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ANCIENT MUSIC IN THE PINES

Chapter 7: The Proper State of Mind

 

Energy Enhancement         Enlightened Texts         Zen        Ancient music in the pines

 

WHEN WOLVES WERE DISCOVERED IN THE VILLAGE NEAR MASTER SHOJU'S TEMPLE, SHOJU ENTERED THE GRAVEYARD NIGHTLY FOR ONE WEEK AND SAT IN ZAZEN. THIS PUT A STOP TO THE WOLVES' PROWLING.

OVERJOYED, THE VILLAGERS ASKED HIM TO DESCRIBE THE SECRET RITES HE HAD PERFORMED.
'I DIDN'T HAVE TO RESORT TO SUCH THINGS,' HE SAID, 'NOR COULD I HAVE DONE SO. WHILE I WAS IN ZAZEN A NUMBER OF WOLVES GATHERED ROUND ME, LICKING THE TIP OF MY NOSE, AND SNIFFING MY WINDPIPE, BUT BECAUSE I REMAINED IN THE RIGHT STATE OF MIND, I WASN'T BITTEN.

AS I KEEP PREACHING TO YOU, THE PROPER STATE OF MIND WILL MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR YOU TO BE FREE IN LIFE AND DEATH, INVULNERABLE TO FIRE AND WATER. EVEN WOLVES ARE POWERLESS AGAINST IT. I SIMPLY PRACTICE WHAT I PREACH.'

WHAT is meditation? Is it a technique that can be practiced? Is it an effort that you have to do? Is it something which the mind can achieve? It is not.
All that the mind can do cannot be meditation -- it is something beyond the mind, the mind is absolutely helpless there. The mind cannot penetrate meditation; where mind ends, meditation begins. This has to be remembered, because in our life, whatsoever we do, we do through the mind; whatsoever we achieve, we achieve through the mind. And then, when we turn inwards, we again start thinking in terms of techniques, methods, doings, because the whole of life's experience shows us that everything can be done by the mind. Yes. Except meditation, everything can be done by the mind; everything is done by the mind except meditation. Because meditation is not an achievement -- it is already the case, it is your nature.. It has not to be achieved; it has only to be recognized, it has only to be remembered. It is there waiting for you -- just a turning in, and it is available. You have been carrying it always and always.
Meditation is your intrinsic nature -- it is you, it is your being, it has nothing to do with your doings. You cannot have it, you cannot not have it, it cannot be possessed. It is not a thing. It is you. It is your being.
Once you understand what meditation is things become very clear. Otherwise, you can go on groping in the dark.
Meditation is a state of clarity, not a state of mind. Mind is confusion. Mind is never clear. It cannot be. Thoughts create clouds around you -- they are subtle clouds. A mist is created by them, and the clarity is lost. When thoughts disappear, when there are no more clouds around you, when you are in your simple beingness, clarity happens. Then you can see far away; then you can see to the very end of existence; then your gaze becomes penetrating -- to the very core of being.
Meditation is clarity, absolute clarity, of vision. You cannot think about it. You have to drop thinking. When I say, 'You have to drop thinking,' don't conclude in a hurry, because I have to use language. So I say, 'Drop thinking,' but if you start dropping, you will miss, because again you will reduce it to a doing.
'Drop thinking' simply means: don't do anything. Sit. Let thoughts settle themselves. Let mind drop on its own accord. You just sit gazing at the wall, in a silent corner, not doing anything at all. Relaxed. Loose. With no effort. Not going, anywhere. As if you are falling asleep awake -- you are awake and you are relaxing but the whole body is falling into sleep. You remain alert inside but the whole body moves into deep relaxation.
Thoughts settle on their own accord, you need not jump amongst them, you need not try to put them right. It is as if a stream has become muddy...what do you do? Do you jump in it and start helping the stream to become clear You will make it more muddy. You simply sit on the bank. You wait. There is nothing to be done. Because whatsoever you do will make the stream more muddy If somebody has passed through a stream and the dead leaves have surfaced and the mud has arisen, just patience is needed. You simply sit on the bank. Watch, indifferently. And as the stream goes on flowing, the dead leaves will be taken away, and the mud will start settling because it cannot hang forever
After a while, suddenly you will become aware -- the stream is crystal-clear again.
Whenever a desire passes through your mind the stream becomes muddy. So just sit. Don't try to do anything. In Japan this 'just sitting' is called zazen; just sitting and doing nothing. And one day, meditation happens. Not that you bring it to you; it comes to you. And when it comes, you immediately recognize it; it has been always there but you were not looking in the right direction. The treasure has been with you but you were occupied somewhere else: in thoughts, in desires, in a thousand and one things. You were not interested in the only one thing... and that was your own being.
When energy turns in -- what Buddha calls PARABVRUTTI: the coming back of your energy to the source -- suddenly clarity is attained. Then you can see clouds a thousand miles away, and you can hear ancient music in the pines. Then everything is available to you.
Before we enter this beautiful Zen story, a few things about the mind have to be understood. Because the more you understand the mechanism of the mind, the more the possibility is that you will not interfere. The more you understand how the mind functions, the more the possibility is that you will be able to sit in zazen; that you will be able just to sit, sit and do nothing; that you will be able to allow meditation to happen. It is a happening.
But the understanding of the mind will be helpful, otherwise you may go on doing something which helps the mind to continue to function, which goes on giving cooperation to the mind.
The first thing about the mind is that it is a constant chattering. Whether you are talking or not, it goes on doing some inner talk; whether you are awake or asleep the inner talk continues as an undercurrent. You may be doing some work but the inner talk continues; you are driving, or you are digging a hole in the garden, but the inner talk continues.
The mind is constantly talking. If the inner talk can drop even for a single moment you will be able to have a glimpse of no-mind. That's what meditation is all about. The state of no-mind is the right state. It is your state.
But how to come to an interval where the mind stops the inner chattering? If you try, again you will miss. But there is no need to try. In fact the interval is continuously happening -- just a little alertness is needed. Between two thoughts there is an interval; between two words even, there is a gap. Otherwise the words will run into each other; otherwise thoughts will overlap each other. They don't overlap.
Whatsoever you say.... You say, 'A rose is a rose is a rose.' Between two words there is a gap; between 'a' and 'rose' there is a gap, howsoever small, howsoever invisible, howsoever non-perceptible. But the gap is there, otherwise, 'a' will run into 'rose'. With just a little alertness, just a little watchfulness, you can see the gap: a-rose-is-a-rose-is-a-rose. The gap is continuously occurring; after each word the gap is recurring.
The gestalt has to be changed. Ordinarily you look at the words, you don't look at the gaps. You look at the 'a', you look at the 'rose', but you don't look at the gap between the two. Change your attention. Have you seen children's books? There are many pictures which you can look at in two ways: if you look one way there is an old woman, but if you go on looking, suddenly the picture changes and a young beautiful woman can be seen. The same lines make both faces -- of an old woman and a young woman. If you go on looking at the young face, again it changes, because the mind cannot remain constant at anything -- it is a flux. And if you go on looking again at the old face, it will change back to a young face.
One thing you will notice: when you see the old face, you cannot see the young face though you know it is hidden somewhere -- you have known it, you have seen it. And when you see the young face, the old face cannot be seen; it disappears although you know it is there.
You cannot see both together. They are contradictory. They cannot be seen together. When you see the figure, the background disappears; when you see the background, the figure disappears. Mind has a limited capacity to know -- it cannot know the contradictory. That s why it cannot know God -- God is contradictory; that s why it cannot know the innermost core of your being -- it is contradictory. it comprehends all contradictions, it is paradoxical.
The mind can see only one thing at a time. and the opposite is not possible at the same time. When you see the opposite. the first disappears. The mind goes on looking at the words so it cannot see the silences that come after each word. Change the focus. Just sitting silently. start looking in the gaps. Not with effort, no need to strain. Relaxed -- just easy -- in a playful mood -- just as fun. No need to be religious about it otherwise you become serious, and once you become serious it is very difficult to move from words to no-words. It is very easy if you remain loose, flowing, non-serious, playful -- as if it is just a fun.
Millions of people miss meditation because meditation has taken on a wrong connotation. It looks very serious, looks gloomy, has something of the church in it, looks as if it is only for people who are dead, or almost dead, who are gloomy, serious, have long faces, who have lost festivity, fun, playfulness, celebration. These are the qualities of meditation. A really meditative person is playful: life is fun for him, life is a LEELA, a play. He enjoys it tremendously. He is not serious. He is relaxed.
Sit silently, relaxed, loose, and just allow your attention to flow towards the gaps. Slip from the edges of words into the intervals. Let intervals become more prominent and allow words to fade away. It is just as if you are looking at a blackboard, and I put a small white dot on it: you can see either the dot, then the blackboard goes far away. or you can see the blackboard, then the dot becomes secondary, a shadow phenomenon. You can go on changing your attention between the figure and the background.
Words are figures; silence is the background. Words come and go; silence remains. When you were born you were born as a silence -- just intervals and intervals, gaps and gaps. Infinite emptiness you came with, unbounded emptiness you brought with you in life -- then you started collecting words.
That's why if you go back in your memory, if you try to remember, you cannot go past the age of four. Because before the age of four you were almost empty; words started collecting in your memory after the age of four. Memory can function only where words function, emptiness leaves no trace on you. That's why when you go back and you try to remember, you can remember, at the most, the age of four. Or, if you were very intelligent, then your remembering can go back to the age of three. But there comes a point where suddenly there is no memory. Up to that time you were an emptiness -- pure, virgin, uncorrupted by words. You were pure sky. The day you die, again your words will drop and scatter; you will move into another world or into another life again with your emptiness.
Emptiness is your self.
I have heard that Shankara used to tell the following story of a pupil who kept asking his Master about the nature of the ultimate self. Each time the question came, the Master would turn a deaf ear -- until finally he turned on his pupil one day and said, 'I am teaching you, but you do not follow. The self is silence.'
Mind means words; self means silence. Mind is nothing but all the words that you have accumulated; silence is that which has always been with you, it is not an accumulation. That is the meaning of self. It is your intrinsic quality. On the background of silence you go on accumulating words, and the words in total are known as the mind. Silence is meditation. It is a question of changing the gestalt, shifting the attention from words into silence -- which is always there.
Each word is like a precipice: you can take a jump into the valley of silence. From each word you can slip into silence... that is the use of a mantra. Mantra means repeating a single word again and again and again. When you repeat a single word again and again and again, you get bored with that word because the novelty is lost. You get fed up with that word, you want to get rid of that word. Boredom helps. It helps you to get rid of the word -- now you can slip more easily into silence.
The silence is always there by the corner. If you go on repeating Ram, Ram, Ram... how long can you repeat it? Sooner or later you feel fed up, bored. The use of a mantra to create such boredom that you want to get rid of it, is beautiful, because then there is no other way than to slip into silence. Leave the word behind and move into the gap; use the word as a jumping-board and jump into the abyss.
If words change -- ordinarily they do change, of course -- you are never fed up. A new word is always attractive; a new idea is always attractive; a new dream, a new desire, is always attractive. But if you can see that the mind is simply repeating the same thing again and again and again, either you fall asleep or you jump into silence -- these two are the possibilities. And I know that most people who chant mantras fall into sleep That too is a possibility which we have known for centuries. Mothers know it well. When a child is not falling asleep, they do a mantra -- they call it a lullaby. They repeat just two or three words in a monotonous tone and the child starts feeling sleepy. Go on repeating and the child gets bored, and he cannot escape, he cannot go anywhere, so the only escape is into sleep. He says, 'Go on repeating. I am going to sleep!' And he falls asleep.
Many chanters of mantras fall asleep -- hence the use of Transcendental Meditation for people who suffer from sleeplessness, hence its appeal in America. Insomnia has become a normal thing. The more insomnia is there, the more will be the appeal of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, because people need some tranquilizers. A mantra is a prefect tranquilizer, but that is not its real use. There is nothing wrong in it -- if it gives you good sleep, good, but that is not its real use.
It is as if you are using an airplane like a bullock-cart. You can use it. You can put the airplane behind bullocks, and use it as a bullock-cart -- nothing wrong in it, it will serve a little purpose, but that is not its use. You could soar very high with it.
A mantra has to be used with full awareness that this is to create boredom, and you are to remember not to fall asleep. Otherwise, you miss. Don't fall asleep. Go on repeating the mantra and don't allow yourself to fall into sleep. So it is better if you repeat the mantra standing, or repeat it walking, so that you don't fall asleep.
One of the great disciples of Gurdjieff, P. D. Ouspensky, was dying. The doctors told him to rest but he would not -- instead he continued walking the whole night. They thought he had gone crazy. He was dying, his energy was disappearing -- what was he doing? This was the time to rest; he would die sooner if he went on walking. But he would not stop.
Somebody asked, 'What are you doing?'
He said, 'I would like to die alert, awake. I don't want to die asleep -- otherwise I will miss the beauty of death.'
And he died walking.
That is the way to do a mantra. Walk.
If you go to Bodh-Gaya, where Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment, near the Bodhi tree you will find a small path. On that path Buddha walked continuously. For one hour he would meditate under the tree, and then for one hour he would walk.
When his disciples asked, 'Why?' he would say, 'Because if I sit too much under the tree, then sleepiness starts coming.'
The moment sleepiness starts coming, one has to walk, because otherwise you will slip into sleep, and the whole mantra is lost. The mantra is to create boredom, the mantra is to create a fed-up-ness so that you can jump into the abyss. If you move into sleep the abyss is missed.
All Buddhist meditations alternate. You do them sitting -- but when you feel drowsiness setting in immediately you get up and start doing them walking. Then the moment you see that the sleepiness has disappeared, sit again, do the meditation again. If you go on doing this, a moment comes when suddenly you slip out of the words, just like a snake who slips out of his old skin. And it happens very naturally. There is no effort to it.
So the first thing to remember about mind is: it is a constant chattering. That chattering keeps it alive, that chattering is a food for it, without that chattering the mind cannot continue. So drop out of the clutches of the mind -- that is, drop out of inner chattering.
You can do this by forcing yourself, but then again you miss. You can force yourself not to talk inside, just as you can force yourself not to talk outside -- you can keep a forced silence. In the beginning it is difficult, but you can go on insisting and you can force the mind not to talk. It is possible. If you go to the Himalayas, you will find many people who have attained to it, but you will find dullness on their faces, not intelligence. The mind has not been transcended, it has been simply dulled. They have not moved into alive silence, they have simply forced the mind and controlled it. It is as if a child has been forced to sit in the corner and not to move. Watch him. He feels restless, but he goes on controlling himself, afraid.. He represses his energy otherwise he will be punished.
If this goes on for as long as it does -- in schools children are sitting for five or six hours -- by and by they are dulled, their intelligence is lost. Every child is born intelligent and almost ninety-nine per cent of people die stupid. The whole education dulls the mind -- and you can do it yourself also.
You will find religious people almost stupid although you may not see it because of your ideas about them. But if you have open eyes, go and look at your SANNYASINS -- you will find them stupid and idiotic; you will not find any sign of intelligence or creativity. India has suffered very much because of these people. They have created such an uncreative state that India has lived at the minimum. Paralysis is not meditation.
It happened once in a church that the preacher shouted at the revival, 'Let all you husbands who have troubles on your minds, stand up!'
Every man in the church rose to his feet except one.
'Ah!' exclaimed the preacher. 'You are one in a million!'
'It is not that. I cannot get up,' said the man. 'I am paralyzed.'
Paralysis is not meditation; paralysis is not healthy. You can paralyze the mind -- there are millions of tricks available to paralyze it. People lie on a bed of thorns. If you continuously lie on a bed of thorns, your body becomes insensitive. It is not a miracle. You are simply desensitizing your body. When the body loses aliveness there is no problem -- it is not a bed of thorns for you at all. You may by and by even start feeling comfortable. In fact, if you-are given a good comfortable bed you will not be able to sleep on it. This is paralyzing the body.
There are similar methods to paralyze the mind. You can fast. Then the mind goes on saying that the body is hungry but you don't supply food, you don't listen to the mind. By and by the mind becomes dull. The body goes on feeling the hunger but the mind does not report it. Because what is the point? There is nobody to listen, there is nobody to respond. Then a certain paralysis happens in the mind. Many people who go on long fasts think they have attained meditation. It is not meditation, it is just low energy, paralysis, insensitivity. They are moving like dead corpses. They are not alive. Remember, meditation will bring you more and more intelligence, infinite intelligence, a radiant intelligence. Meditation will make you more alive and sensitive; your life will become richer.
Look at the ascetics: their life has become almost as if it is not life. These people are not meditators. They may be masochists, torturing themselves and enjoying the torture...the mind is very cunning, it goes on doing things and rationalizing them. Ordinarily you are violent towards others but mind is very cunning -- it can learn non-violence, it can preach non-violence. then it becomes violent towards itself. And the violence that you do on your own self is respected by people because they have an idea that to be an ascetic is to be religious. That is sheer nonsense.
God is not an ascetic, otherwise there would be no flowers, there would be no green trees, only deserts. God is not an ascetic, otherwise there would be no song in life, no dance in life -- only cemeteries and cemeteries. God is not an ascetic; God enjoys life. God is more Epicurean than you can imagine. If you think about God, think in terms of Epicurus. God is a constant search for more and more happiness, joy, ecstasy. Remember that.
But mind is very cunning. It can rationalize paralysis as meditation; it can rationalize dullness as transcendence; it can rationalize deadness as renunciation. Watch out. Always remember that if you are moving in the right direction you will go on flowering. Much fragrance will come out of you and you will be creative. And you will be sensitive to life, to love, and to everything that God makes available to you.
Have a very penetrating eye inside your mind -- see what its motivations are. When you do something, immediately look for the motivation, because if you miss the motivation, the mind goes on befooling you and goes on saying that something else was the motivation. For example: you come home angry and you beat your child. The mind will say, 'It is just for his own sake, to make him behave.' This is a rationalization. Go deeper... You were angry and you wanted somebody with whom you could be angry. You could not be angry with the boss in the office, he is too strong for that. And it is risky and economically dangerous. No, you needed somebody helpless. Now this child is perfectly helpless, he depends on you; he cannot react, he cannot do anything, he cannot pay you back in the same coin. You cannot find a more perfect victim.
Look. Are you angry with the child? If you are, then the mind is befooling you.
The mind goes on befooling you twenty-four hours a day and you cooperate with it. Then in the end you are in misery, you land in hell. Watch every moment for the right motivation. If you can find the right motivation, the mind will become more and more incapable of deceiving you And the further away you are from deception, the more you will be capable of moving beyond mind, the more you will become a master.

I have heard.
One scientist was saying to his friend, 'I don't see why you insisted that your wife wear a chastity belt while we were away at the convention. After all, between us as old buddies, with Emma's face and figure, who would?'
'I know, I know,' replied the other. 'But when I get back home, I can always say I lost the key.'
Look, watch for the unconscious motivation. The mind goes on bullying you and bossing you because you are not capable of seeing its real motivations. Once a person becomes capable of seeing real motivations, meditation is very close... because then the mind no longer has a grip on you.
The mind is a mechanism. It has no intelligence. The mind is a bio-computer. How can it have any intelligence? It has skill, but it has no intelligence; it has a functional utility, but it has no awareness. It is a robot; it works well but don't listen to it too much because then you will lose your inner intelligence. Then it is as if you are asking a machine to guide you, lead you. You are asking a machine which has nothing original in it -- cannot have. Not a single thought in the mind is ever original, it is always a repetition. Watch. Whenever mind says something, see that it is again putting you into a routine. Try to do something new and the mind will have less grip on you.
People who are in some way creative are always easily transformed into meditators, and people who are uncreative in their life are the most difficult. If you live a repetitive life the mind has too much control over you -- you cannot move away from it, you are afraid. Do something new every day. Don't listen to the old routine. In fact, if the mind says something, tell it, 'This we have been doing always. Now let us do something else.'
Even small changes... in the way you have always been behaving with your wife -- just small changes; in the way you always walk -- just small changes; the way you always talk -- small changes. And you will find that the mind is losing its grip on you, you are becoming a little freer.
Creative persons get more easily into-meditation and go deeper. Poets, painter, musicians, dancers, can get into meditation more easily than businessmen -- they live a routine life, absolutely uncreative.
I have heard about a father who was giving advice to his son. The father, a noted playboy in his younger days, was discussing his son's forthcoming marriage.
'My boy,' he said, 'I have got just two pieces of advice to give you. Make it a point to reserve the right to one night a week out with the boys.'
He paused. His son asked for the second piece of advice and then he said, 'Don't waste it on the boys!'
He is transferring his own routine, his own ways to his son. The old mind goes on giving advice to the present consciousness -- the father giving advice to the son.
Each moment -- you are new, reborn, the consciousness is never old. The consciousness is always the son and the mind is always the father. The mind is never new and the consciousness is never old -- and the mind goes on advising the son. The father will create the same pattern in the son, then the son will repeat the same thing.
You have lived in a certain way up to now -- don't you want to live in a different way? You have thought in a certain way up to now -- don't you want some new glimpses in your being? Then be alert and don't listen to the mind.
Mind is your past constantly trying to control your present and your future. It is the dead past which goes on controlling the alive present. Just become alert about it.
But what is the way? How does the mind go on doing it? The mind does it with this method: it says, 'If you don't listen to me, you will not be as efficient as I am. If you do an old thing you can be more efficient because you have done it before. If you do a new thing you cannot be so efficient.' The mind goes on talking like an economist. an efficiency expert; it goes on saying, 'This is easier to do. Why do it the hard way? This is the way of least resistance.'
Remember, whenever you have two things, two alternatives, choose the new one, choose the harder, choose the one in which more awareness will be needed. At the cost of efficiency always choose awareness, and you will create the situation in which meditation will become possible. These are all just situations. Meditation will happen. I am not saying that just by doing them you will get to meditation -- but they will be helpful. They will create the necessary situation in you without which meditation cannot happen.
Be less efficient but more creative. Let that be the motive. Don't be bothered too much about utilitarian ends. Rather, constantly remember that you are not here in life to become a commodity; you are not here to become an utility, that is below dignity;. you are not here just to become more and more efficient -- you are here to become more and more alive; you are here to become more and more intelligent; you are here to become more and more happy, ecstatically happy. But that is totally different from the ways of the mind.
A woman received a report from the school.
'Your little boy is very intelligent,' said the teacher's note accompanying the report card, 'but he spends entirely too much time playing with the girls. However, I am working on a plan to break him of the habit.'
The mother signed the report and sent it back with this note: 'Let me know if it works, and I will try it out on his father.'
People are constantly searching for cues to control others, cues which can give you more profit -- profitable cues. If you are after cues on how to control others, you will be in the control of the mind always. Forget about controlling anybody. Once you drop the idea of controlling others -- husband or wife, son or father, friend or foe -- once you drop the idea of controlling others, the mind cannot have the grip on you because it becomes useless.
It is useful in controlling the world; it is useful in controlling society.... A politician cannot meditate. Impossible! Even more impossible than for a businessman. A politician is at the very other end. He cannot meditate. Sometimes politicians come to me. They are interested in meditation but not exactly in meditation -- they are too tense and they want a certain relaxation. They come to me and they ask if I can help them, because they are too tense, their work is such. and constant conflict, leg-pulling, rat-racing, continues. They ask for something so that they can have a little peace. I tell them that it is impossible. They cannot meditate. The ambitious mind cannot meditate because the basic foundation of meditation is to be non-ambitious. Ambition means the effort to control others. That is what politics is: the effort to control the whole world. If you want to control others you will have to listen to the mind, because the mind enjoys violence very much.
And you cannot try new things -- they are too risky. You have to try the old things again and again. If you listen to the lessons of history, they are amazing.
in 1917, Russia went through a great revolution, one of the greatest in history. But somehow the revolution failed. When the communists came into power, they became almost like the czars -- worse, even. Stalin proved more terrible than Peter the Terrible. He killed millions of people. What happened? Once they came into power, to do something, new was too risky. It might not work, it has never worked before so who knows? Try the old methods which have always been useful. They had to learn from the czars.
Every revolution fails because once a certain group of politicians comes into power, it has to use the same methods. The mind is never for the new, it is always for the old. If you want to control others, you will not be able to meditate...about that one point be absolutely certain.
The mind lives in a sort of sleep, it lives in a sort of unconscious state. You become conscious only very rarely. If your life is in tremendous danger you become conscious; otherwise you are not conscious. The mind goes on moving, sleepy. Stand by the side of the road and watch people and you will see shadows of dreams on their faces. Somebody talks to himself, or makes gestures -- if you look at him you will be able to see that he is somewhere else, not here on the road. It is as if people are moving in deep sleep.
Somnambulism is the ordinary state of the mind. If you want to become a meditator, you have to drop this sleepy habit of doing things. Walk, but be alert. Dig a hole, but be alert. Eat, but while eating don't do anything -- just eat. Each bite should be taken with deep alertness, chew it with alertness. Don't allow yourself to run all over the world. Be here, now. Whenever you catch your mind going somewhere else.... It is always going somewhere else, it never wants to be here. Because if the mind is here it is no longer needed; right in the present there is no need for the mind -- consciousness is enough. The mind is needed only there, somewhere else in the future, in the past, but never here.....Whenever you become alert that the mind has gone somewhere else -- you are in Poona and the mind has gone to Philadelphia -- immediately become alert. Give yourself a jerk. Come back home. Come to the point where you are. Eating, eat; walking, walk; don't allow this mind to go all over the world.
It is not that this will become meditation, but it will create a situation.
The party was in full gear and a man decided to call up a friend and invite him to join the fun. He dialed the wrong number and apologized to the sleepy voice that answered. On the next try he got the same voice.
'I am terribly sorry,' he said, 'I dialed very carefully. Can't understand how I got the wrong number.'
'Neither can I,' said the sleepy voice. 'Especially since I have no phone.'
People are living almost asleep, and they have learned the trick of how to do things without disturbing their sleep. If you become. a little alert, you will catch yourself red-handed many times doing things that you never wanted to do, doing things that you know you are going to repent, doing things that you had decided, just the other day, never to do again. And you say many times, 'I did it, but I don't know how it happened. It happened in spite of me.' How can something happen in spite of you?
It is possible only if you are asleep. And you go on saying that you never wanted it, but somewhere deep down you must have wanted it.
Just the other day, Paritosh sent me a very beautiful joke -- one of the rare ones, a jewel of the finest water. Listen to it carefully.
It was after the last war and a journalist was interviewing the Reverend Mother of a convent in Europe.
'Tell me,' said the journalist, 'what happened to you and your nuns during those terrible years? How did you survive?'
'Well, first of all,' said the Reverend Mother, 'the Germans invaded our country, seized the convent, raped all the nuns -- except sister Anastasia -- took our food and left. Then came the Russians. Again they seized the convent, raped all the nuns -- except Sister Anastasia -- took our food and left. Then again the Russians were driven out and the Germans came back again, seized the convent, raped all the nuns -- except Sister Anastasia -- took our food and left.'
The journalist made the required sympathetic noises, but was curious about Sister Anastasia. 'Who is this Sister Anastasia?' he asked. 'Why did she escape these terrible happenings?'
'Ah, well,' replied the Reverend Mother, 'Sister Anastasia does not like that kind of thing.'
Even rape is your desire; that too happens because you want it. It may look too extreme, but psychoanalysts say it is so. And I also observe it is so. Without your cooperation, even rape is not possible. A deep desire of being raped is hidden somewhere. In fact, it is very rare to find a woman who has not fantasized about herself being raped, who has not dreamed of herself being raped. Deep down rape shows that you are beautiful, desired -- desired wildly. It is an historical fact that when one of the most beautiful women of Egypt died her dead body was raped, the mummy. If the spirit of that woman knew about it, she must have felt tremendously happy. Just think...a dead body being raped.
You may deny it. Just a few days ago a woman came to me. She had been raped in Kabul. And she was telling her whole story with such relish that I said to her, 'You must have been cooperating.' She said, 'What are you saying?' She felt hurt! I told her not to feel hurt. 'You are enjoying the whole story,' I said. 'Close your eyes, and be true. At least once, be true to me. Have you enjoyed it?' She said, 'What are you saying? Rape -- and me enjoying it? I am a Catholic, a Christian!' I said, 'Still, you close your eyes. It makes no difference whether you are Catholic, Hindu, or Buddhist -- still just close your eyes and meditate.' She relaxed. She was a really sincere woman. Then her face changed and she opened her eyes and said, 'I think you are right. I enjoyed it. But please don't say it to anybody! My husband is going to come to -- see you soon -- never mention it!
Just watch your mind: on the surface it says something, but deep down, simultaneously, it is planning something else. Be a little more alert and don't move in sleep.
The nagging old lady had been in bed for a week on doctor's orders. Nothing suited her. She complained about the weather, the medicine, and especially about her husband's cooking.
One day after taking in her breakfast tray and cleaning up the kitchen, the old man sat down in his den. She heard the scratching of his pen.
'What are you doing now?' she called.
'Writing a letter.'
'Who are you writing to?'
'Cousin Ann.'
'What are you writing to her about?'
'I am telling her you are sick, but the doctors say you will be okay soon, and there is no danger.'
And then he asked, after a small pause,
'How do you spell cemetery? With a 'c' or with an 's'?'
On the surface, one thing deep down, something exactly the opposite. He is hoping against hope; he is hoping against doctors. On the surface he will go on saying that she is going to be okay again soon -- but deep down he is hoping that somehow she will die. And he will not accept the fact, even to himself. That's how you go on hiding from yourself.
Stop these tricks. Be sincere with your mind, and the grip that your mind has on you will be lost.

Now this small anecdote.
WHEN WOLVES WERE DISCOVERED IN THE VILLAGE NEAR MASTER SHOJU'S TEMPLE, SHOJU ENTERED THE GRAVEYARD NIGHTLY FOR ONE WEEK AND SAT IN ZAZEN. THIS PUT A STOP TO THE WOLVES' PROWLING.

OVERJOYED, THE VILLAGERS ASKED HIM TO DESCRIBE THE SECRET RITES HE HAD PERFORMED.
'I DIDN'T HAVE TO RESORT TO SUCH THINGS,' HE SAID, 'NOR COULD I HAVE DONE SO. WHILE I WAS IN ZAZEN A NUMBER OF WOLVES GATHERED AROUND ME, LICKING THE TIP OF MY NOSE, AND SNIFFING MY WINDPIPE, BUT BECAUSE I REMAINED IN THE RIGHT STATE OF MIND, I WASN'T BITTEN.

AS I KEEP PREACHING TO YOU, THE PROPER STATE OF MIND WILL MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR YOU TO BE FREE IN LIFE AND DEATH, INVULNERABLE TO FIRE AND WATER. EVEN WOLVES ARE POWERLESS AGAINST IT. I SIMPLY PRACTICE WHAT I PREACH.'

A simple story, but very meaningful. The Master simply went to the graveyard and sat there for one week -- not doing anything, not even praying, not even meditating. He simply sat there in meditation -- not meditating, just in meditation. He simply sat there. That is the meaning of the word zazen. It is one of the most beautiful words to be used for meditation: it simply means just sitting, doing nothing. 'Za' means sitting. He simply sat there. And this sitting -- when the mind is not there, and thoughts are not there, when there is no stirring, and the consciousness is like a cool pool of water with no ripples -- is the right state. Miracles happen on their own accord.

The Master said,
WHILE I WAS IN ZAZEN A NUMBER OF WOLVES GATHERED AROUND ME, LICKING THE TIP OF MY NOSE, AND SNIFFING MY WINDPIPE, BUT BECAUSE I REMAINED IN THE RIGHT STATE OF MIND, I WASN'T BITTEN.'

A very fundamental law of life is that if you become afraid, you give energy to the other to make you more afraid. The very idea of fear in you creates the opposite idea in the other.
Each thought has a negative and positive polarity just like electricity. If you have the negative pole, on the other side a positive pole is created. It is automatic. If you are afraid, the other immediately feels a desire arising in him to oppress you, to torture you. If you are not afraid, the desire in the other simply disappears And it is not only so with man, it is so even with wolves. With animals it is also the same.
If you can remain in the right state -- that is, undistracted, silent, just a witness to everything, to whatsoever is happening, with no idea arising in you -- then no idea will arise in others around you.

There is an old Indian story.
In the Hindu heaven, there is a tree called 'Kalptaru.' It means the wish-fulfilling tree. By accident a traveler arrived there and he was so tired that he sat under the tree. And he was hungry so he thought, 'If somebody was here, I would ask for food. But there seems to be nobody.'
The moment the idea of food appeared in his mind, food suddenly appeared and he was so hungry that he didn't bother to think about it. He ate it. Then he started feeling sleepy, and he thought, 'If there was a bed here....' And the bed appeared.
But lying on the bed the thought arose in him, 'What is happening? I don't see anybody here. Food has come, a bed has come -- maybe there are ghosts doing things to me!' Suddenly ghosts appeared..
Then he became afraid and he thought, 'Now they will kill me!' And they killed him!
In life the law is the same: if you think of ghosts, they are bound to appear. Think and you will see. If you think of enemies, you will create them; if you think of friends, they will appear. If you love, love appears all around you; if you hate, hate appears. Whatsoever you go on thinking is being fulfilled by a certain law.
If you don't think anything, then nothing happens to you.
The Master simply sat there in the graveyard. The wolves came, but finding nobody there they sniffed. They must have sniffed to see whether this man was thinking or not. They circled around. They watched. But there was nobody, just emptiness. What to do with emptiness?
This emptiness, this silence, this bliss, cannot be destroyed. Not even wolves are that bad. They felt the sacredness of this emptiness and they disappeared.
The villagers thought that this man had done some secret rites, but the Master said, 'I have not done anything, nor could I have done so. I simply sat there and everything changed.'
This anecdote is a parable. If you sit in this world, silently, if you live silently, as an alive nothingness, the world will become a paradise. The wolves will disappear. There is no need to do anything else. Just the right state of your consciousness and everything is done.
There are two laws. One law is of the mind. With the law of the mind you go on creating hell around you; friends become foes, lovers prove enemies, flowers become thorns. Life becomes a burden. One simply suffers life. With the law of mind, you live in hell wherever you live. If you slip out of the mind, you have slipped out of that law, and suddenly you live in a totally different world. That different world is nirvana. That different world is God.
Then without doing, everything starts happening.
So let me say it in this way: if you want to do, you will live in the ego, and the wolves will surround you, and you will be constantly in trouble. If you drop the ego, if you drop the idea of being a doer, if you simply relax into life and are in a let-go, you are again back in the world of God, back in the Garden of Eden -- Adam has come back home. Then things happen.
The Christian story says that there was no need for Adam to do anything in the Garden of Eden. Everything was available. But then he fell from grace and he was thrown out. He became knowledgeable, he became an egoist, and since then humanity has been suffering.
Each person has to come back to the Garden of Eden again. The doors are not closed. 'Knock, and they shall be opened unto you. Ask, and it shall be given.' But one has to turn back. The path is from doing towards happening, from the ego towards no-ego, from mind towards no-mind. No-mind is what meditation is all about. That different world is nirvana. That different world is God.

 

 

Next: Chapter 8: Three Mysteries, Question 1

 


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