way as the master.

One day, the young boy was standing behind the master and the master was talking to people and he raised his finger, and from the back the boy also raised his finger. And the master called him . . .  just took a knife and cut his finger! Now, you cannot think of this as compassion – just cut his finger. And the boy screamed out in pain, and the master said, “Don’t miss the point! Now raise the finger.” Now the finger is gone, there is nothing to raise, and the master says, “Now, raise the finger – don’t miss the point!” And the boy, with tears in his eyes, raised his cut finger towards the sky . . . and that very moment the satori happened. The boy was transformed.

Now, on the surface it is very cruel, violent. If you can only see the surface, you will be forever against these Zen people. They don’t look like saints. Saints are not known to do such things. Saints talk to the fish and saints talk to the trees, and birds come and sit on their shoulders. We have known such saints. But saints cutting the finger for no special reason? of such a simple young boy, who was, out of his innocence, imitating the master. Is the master angry? But if you look deep down, the boy was transformed.

If you see the transformation, then it was worth it – even if the master had cut the head of the boy it would have been worth it. A finger is nothing. The boy was totally transformed.

About this same Zen master, it is said that when he was searching with his own master he had become very famous – famous because birds would come and sit on his shoulders and on his head. Once even, while he was meditating under a tree, a bird made a nest in his hair. He had become famous all over the country. People used to worship him like a Buddha.

He became very egoistic, naturally – such a great attainment. His own master came and was very angry. He said, “What is this bird doing in your hair? Drop all this nonsense!” He was hurt, but he understood. And since that day, birds stopped coming to him.

People would come to see, but no birds would come – and they were surprised. They asked the master, “What has happened to your disciple? First birds used to come, animals used to come and sit by his side, but now they no more come.

The master said, “Now he has disappeared, he is no more special. He has attained. Now birds don’t take any note of him. Animals simply pass by. He is not there! First he used to be there. He was becoming a special person; he was attaining to a specific kind of ego. Now even that is dropped.

He was becoming enlightened! – now even enlightenment is dropped. So birds no longer come to him. Why should they come when there is nobody? And why should animals come and sit there? – they can sit anywhere. It is all the same. There is nobody anymore.”

Now see the point! Zen has a totally different approach towards life. Now the master is happy that the disciple has completely disappeared – because one can even become attached to the idea of enlightenment. And you have to be alert about it.

Just a few months ago it happened: I told Somendra “You have had a small satori” – since then I have not seen him laughing. Since then he has become very serious. He has become enlightened! He has taken it to his heart. He has become special. He cannot laugh, he cannot enjoy – he cannot be ordinary.

And now, if this idea gets too much into him it will become a crust around him. He has to drop it. He has to become unenlightened again. He has to forget that satori. And not that it was not there – it was there – but many satoris happen before the ultimate satori happens. And the ultimate satori is dropping of all satoris, of all samadhis. The ultimate enlightenment is when you forget the very idea of enlightenment. Then there is innocence. Then there is just simple nature.

I have played a joke upon Somendra and he got caught into it.

I am creating here a climate of work – many things are happening, many are going to happen. And you have to be ready. And the first readiness is: when I hit you, when I shock you – now Somendra will be shocked – when I shock you, use the shock to become a little more alert, a little more aware.

Zen is a device, not an analysis of life.

My abiding place

Has no pillars,

It is roofless;

Yet the rain does not wet it,

Nor the wind strike it.

Go into each word with deep love, with deep sympathy.

First:

My abiding place

Has no pillars . . .

The inner has no boundaries, no supports, no pillars. It is infinite space; it is pure space. It is nothingness. And there is nobody there. It is utterly silent. Not a single sound has ever penetrated there. Nobody has ever walked on that beach of your inner being, no footprints are there. It is virgin land.

If you look into that inner space, you will start disappearing. The more you look inside, the more you will disappear. That’s why people don’t want to look inside. They talk about self-knowledge; they talk about how to look inside; they talk about techniques – but they don’t look. And there is no technique.

It is a very simple phenomenon to look inside. It is as simple as looking outside. You can simply close your eyes and look inside. But fear arises, great fear arises in looking inside – because that emptiness overwhelms you. You start disappearing; you start feeling as if you are going to die. You rush back. You start thinking a thousand and one things.

Have you not observed? Whenever you sit silently and look inside, the mind creates so many thoughts immediately. Why? It is your device. It is just like the octopus: whenever he sees that some enemy is coming around, the octopus releases dark black ink like a cloud around himself. Immediately the ink cloud surrounds him and the enemy cannot see where he is.

When you go inside, immediately your mind starts secreting a thousand and one thoughts; immediately there is a great rush of energy into thinking. This is just like the octopus releasing dark black ink around himself – to create a cloud so you cannot see the innermost nothingness. You don’t want to see. To see in is to commit suicide – to commit suicide as an ego, as a self.

Ikkyu says:

My abiding place

Has no pillars;

It is roofless . . .

It is just the vast open sky . . . no pillars, no roof. It is infinity.

Yet the rain does not wet it,

Nor the wind strike it.

How can the rain wet it if there is no roof and no pillar? and no ground either? Do you think when it rains the sky is wet? The sky remains as it is. Rains can’t wet it. Do you think when it is cloudy those clouds leave any impact on the sky? Do you think the sky becomes contaminated, polluted by the clouds? Do you think it becomes darkened? Do you think any mark is left on the sky? Nothing is left.

How can you touch pure nothingness? And just as there is an outer sky, there is an inner sky. And ‘outer’ and ‘inner’ are just arbitrary words. The day you will know, it is all one sky – outer and inner, it is all one. One has to be very courageous to go into it. Once you have the courage to see your reality, all fear disappears – because all fear is for the ego, all fear is because of the ego. “Am I going to survive or not?” is what fear is all about. But once you have seen the inner sky, the fear can’t remain. You are not, so what? You have never been and you will never be, neither born nor dying. And that which is has been always there and will be always there. But you are not that! It appears only when you are not, when you have disappeared. You are just a dream. The dreamer is also part of the dream, and when the dream disappears, the dreamer also disappears. Living in this inner space, you are not afraid about security. Then insecurity is security.

That’s what Alan Watts means when he says ‘the wisdom of insecurity.’ There is only one way to be really secure and that is: don’t have any roof, don’t have any pillars. Just move into the open sky. And then if it rains, let it rain – you will not get wet. You will be the sky; how can you get wet? Then if death comes, let it come – you will not be dying, because how can you die? You were never born. You don’t exist as a thing, as an entity.

Living in insecurity, one is secure. Trying to be secure, one remains insecure. This is the law of reverse effect. If you want something you will miss it – just because you want it. The more you want, the more difficulties you create. And then there is a vicious circle. You want to be secure; you don’t want to die. If you don’t want to die, you will have to die a thousand and one deaths; you will have to die every day. If you don’t want to die, then everything will become a death message; then you will be continuously trembling; and afraid. From everywhere you will see death coming.

And if you forget all about death, and you accept death, then even in death you will not die, even in death you will be a watcher. Death will come and go. You will see it coming, you will see it passing, and you will remain, you will abide. That which abides in you for ever and ever is not an entity – it is a consciousness. It is not a soul, it is awareness, it is pure awareness. And that awareness is part of the universal awareness.

Ikkyu says:

My abiding place

Has no pillars;

It is roofless . . .

It is just the vast open sky . . . no pillars, no roof. It is infinity.

Yet the rain does not wet it,

Nor the wind strike it.

One Zen master was moving with his disciples. They came across a small river – they had to cross it. It was not very deep, a shallow river. They started passing through it. The master had always said to his disciples, “When an enlightened person passes through the river, his feet never become wet.” They were all waiting for an opportunity to see. They were puzzled because his feet were becoming wet. They became very much confused: “Is our master not yet enlightened?”

And just standing in the middle of the river, the master started laughing an uproarious laugh, a belly-laugh, and they asked, “What is the matter?”

He said, “You fools! I had said that the enlightened person’s feet never become wet, and my feet are not becoming wet – and the feet that are becoming wet are not my feet. You need not be confused; you need not look so puzzled and perplexed. This water is not touching me! Nothing can touch me because I am not. This water of the river is not touching the sky, it is not making the sky wet – how can it make me wet? I am part of the sky.”

Yet the rain does not

Wet it, nor the wind strike it.

So when you are communing with a master, remember it – you are communing with somebody who is a nobody; you are communing with something which is not an entity but only a presence. Communing with a master is not communing with a person but with a presence. A person will become wet, but the presence cannot become wet. The presence remains uncontaminated.

That presence is you. One has just to find it out – that’s all. But you have become so much entangled with the ideas about yourself – that you are a Hindu, a Mohammedan, a Christian, a man, a woman, white, black, this and that – you have become so much entangled with identities that you never look inside to see that you are just a pure sky and nothing else. No Hindu exists there, no Mohammedan, no man, no woman, no black, no white. These are all identities.

Think of the one who is identified with these things, think of the inner sky. These are all clouds – Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian, communist, capitalist – these are all clouds. Don’t get too much obsessed with the clouds. Go on remembering the sky.

When it blows,

The mountain wind is boisterous,

But when it blows not,

It simply blows not.

Once seen, this inner nothingness, a person becomes a suchness. This word ‘suchness’ is of infinite value in Buddha’s experience, on Buddha’s path – tathata or suchness. When there is nobody, then what happens? A few things happen . . .

First, if there is nobody, there is nobody to control your life, there is nobody to manipulate, there is nobody to discipline. All control, all discipline, all manipulation disappears. That’s what freedom is – that’s what moksha is. Not something far away in the skies, but something deep inside you right now.

When you are not there, how can you control your life? All control disappears – and with control disappear all kinds of tensions, with control disappears all uptightness, with control disappear all anxieties. You become an open flow, so open that

When it blows,

The mountain wind is boisterous,

But when it blows not,

It simply blows not.

Then whatsoever happens, happens.

A man of Zen is totally different from the man of Yoga, and the distinction has to be understood. The man of Yoga is in tremendous control. The whole methodology of Yoga is how to control yourself, how to control absolutely. The man of Yoga cannot be disturbed because he is in such utter control. The man of Zen cannot be disturbed because there is no control. But the difference is great.

The man of Yoga is not absolutely in control, nobody can be. There are possibilities when he will lose his control. You just have to bring about those possibilities – he will lose control, because all control is relative, it is only up to a certain extent.

Watch your control: if there is a ten rupee note you may not steal it, but ten thousand rupees? Then you feel a little inclined. And ten lakh rupees? Then you start thinking, then the idea seems to be worth thinking about. You start dreaming… ten lakh rupees? And just for once, and people are doing so many sins, you will be doing one and only one. And then you can donate half of the money to the church or to the temple. And it is not so wrong either, because it doesn’t belong to a beggar – it belongs to some very rich person, and it doesn’t matter to him whether he has ten lakh less or more. And in the first place he has exploited people for all this money. Now you are gathering energy to do it! But if it is ten crore rupees? Then you will not think a second time: you will simply grab it and rush.

There is a certain limit to all control; beyond that you will fall. Nobody can be in absolute control, because control is an unnatural thing and nothing unnatural can ever be absolute. Only nature can be absolute. Unnature has to be maintained; it takes energy, conflict, struggle, and when you are controlling yourself, there is somebody inside you who is against it – otherwise what is the point of controlling?

Control always splits you: the one who controls and the one who is being controlled, the top-dog and the bottom-dog. And the bottom-dog waits for its own opportunities. There is constant barking and they go on fighting inside you. And you know it! There are moments when you can control your anger, and there are moments when you cannot. There are moments when you can control anything, and there are moments you cannot control. Sometimes the top-dog is powerful and sometimes the bottom-dog is powerful.

And the conflict continues and the victory is never absolute. Nobody ever wins it because the other remains there, maybe tired, resting, waiting for its time. And whenever one is in control, the other is gaining power by resting. And the one who is in control is losing power by controlling? Because controlling means energy is being lost, dissipated. Sooner or later, the controller becomes weak and the controlled becomes powerful. And this goes on, this is a wheel.

The man of Yoga seems to be in great control, but cannot be in absolute control. He has repressed. All that he has repressed is waiting there underneath him like a volcano – it will erupt. And when it erupts, he will be thrown in fragments.

The man of Zen cannot be disturbed – but the reason is totally different. Not that he is in absolute control: he cannot be disturbed because he is not. And then one thing more has to be understood: because he is not, there is no division. He is just a natural man. But you carry the idea of control from the man of Yoga, and that’s why the natural man has always been misunderstood.

For example:

A master died and his disciple started crying, great tears started coming, sobbing. The disciple was known himself as an enlightened person. Others said, “This is not right – you should not cry, you should not weep. What will people think? Is it right for a man who is enlightened to cry?” And that disciple said. “There is no question of right and wrong – if tears are coming, they are coming. There is nobody to prevent them.”

This is a totally different vision – this is the natural man.

And they said, “But you have been telling us that only the body dies, then why are you crying and weeping for the master’s dead body? Only the body has died and the body was just material. It was going to die – dust unto dust.”

And he said, “What are you talking about? I am not crying for the soul – the soul never dies, okay, so I am not crying for the soul! I am crying for the body, because it was beautiful, so beautiful. I will never be able to see such a beautiful man walk again. I will never hear his voice.”

And they said, “But you should not be attached!”

But he said, “I am not attached! Just a flower has withered away and tears are coming to my eyes – I am not attached. These tears are not out of attachment.”

This is very difficult to understand, because we know only tears which come out of attachment. We have not known natural tears – we have forgotten all that is natural. We know tears of attachment; we don’t know tears of innocence.

A Zen man is a natural man.

When it blows,

The mountain wind is boisterous, . . .

This is the description of a Zen man.

But when it blows not,

It simply blows not.

When he laughs, he laughs. When he cries, he cries. It is a simple phenomenon. Just as birds sing, the Zen master speaks; just as flowers bloom, he lives. But his life has no ulterior motive, no goal. His words are not teachings but assertions of joy – hallelujah! his celebration of being. And that, too, when it happens it happens. When it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen.

There have been Zen masters who talked their whole lives, and there have been Zen masters who never talked. Sometimes it happens that the song is sung in words, and sometimes it happens that the song is sung in silence. But there is nobody to do something. Whatsoever is happening is happening.

This is what is called freedom by Buddha: nobody to control and manipulate, all control disappears – freedom is born. Freedom from the self, the true freedom, Freedom for the self is the pseudo freedom. Yoga tries freedom for the self, and Zen is nothing but freedom from the self. Then one becomes like a tree, like an animal, like a child.

The sage is like a child, not like a yogi, not like a mahatma. The mahatma is trying to control himself continuously, day in, day out – curbing, dropping this, creating that. His whole life is his own effort. And, naturally, the so-called mahatmas look very tired, sad, desperate. Their life has not the quality of joy. They talk about satchitanand, but their life has not the quality of joy.

Zen people have the quality of joy. They don’t talk about satchitanand – they are satchitanand.  They are truth, they are bliss, they are consciousness.

Once Ma Tzu was asked, “Why did Buddha never talk about God?”

Ma Tzu said, “He was so busy living him, that’s why. He didn’t talk about God because he was too busy living him.”

This state is a simple state, a natural state. You cannot brag about it. No child brags about his childhood, no sage can brag about his sagehood – it is the second childhood. He is reborn, the circle is complete. He has seen the world, he has seen the ways of the world, he has seen all the miseries of it, he has become wise. Now desires no longer drag him away from reality. He simply lives. Feeling hungry, he eats; feeling sleepy, he sleeps. He goes on doing the small things of life, but he becomes absolutely a nobody.

Though it has no bridge,

The cloud climbs up to heaven;

It does not ask aid

Of Gautama’s sutras.

And when you become natural, spontaneous, simple, you start rising – of your own accord. You need not ask Gautama Buddha for his help. No help is needed.

Though it has no bridge,

The cloud climbs up to heaven;

It does not ask aid

Of Gautama’s sutras.

There is no need to have any guide. If you are simple, then simplicity is enough. If you are natural, then that naturalness is enough. If you are not natural, you will need the help of a master. And the master is not going to give you anything – he will simply take all that is plastic in you, all that is inauthentic in you.

The master, the real master, simply throws you back to your own utter naturalness. He does not make you an achiever. He does not give you great dreams that you have to become this and you have to become that. He simply says: You relax. You be in a let-go. You be – don’t become.

This is own of the basic messages of Buddha: Be a light unto yourself. If you are not, then you need the help of a master, just for the time being. But what is his help? He throws you back to yourself; he goes on throwing you back to yourself. You would like to cling to the master and he goes on throwing you back.

The real master does not allow you to cling to him. He helps you to uncling, because unclinging is maturity, clinging is childishness. And remember: to be a child is one thing, to be childish is quite another. To be a child means to become a sage; to be childish means to remain clinging, immature.

Ripples appear

On the unaccumulated water

Of the undug well

As the formless, bodiless man

Draws water from it.

And this is the constant refrain of Buddha, that all is dream. Nothing has ever happened, and nothing is ever going to happen. But the mind lives in hope and through hope; it goes on thinking that something is going to happen. Nothing has ever happened, nothing is ever going to happen. All is. Hence the master reminded the disciple about the breakfast.

All is. You have to be reminded constantly of it, because you go on rushing away from it. All going is dreaming – whether you are going for money or for God does not matter. Whether you think of the body or of the soul does not matter. Whether you want to become very rich, very famous, or enlightened, doesn’t matter. All is dream. Becoming is dream.

Look into that which you are, and don’t go on looking for that which you would like to be. Hope is the secret of the mind; the mind lives through hope, nourishes itself on hope. Once you stop hoping, once you relax and you just let hopes disappear, suddenly you are awakened to the truth – the truth of your being, the truth of the whole existence.

Ripples appear

On the unaccumulated water

Of the undug well . . .

Such is your life. Have you not seen in your dreams again and again? A lake is there and ripples appear, and a boat, and you are travelling in the boat – and there is no lake and no ripples and no boat and no traveller either. And in the morning you find yourself just lying in your bed – there has been no lake, no water, no boat, nothing. But all had appeared.

The mind:

Since there is really

No such thing as mind

And now comes one of the most significant sutras, and only those who have followed the sutras up to now will be able to understand it. Now Ikkyu hits hard. He says:

The mind:

Since there is really

No such thing as mind . . .

because mind means nothing but all the processes of dreaming. You call a mind a materialist mind because he dreams of money; and you call a mind a spiritualist mind because he dreams of satoris – but mind is dreaming, mind lives in dreams. It thinks of the faraway, of the distant. It lives in imagination and in memory; both are part of imagination. It never comes to reality; reality is too much for it. Facing, encountering reality it melts and disappears just like dewdrops disappear in the morning sun. Whenever the mind comes to herenow, to the breakfast, suddenly it evaporates.

Try it: taking your breakfast, just take the breakfast and don’t think of God and the Devil and money and the woman and the man, and love and a thousand other things – don’t think. Just take the breakfast, just be there, totally there – in it. Don’t go here and there. Utterly present. And where is the mind? You will not find the mind.

Mind has never been found. Those who have looked, they have always found there is no mind.

The mind:

Since there is really

No such thing as mind,

With what enlightenment

Shall it be enlightened?

And then the question arises: If there is no mind, then why this talk about enlightenment? If there is no mind there – there is nothing to become enlightened, nobody to become enlightened. If there is no mind, no illusion, then how to get out of the illusion? If there is no mind, then how to become something which is beyond mind? If mind exists not, then what is the point of saying that one has to attain to no-mind?

Mind in itself is not . . . one cannot talk about enlightenment any more. But in fact, this is enlightenment. Enlightenment is not getting out of the mind: enlightenment is seeing that the mind exists not – then you are suddenly enlightened. Then you are a Buddha.

There is the well-known incident about the Confucian scholar seeking enlightenment from a Zen master. The student constantly complained that the master’s account was somehow incomplete, that the master was withholding some vital clue. The master assured him that he was withholding nothing from him. The student insisted that there was something the master was withholding from him. The master insisted that he was not withholding anything from him.

Later on, the two went for a walk along the mountain path. Suddenly the master said, “Do you smell the mountain laurels?”

The student said, “Yes!”

The master said, “See! I am not withholding anything from you.”

A strange story, but of tremendous import. What is the master saying? The smell of the laurels . . .  He says to the disciple, “Do you smell the mountain laurels?” They always bring you to the immediate: to the breakfast: to the mountain laurels. They don’t bother about philosophical things.

And the disciple smells and he says, “Yes!”

And the master says, “See! I am not withholding anything from you. Just as you can smell the mountain laurels, so you can smell Buddhahood right now, this very moment. It is in the mountain laurels. It is on this mountain path. It is in the birds; it is in the sun. It is in me; it is in you. What keys and clues are you talking about? What secrets are you talking about?”

Zen has no secrets it is said. Zen is all openness. Zen is not a fist: it is an open hand. It has no esoteric ideology. It is down-to-earth, very earthly, very simple. If you miss, that simply shows that you have a very complex mind. If you miss, that simply means that you have been looking for complex ideologies, and Zen simply drags you back to reality, to the breakfast, to the mountain laurels. To this bird calling. This is Buddha calling! To this utter silence – this is Buddha present.

This communion between me and you. This moment when I am not and you are not. All is open, all is available.[…]

All is one. Nothing is separate. We are not island. So the stones and the stars, all are joined together.

And everything is joined in this moment, is participating in this moment. If you become just this moment, all is attained. There is no other enlightenment.

Zen is a way back home – and the simplest way and the most natural way.

-Osho

From Take It Easy, Discourse #9

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.

Life is an Occasion for Meditation – Osho

The essential teaching of Gautam the Buddha is not a teaching at all, but an awakening.

A way to become more aware. He does not give you a doctrine about existence, but he gives you a methodology to see that which is. He is not concerned with God; he is not concerned with the other world beyond. His whole concern is you – the awareness within.

Hence Buddha has been misunderstood by almost everybody. The religious people have not been able to understand him because he does not talk about God. They have not been able to appreciate him because he does not talk about the other world. And all the religions have depended on the other world. They are against this world and for some illusory world somewhere there in the future – beyond this life, beyond this body, beyond this moment. Their whole world is a fantasy world. They persuade people to sacrifice the real for the unreal, they persuade people to sacrifice that which is for that which is not yet and may not ever be. They persuade people to sacrifice the present for the future – how can they understand Buddha? Because he does not talk about the other world at all. He is not an other-worldly one.

But he has not satisfied the materialists either, the atheists either. Because they think this is all that there is – eat, drink, be merry. And Buddha says: This is not all that there is. You are living only on the surface of things. There is a depth to things – but that depth can be known, fathomed, only if depth to you go deeper into your own being, into your own consciousness.

The more conscious you are, the more intensely you live. The more conscious you are, the more reality becomes available to you. You earn reality only through being conscious. When one is absolutely conscious, one is absolutely real.

Naturally, the materialists, the this-worldly people, cannot agree with Buddha, because they say, “This is all. The surface is all, the outside is all, there is no inside to it.”

So nobody is agreeing with him. The religious don’t agree, the irreligious don’t agree. His approach is a very radical approach – it is against the worldly, it is against the other-worldly. He brings a new light; he brings a new understanding. That understanding he calls ‘mindfulness’.

You have to understand this word ‘mindfulness’. If you can understand this single word ‘mindfulness’ you will have understood Buddha’s whole being, his whole approach. And he is one of those who have known. If you want to ask anybody, ask a man like Buddha.

But his approach is a methodology, not a doctrine. It is a way of life. People live like robots, they live mechanically. Buddha says: Live non-mechanically. Each of your acts has to be luminous with awareness. And then each act starts revealing reality to you.

And he does not make any distinction between the profane and the sacred – there is none. The profane is the sacred, if you live it consciously.

Just going for a morning walk – if you can walk consciously, this is prayer. There is no need to go to any church. Prayer has no relationship with a church or a temple, prayer has something to do with your quality of awareness. You can do a thing prayerfully, and the thing may be anything, cleaning the floor, cooking the food, washing the clothes, taking a bath, going to sleep.

It reminds me of one of the most beautiful stories about Buddha’s closest disciple, Ananda. Ananda lived with Buddha for forty years – and he lived like a shadow. He never left Buddha for a single moment, not even in the night; he would sleep in the same room where Buddha was sleeping. He had taken a promise from Buddha…

When Buddha became enlightened, Ananda came to him to be initiated. He was a cousin brother of Buddha and older than Buddha. He asked Buddha, “I am your elder brother. Once I am initiated, I will be your disciple. Then whatsoever you say, I will have to do – then I cannot say no.

That is the meaning of disciplehood – a person decides, “Now I will say yes to my master, whatsoever he says. If he says ’Jump and kill yourself’ I will jump and kill myself.” Surrendering the no is the secret of disciplehood.

So Ananda said, “I am going to be your disciple. Before I become your disciple, as your elder brother I want one promise. Right now I am your elder brother and I can order you” – the old Indian tradition – “you are my younger brother and I can say this to you. You have to give me this promise, that you will never tell me to leave you. I will stay with you; wherever you go I will be with you. I will follow you like a shadow, I will serve you like a shadow. Even in the night I will be sleeping just by your side, continuously ready to serve you.”

Buddha promised. And Ananda lived with Buddha for forty years. No other disciple lived so close. But because he was so close, he started taking Buddha for granted – naturally. He was so close, he started forgetting Buddha. He was so close that he never tried what Buddha was saying. And the day came when Buddha dropped his body…

Many who had come after Ananda had become enlightened. Ananda was not yet enlightened. He wept bitterly. His misery was great; there was no consolation. Now suddenly he became aware that forty years had been a wastage. “I lived with this man – a rare opportunity, very rare. To find a Buddha is rare, and to live with a Buddha for forty years continuously – it has not happened before, it may not happen again. Forty years in a long time. And still I have missed.”

He stopped eating food, he stopped all kinds of other activities. He decided to become enlightened before it was too late – it was already late. Day and night, he was trying to be aware…

And a great council was going to be arranged soon – all the enlightened disciples were going to gather together to collect the sayings of Buddha. Ananda was not invited. And he was the most reliable source, obviously – nobody had lived with Buddha so long, nobody had as much information as he had. Nobody had listened to Buddha so much – morning and evening, day and night, he was always there, just watching. Whatsoever Buddha had said, he had heard it. And he had a miraculous memory, absolute memory – he had the power of absolute recall. But still he was not invited to the council.

It was not possible to invite him. He had known Buddha, his word was reliable, his memory was perfect – but he had no inner validity. He himself was not yet a Buddha. Yes, to collect facts he was the right person. But what about truth? And facts and truths are different dimensions. A fact may be a fact and yet may not be true. And a truth may be true, yet may not be a fact.

Truth is not the sum total of all the facts – truth is something more. Facts are mundane, superficial.  Truths are not on the surface, they are inner. Ananda could say everything factual, but he had no inner validity. He himself was not a witness. So even those who had not lived with Buddha were called to the council, but not Ananda.

He worked hard, he staked all. Each moment he was trying to be aware, alert, mindful.

And the last night came – tomorrow morning the council was going to gather. Ananda was going mad: it had not happened yet. He was becoming more and more tense and he was putting in all that one could put, all that was humanly possible. He was ready to die for it.

The middle of the night had come and nothing had happened yet. And he was driving himself crazy. For days he had not eaten, he had not slept, he had not taken a bath – there was no time to waste. One o’clock, two o’clock, three o’clock, four o’clock in the morning… and he was just on the verge of either going mad or becoming enlightened. It looked more like madness: he was exploding, he was falling apart.

Then suddenly he remembered, Buddha had always said: Be aware, but in a relaxed way. Be aware, but without any tension. Attention without any tension. Calm and quiet. Alert, but with no strain.

That memory came in the right moment – he relaxed. He was so tired, dead tired, that he went to bed. When he was just going to put his head on the pillow – fully aware, relaxed – he became enlightened. The moment his head touched the pillow, he became enlightened.

He slept, for the first time in his whole life, a different kind of sleep. He was asleep as far as the body was concerned, but his inner light was aflame. Deep within his being, he was alert and aware.

Morning came, and he was still asleep. Other monks came to see whether he had been able to make it. They looked in the room, and it had the same fragrance as that of Buddha – the same luminosity, the same grace and grandeur. And Ananda was fast asleep but his face had the light, the light that comes from within. Even in his sleep he was mindful. There was grace, there was a silence surrounding the room, there was a new space.

He was invited immediately. He asked the other monks, “Why? What has happened now? Why were you not asking me to come to the council?” And they said, “Just one day ago, your memory was just the memory of the outside of things. Now you know from the inside – you yourself have become a Buddha.

Buddhahood means when you become so alert that even in your sleep the alertness continues as an undercurrent. Even when you die, you die fully alert – now there is no way to lose your alertness, your alertness has become your nature.

This is the essential message of Buddha. And unless you understand this, you will miss all the sutras of Ikkyu. Many have commented on the sutras, and particularly the Western commentators go on missing the point – because they think what the sutra is saying is a philosophy. The best commentator is R. H. Blyth – but even he misses, because he also seems to have no inner validity. He thinks these sutras are pessimistic. They are not. Pessimism has nothing to do with Buddha. They look pessimistic because they go against your so-called optimism.

Buddha does not give you any hope. But his message is not that of hopelessness. He takes away hope, and with hope he takes away hopelessness too. That is very difficult to understand, unless you have an inner validity. He destroys all optimism, but remember, he is not a pessimist. Once there is no optimism, how can there be pessimism? – they go together. His vision of life is not dismal, but it looks dismal to people.

Even R. H. Blyth, who is the most perceptive commentator from the West on Ikkyu’s sutras, goes on missing the point. He goes on showing where Buddha is wrong, he goes on saying where Ikkyu is morbid.

If you look at the sutras themselves, without making any effort to be mindful, you will miss the whole point. These sutras are just a device to make you mindful.

Buddha gave an example of just how mindful we should be. He told of a person who was ordered to walk through a very crowded marketplace with a water jug, full to the brim, balanced on his head. Behind him walked a soldier with a big sword. If a single drop of that water were to fall, the soldier would cut off his head. Assuredly, the person with the jug walked pretty mindfully. But it has to be mindful in an easy way. If there is too much forcing or strain, the least jostling will cause the water to spill. The person with the jug has to be loose and rhythmic, flowing with the changing scene, yet staying very attentive in each moment.

That is the kind of care we should take in developing awareness: a relaxed alertness.

These two words look diametrically opposite – they are. Because whenever you are relaxed you lose alertness, and whenever you are alert you lose relaxedness. And unless they both happen together you will go on missing Buddha’s message. It is a very strange message – it wants you to bring this polarity together. It is the highest synthesis of human consciousness: one polarity is relaxedness, another polarity is alertness, attentiveness.

If you are only attentive then sooner or later you will be tired of it. You cannot be attentive for twenty-four hours; you will need holidays. You will need alcohol, drugs, to drop out of that attentiveness.

That’s what is happening in the West. People have become more attentive; attentiveness has been cultivated. The whole educational mechanism forces you to become more attentive. Those who are more attentive succeed, those who are less attentive fail. It is a very competitive world – if you want to succeed you have to be very attentive. But then it tires you. Then the tension becomes heavy on the head, then it drives you neurotic. Then madness becomes a very, very natural by-product of it.

Many more people go neurotic in the West than in the East. The reason is clear: in the West, attentiveness has been practiced, down through the ages. It has paid much. The technology, the scientific progress, affluence – all that has come through being attentive. In the East, people have remained in a relaxed state. But if you are relaxed without being attentive, it becomes lethargy. It becomes passivity, it becomes a kind of dullness. Hence the East has remained poor, unscientific, non-technological, starving.

If Buddha’s message is rightly understood, there will be a meeting of East and West. In Buddha, both can meet. His message is of relaxed attentiveness. You have to be very very relaxed, and yet alert. And there is no problem; it is possible.

And I say it to you from an inner validity: It is possible. And only this possibility will make you a whole man, a holy man. Otherwise you will remain half – and a half man is always miserable, in one way or other. The West is miserable spiritually, the East is miserable materially. And man needs both – man needs a richness of the inner and the outer, both.

With Buddha, a new age can dawn. And the secret is simple: learn relaxed awareness. When you are trying to be attentive, simultaneously keep in mind that the body should not become tense. It should be relaxed, loose, in a kind of let-go.

I like this story of Ananda becoming enlightened when his head touched the pillow. You cannot find a better place to become enlightened. Remember it.

And Buddha has not given you any objects to meditate upon. He has not told you to meditate on God, he has not told you to meditate on a mantra, he has not told you to meditate on an image. He has told you to do the small things of life with a relaxed awareness. When you are eating, eat totally – chew totally, taste totally, smell totally. Touch your bread, feel the texture. Smell the bread, smell the flavour. Chew it, let it dissolve into your being, and remain conscious – and you are meditating. And then meditation is not separate from life.

And whenever meditation is separate from life, something is wrong. It becomes life-negative. Then one starts thinking of going to a monastery or to a Himalayan cave. Then one wants to escape from life, because life seems to be a distraction from meditation.

Life is not a distraction; life is an occasion for meditation.

Walking, just be watchful of the breath going in, the breath going out. You are putting one of your feet ahead: watch, feel it from within. You are touching the earth: feel the touch of the earth. And the birds are singing and the sun is rising… One has to be multi-dimensionally sensitive. This will help your intelligence to grow; this will make you more brilliant, sharp, alive. And religion should make you more alive, more sensitive. Because life is God, and there is no other God.

Buddha would have agreed with Toscanini…

On Toscanini’s eightieth birthday, someone asked his son what his father ranked as his most important achievement. The son replied, “For him, there can be no such thing. Whatever he happens to be doing at the moment is the biggest thing in his life – whether he is conducting a symphony or peeling an orange.”

Peel an orange as if you are conducting a symphony, and you will be coming closer and closer to Buddha. Peel an orange as if you are painting the greatest painting in the world – with that alertness, with that care, with that love, with that totality. Peel an orange and be multi-dimensionally aware of it – the smell that is coming from it, the feel, the touch, the taste. Then a small orange, an ordinary orange, is transformed – transformed by the quality of the consciousness that you bring to it.

And if life can be lived in this way then religion is not life-negative – it affirms. It does not take you away from life – it takes you into it, to the deepest core of it. It takes you into its mysteries.

That’s my approach too. And any religion that has to be maintained separate from life – a prayer that you have to do in the temple, and a meditation that you can do only in a Himalayan cave – is not worth much, because you cannot do it for twenty-four hours. Even the man who lives in a Himalayan cave will have to go to beg for his food, will have to collect wood for the winter that is coming, will have to protect himself because the rain is there, will have to think of something because in the night the wild animals are there. Even in that cave he will have to do a thousand and one things. You cannot simply meditate for twenty-four hours; it is not possible.

But Buddha makes it possible. He says: Don’t separate meditation from life – let them be together. Turn each opportunity of life into meditation. Do it fully aware, alert, watchful, witnessing.

A disciple had come to see Ikkyu, his master. The disciple had been practicing for some time. It was raining, and as he went in, he left his shoes and umbrella outside. After he paid his respects, the master asked him on which side of his shoes he had left his umbrella.

Now, what kind of question…? You don’t expect masters to ask such nonsense questions – you expect them to ask about God, about kundalini rising, chakras opening, lights happening in your head. You ask about such great things – occult, esoteric.

But Ikkyu asked a very ordinary question. No Christian saint would have asked it, no Jain monk would have asked it, no Hindu swami would have asked it. It can be done only by one who is really with the Buddha, in the Buddha – who is really a Buddha. The master asked him on which side of his shoes he had left his umbrella. Now, what do shoes and umbrellas have to do with spirituality?

If the same question was asked to you, you would have felt annoyed. You would have felt that this man is no master at all. What kind of question is this? What philosophy can there be in it?

But there is something immensely valuable in it. Had he asked about God, about your kundalini and chakras, that would have been nonsense, utterly meaningless. But this has meaning. The disciple could not remember – who bothers where you have put your shoes and on which side you have put your umbrella, to the right or to the left. Who bothers? Who pays so much attention to umbrellas? Who thinks of shoes? Who is so careful?

But that was enough – the disciple was refused. Ikkyu said, “Then go and meditate for seven years more.”

“Seven years?” the disciple said. “Just for this small fault?

Ikkyu said, “This is not a small fault. Faults are not small or big – you are just not yet living meditatively, that’s all. Go back, meditate for seven years more, and come again.”

This is the essential message of Buddhism: Be careful, careful of everything. And don’t make any distinction between things, that this is trivia and that is very very spiritual. It depends on you. Pay attention, be careful, and everything becomes spiritual. Don’t pay attention, don’t be careful, and everything becomes unspiritual.

Spirituality is imparted by you, it is your gift to the world. When a master like Ikkyu touches his umbrella, the umbrella is as divine as anything can be. And if you touch even God, God will become trivia. It depends on your touch.

Meditative energy is alchemical. It transforms the baser metal into gold; it goes on transforming the baser into the higher. The more meditative you become, the more you see God everywhere. At the ultimate peak, everything is divine. This very world is the paradise, and this very body the Buddha.

-Osho

From Take It Easy, Discourse #26

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.

A Mirror without Dust – Osho

Today you said that the way to enlightenment is long and arduous, and also that it is here and now, now or never. As it is here-now, how can it be long and arduous?

That’s why it is long and arduous – because you are not here-now. You are far away from here now. You will have to come, you will have to journey.

When I say truth is not far away, I mean truth is here-now – I don’t mean you are not far away from truth. You are far away from truth. Truth is not far away from you, God cannot be far away from you. God exists in you as you. God exists as eternity, not as past or future. God simply is. How can God be far away? There is no place for him to be far away. He is all over the place. He is everywhere… in your breathing, in your heartbeat. But you are not here.

God has not gone away: you have gone away from him.

You have to understand this. For example, in the night you sleep and you dream – you dream you have gone to the moon. You are here, but the dream has taken you far away. In the morning when you awake, you will not find yourself on the moon – you will be here in Poona. But in the dream you were far away from your reality. You have to come back from your dreams… and the journey is arduous because you have invested so much in those dreams, and you are hoping to gain so much from those dreams, and you have lived in those dreams for so long that they have become reality, your reality.

The East calls this dreaming state of mind maya – illusion. And then you can go on searching for God in your illusions and you will not find him. You have to awake. And to be awake is arduous because a thousand and one dreams will be shattered. And in those dreams all your joys, all your so-called successes, ambitions, are involved. Your whole ego is involved. The ego will be shattered.

You are here but the ego has gone to the moon – and the ego can only live through dreams, it can only live through illusions. It is nourished by illusions. The more illusions you have, the more grandiose an ego you have. The greater your illusions, the bigger your ego. It is very difficult to renounce those dreams.

In the East this is called sannyas: to renounce those dreams. When it is said, “Renounce the world,” it is not meant the actual world – the wife, the husband, the children, the house, the marketplace.  No, not at all. What is really meant is this dream world in which you go on constantly moving away from yourself and away from reality. Renounce the dreams! And that is arduous.

Now, let me read your question again:

Today you said that the way to enlightenment is long and arduous, and also that it is here and now, now or never. As it is here-now, how can it be long and arduous?

That’s why. You are not to go anywhere, you have to come here! You have already gone somewhere. You have moved away from your innermost core. You never come home. And God exists there, but you keep God at your back. Your eyes are roaming far away in distant stars; they never come back. From one star to another you go on hopping. Your mind is a vagabond.

So it is arduous and yet it is easy. The contradiction is only apparent. It is arduous because of you: it is easy because of God. If you think of God you can take it very easily, you can relax. If you depend on yourself, it is very arduous.

That’s why I say if you depend on yourself, if you depend on your effort, you may never come back – because it is through effort that you have gone away. You have to surrender. In that very surrendering, grace descends.

And what can you surrender? What have you got? Why are you so afraid of surrendering? You have got only dreams and nothing else, just soap-bubbles.

Surrender your dreams and the truth is here-now. That’s why I say now or never — because existence always exists in the now, and the mind exists in the then. Existence is here and the mind is always there, and they never meet. Here and there never meet; now and then never meet. Just look deep down in your mind: it is very rare to come across a contemporary.

Somebody is living five thousand years back; he is still part of the days of Rig Veda. He is still reading Rig Veda. He is still following the Vedic ritual. Five thousand year have passed, but he has not come here, now. He lives there – in the dead, in the gone, in the memory.

Why do you call yourself a Hindu or a Christian, or a Mohammedan or a Jain? To call yourself these things simply means you cling to the past. These are names that come from the past. Here-now you are only a consciousness, neither Hindu, nor Mohammedan, nor Christian. If you get entangled with the past, you are a Hindu, or a Brahmin or a Sudra. Or there are a few other people who think they are very progressive: communists, socialists. They are involved in the future, hence they think they are very progressive. But to be in the past is to be as far away from the present as to be in the future. It makes no difference.

There are two kinds of mind in the world. One: involved with the past, the orthodox mind; and the other: involved in the future, the so-called revolutionary mind — but both are minds. The orthodox thinks the golden age has passed, the Ram-Rajya has passed. And the revolutionary, the so-called revolutionary, thinks the golden age has to come, the Utopia has yet to happen. His eyes are there on the distant future. But there is no difference between these two; they are the same kind of people. Both are avoiding the present, both are escaping from the present, both are denying reality. So a communist or a Mohammedan, a socialist or a Hindu, to me are all in the same boat — the boat of time.

Whom do I call religious? The man who is not more in the boat of time, who starts living in eternity, who lives in the now, who has no past and no future. Who does not go to the Rig Veda and who does not go to Das Kapita — who simply goes in himself. Who looks at the sun that is there on the horizon, and who listens to the birds that are singing right now, who looks at the trees that are blooming. Just see that quality of being; here, that collectedness, that integrity, that centering I call religiousness.

Religion does not mean affiliation. Religion means being in reality without any dreams. Dreams come either from the past or from the future. A religious man is an empty man, a hollow bamboo. He allows the reality to live through him, he flows with it. He has no goals, he is not going anywhere. He is just being here, as God is just being here… hence the meeting.

That’s why I say now or never. Now is eternity. By ‘never’ I am denying time: I am saying you will not find God in time.

The present is not part of time that has to be remembered. Ordinarily you have been taught that time has three tenses: past, present, future. That is absolutely wrong. It has no understanding about time. Time has only two tenses — past and future. The present is not part of time: the present is part of eternity. The present is that which abides, which is always. To relax into it is meditation, or call it prayer. And to know it is celebration. Infinite joy starts showering on you, great benediction descends — because with the past and the future all worries disappear, all dreams disappear.

That’s what Ikkyu means when he says the original mind is clean, clean of all ideas. It is a mirror without dust. It simply mirrors that which is.

-Osho

From Take It Easy, 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.

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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