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AND THE FLOWERS SHOWERED

Chapter 5: Is he dead?

 

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AT THE DEATH OF A PARISHIONER, MASTER DOGO, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS DISCIPLE ZENGEN, VISITED THE BEREAVED FAMILY.
WITHOUT TAKING TIME TO EXPRESS A WORD OF SYMPATHY, ZENGEN WENT UP TO THE COFFIN, RAPPED ON IT, AND ASKED DOGO:'IS HE REALLY DEAD?' 'I WON'T SAY,' SAID DOGO.'WELL?' INSISTED ZENGEN.'I'M NOT SAYING, AND THAT'S FINAL,' SAID DOGO.
ON THEIR WAY BACK TO THE TEMPLE THE FURIOUS ZENGEN TURNED ON DOGO AND THREATENED: 'BY GOD, IF YOU DON'T ANSWER MY QUESTION, WHY I'LL BEAT YOU.' 'ALL RIGHT,' SAID DOGO, 'BEAT AWAY.'
A MAN OF HIS WORD, ZENGEN SLAPPED HIS MASTER A GOOD ONE.
SOME TIME LATER DOGO DIED, AND ZENGEN, STILL ANXIOUS TO HAVE HIS QUESTION ANSWERED, WENT TO THE MASTER SEKISO, AND, AFTER RELATING WHAT HAD HAPPENED, ASKED THE SAME QUESTION OF HIM. SEKISO, AS IF CONSPIRING WITH THE DEAD DOGO, WOULD NOT ANSWER.'BY GOD!' CRIED ZENGEN. 'YOU TOO?' 'I'M NOT SAYING,' SAID SEKISO, 'AND THAT'S FINAL.'
AT THAT VERY INSTANT ZENGEN EXPERIENCED AN AWAKENING.

LIFE CAN BE KNOWN, death also -- but nothing can be said about them. No answer will be true; it cannot be by the very nature of things. Life and death are the deepest mysteries. It would be better to say that they are not two mysteries, but two aspects of the same mystery, two doors of the same secret. But nothing can be said about them. Whatever you say, you will miss the point.
Life can be lived, death also can be lived. They are experiences -- one has to pass through them and know them. Nobody can answer your questions. How can life be answered? or death? Unless YOU live, unless YOU die, who's going to answer?
But many answers have been given -- and remember, all answers are false. There is nothing to choose. It is not that one answer is correct and other answers are incorrect; all answers are incorrect. There is nothing to choose. Experience, not answers, can answer.
So this is the first thing to be remembered when you are near a real mystery, not a riddle created by man. If it is a riddle created by man it can be answered, because then it is a game, a mind game -- you create the question, you create the answer. But if you are facing something which you have not created, how can you answer it, how can the human mind answer it? It is incomprehensible for the human mind. The part cannot comprehend the whole. The whole can be comprehended by becoming whole. You can jump into it and be lost -- and there will be the answer.
I will tell you one anecdote Ramakrishna loved to tell. He used to say: Once it happened that there was a great festival near a sea, on the beach. Thousands of people were gathered there and suddenly they all became engrossed in a question -- whether the sea is immeasurable or measurable; whether there is a bottom to it or not; fathomable or unfathomable? By chance, one man completely made of salt was also there. He said, 'You wait, and you discuss, and I will go into the ocean and find out, because how can one know unless one goes into it?'
So the man of salt jumped into the ocean. Hours passed, days passed, then months passed, and people started to go to their homes. They had waited long enough, and the man of salt was not coming back.
The man of salt, the moment he entered the ocean, started melting, and by the time he reached the bottom he was not. He came to know -- but he couldn't come back. And those who didn't know, they discussed it for a long time. They may have arrived at some conclusions, because the mind loves to reach conclusions.
Once a conclusion is reached, mind feels at ease -- hence so many philosophies exist. All philosophies exist to fulfill a need: the mind asks and the mind cannot remain with the question, it is uneasy; to remain with the question feels inconvenient. An answer is needed -- even if it is false it will do; mind is put at rest.
To go and take a jump into the sea is dangerous. And remember, Ramakrishna is true: we are all men of salt as far as the ocean is concerned -- the ocean of life and death. We are men of salt, we will melt into it because we come out of it. We are made by it, of it. We will melt!
So mind is always afraid of going into the ocean; it is made of salt, it is bound to dissolve. It is afraid, so it remains on the bank, discussing things, debating, arguing, creating theories: all false -- because they are based on fear. A courageous man will take the jump, and he will resist accepting any answer which is not known by himself.
We are cowards, that's why we accept anybody's answer: Mahavira, Buddha, Christ -- we accept their answers. Their answers cannot be our answers. Nobody else's knowledge can be yours -- they may have known, but their knowledge is just information for you. YOU will have to know. Only when it is your own is it knowledge; otherwise it will not give you wings. On the contrary, it will hang on your neck like stones, you will become a slave to it. You will not achieve liberation, you will not be set free by it.
Says Jesus, 'Truth liberates.' Have you seen anybody being liberated by theories? Experience liberates, yes, but theories about every experience? No, never! But the mind is afraid to take the jump, because mind is made of the same stuff as the universe; if you take the jump you will be lost. You will come to know, but you will know only when you are not.
The salt man came to know. He touched the very depth. He reached the very center but he couldn't come back. Even if he could, how would he relate...? Even if he comes, his language will belong to the center, to the depth, and your language belongs to the bank, to the periphery.
There is no possibility of any communication. He cannot say anything meaningfully, he can only remain silent meaningfully, significantly. If he says something he himself will feel guilty, because he will immediately know that whatsoever he knows has not been transferred through the words; his experience is left behind. Only words have gone to you, dead, stale, empty. Words can be communicated but not truth. It can only be indicated.
The salt man can say to you, 'You also come' -- he can give you an invitation -- 'and take a jump with me into the ocean.'
But you are very clever. You will say, 'First answer the question; otherwise how do I know that you are right? Let me first consider and think and brood and ponder, then I will follow. When my mind is convinced, then I will take the jump.'
But mind is never convinced, cannot be convinced. Mind is nothing but a process of doubt; it can never be convinced, it can go on arguing infinitely, because whatsoever you say it can create an argument around it.
Once I was traveling with Mulla Nasruddin. At a station, at a stop, a newcomer came into the compartment -- he may have known Nasruddin. He said, 'Hello.' They greeted each other and then he said, 'How are you, Nasruddin?'
Nasruddin said, 'Fine! Absolutely fine!'
Then the man said, 'And how is your wife?'
Nasruddin said, 'She is also fine, thank you.' 'And how are your children?'
Nasruddin said, 'They are all very well, thank you.'
I was surprised. When the man left at another stop, I asked Nasruddin, 'What is the matter? -- because I know well that you don't have a wife, you don't have any children.'
Nasruddin said, 'I also know -- but why create an argument?'
Many times buddhas have nodded to you, just not to create any argument. They have remained silent just not to create any argument. They have not said much, but whatsoever they have said has created enough argument around it. You are like that. You will weave theories, you will spin philosophies, and you will get so engrossed in them that you will completely forget that the ocean is just near. You will completely forget that the ocean exists.
Philosophers completely forget what life is. They go on thinking and thinking and thinking and going astray, because mind is a distance from the truth. The more you are in the mind, the farther away you are from the truth; the less in the mind, the nearer. If there is no mind, even for a single moment, you have taken the jump -- but then you become one with the ocean.
So the first thing to remember is, if it is a question created by you, not relating to the existential mystery of the universe, then it can be answered. Really, only mathematical questions can be answered. That's why mathematics is such a clear-cut science, because the whole thing is created by man. Mathematics does not exist in the universe, that's why mathematics is the purest science -- you can be certain about it; you have created the whole game.
Trees are there, but not one tree, two, three trees, four trees -- numbers don't exist there. You create the numbers, you create the very base, and then you ask, 'How many? If two are added to two, what is the conclusion, what is the result?' you can answer 'Four,' and that answer will be true because you have created the whole game, all the rules: two and two make four. But in existence that is not true because in existence no arithmetic exists -- it is a wholly man-made affair. So you can go on and on and create as many mathematics, as many arithmetics, as you like.
Once people thought that there was only one mathematics; now they know there can be many, because man can create them. Once people knew that there was only one geometry -- Euclid's; now they know that you can create as many geometries as you want, because they are man-created. So now there is Euclidean geometry and non-Euclidean geometry.
Many mathematicians have played with numbers. Leibnitz worked with three digits: one, two, three. In Leibnitz' mathematics, two plus two cannot be four, because the four doesn't exist: one, two, three -- only three digits are there, so in Leibnitz' mathematics two plus two will become ten, because after three comes ten. The four doesn't exist. Einstein worked with two digits: one and two, so two plus two in Einstein's mathematics will be eleven. And they are all right, because the whole game is man-made. It is up to you.
There is no inner necessity to believe in nine or ten digits, except that man has ten fingers, so people started counting on the fingers. That's why ten became the basic unit all over the world; otherwise there is no necessity.
Mathematics is a thought product: you can ask a question and a right answer can be given to you -- but except for mathematics everything moves into the mysterious. If it belongs to life, no answer can be given. And whatsoever you say will be destructive because the whole cannot be said. Words are so narrow, tunnel-like; you cannot force the sky into them, it is impossible.
Second thing to remember: when you ask something of a master -- a master is not a philosopher, he is not a thinker; he knows, he is a seer -- when you ask something of a master, don't look for and don't wait for his answer, because he IS the answer. When you ask something, don't be attentive towards the answer; be attentive towards the master, because HE is the answer. He is not going to give you any answer; his presence is the answer. But there we miss.
You go and you ask a question; your whole mind is attentive to the question and you are waiting for the answer -- but the master, his whole being, his presence is the answer. If you look at him, if you watch him, you will receive an indication -- his silence, the way he looks at you in that moment, the way he walks, the way he behaves, the way he remains silent or talks. The master is the answer, because it lies in an indication. The master can show you the truth, but cannot say it. And your mind is always obsessed with the answer: 'What is he going to say?'
If you go to a master, learn to be attentive to his presence; don't be too head-oriented -- and don't insist, because every answer can be given only when the time is ripe. Don't insist, because it is not a question of your insistence; a right thing can be given only when you are ready, when you are ripe. So when you are near a master you can ask a question -- but then wait. You have asked, then he knows. Even if you have not asked, he knows what is troubling you within. But he cannot give you anything right now -- you may not be ready; and if you are not ready and something is given it will not reach you, because only in a certain readiness can certain things penetrate you. When you are ripe you can understand. When you are ready, you are open, receptive. The answer will be given, but not in words; the master will reveal it in many ways. He can do it. He can devise many methods to indicate it, but then you will have to be ready.
Just because you have asked a question doesn't mean that you are ready. You can ask a question -- even children can raise questions so mysterious that even a buddha will be unable to answer them. But just because you have asked, just because you are articulate enough to form a question, does not mean that you are ready, because questions come out of many many sources. Sometimes you are simply curious. A master is not there to fulfill your curiosities, because they are childish. Sometimes you really never meant it. Just by the way you asked, you showed you were not concerned and you are not going to use the answer in any way. Somebody is dead and you simply ask the question, 'What is death?' -- and by the next moment you have forgotten it.
Curiosity is one thing -- it is childish and no master is going to waste his breath on your curiosities. When you ask a certain thing it may be just intellectual, philosophic; you are interested, but intellectually -- you would like an answer just to become more knowledgeable, but your being will remain unaffected. Then a master is not interested, because he is interested only in your being. When you ask a question in such a way as if your life and death depend on it, then if you don't receive the answer you will miss, your whole being will remain hungry for it; you are thirsty, your whole being is ready to receive it, and if the answer is given you will digest it, it will become your blood and your bones and move into the very beat of your heart; only then will a master be ready to answer you.
You ask a question... then the master will try to help you to become ready to receive the answer. Between your question and the master's answer there may be a great gap. You ask today and he may answer you after twelve years, because you have to be ready to receive it; you have to be open, not closed, and you have to be ready to absorb it to the very depth of your being.
Now try to understand this parable:

AT THE DEATH OF A PARISHIONER, MASTER
DOGO, ACCOMPANIED BY HIS DISCIPLE ZENGEN, VISITED THE BEREAVED FAMILY.
WITHOUT TAKING TIME TO EXPRESS A WORD OF SYMPATHY, ZENGEN WENT UP TO THE COFFIN, RAPPED ON IT, AND ASKED DOGO: 'IS HE REALLY DEAD?'

The first thing: when death is there you have to be very respectful because death is no ordinary phenomenon, it is the most extraordinary phenomenon in the world. Nothing is more mysterious than death. Death reaches to the very center of existence, and when a man is dead you are moving on sacred ground: it is the holiest moment possible. No, ordinary curiosities cannot be allowed. They are disrespectful.
In the East particularly, death is respected more than life -- and the East has lived long to come to this conclusion. In the West life is more respected than death; hence so much tension, so much worry and so much anguish, so much madness.
Why? If you respect life more, you will be afraid of death, and then death will look antagonistic, the enemy; and if death is the enemy you will remain tense your whole life, because death can happen any moment. You don't accept it, you reject it -- but you cannot destroy it. Death cannot be destroyed. You can reject it; you can deny it; you can be afraid, scared, but it is there, just at the corner, always with you like a shadow. You will be trembling your whole life -- and you ARE trembling. And in the fear, in all fears if searched deeply, you will find the fear of death.
Whenever you are afraid, something has given you an indication of death. If your bank goes bankrupt and you are filled with fear and trembling, anxiety -- that too is anxiety about death, because your bank balance was nothing but a security against death. Now you are more open, vulnerable. Now who will protect you if death knocks at the door? If you become ill, if you become old, then who is going to take care of you? The guarantee was there in the bank, and the bank has gone bankrupt.
You cling to prestige, power, position, because when you have a position you are so significant that you are more protected by people. When you are not in power, you become so impotent that nobody bothers in any way who you are. When you are in power you have friends, family, followers; when you are not in power, everybody leaves. There was a protection, somebody was there to care; now nobody cares. Whatsoever you are afraid of, if you search deeply you will always find the shadow of death somewhere.
You cling to a husband, you are afraid he may leave; or you cling to a wife, afraid she may leave you. What is the fear? Is it really the fear of a divorce, or is it a fear of death? It is a fear of death... because in divorce you become alone. The other gives a protection, a feeling that you are not alone, somebody else is with you. In moments when somebody else will be needed, you will have somebody to look to. But the wife has left, or the husband has left, and now you are left alone, a stranger. Who will protect you? Who will care for you when you are ill?
When people are young they do not need a wife or a husband so much, but when they are old their need is more. When you are young it is a sexual relationship. The older you become the more it becomes a life relationship, because now if the other leaves you, immediately death is there. Wherever you are afraid, try to explore, and you will find death hiding somewhere behind. All fear is of death. Death is the only fear source.
In the West people are very scared, worried, anxious, because you have to fight continuously against death. You love life, you respect life -- that's why in the West old people are not respected. Young people are respected, because old people have moved further towards death than you; they are already in its grip. Youth is respected in the West -- and youth is a transitory phenomenon, it is already passing from your hands.
In the East old men are respected, because in the East death is respected; and because in the East death is respected, there is no fear about death. Life is just a part; death is the culmination. Life is just the process; death is the crescendo. Life is just the moving; death is the reaching. And both are one! So what will you respect more, the way or the goal? The process or the flowering?
Death is the flower, life is nothing but the tree. And the tree is there for the flower, the flower is not there for the tree. The tree should be happy and the tree should dance when the flower comes.
So in the East death is accepted; not only accepted, welcomed. It is a divine guest. When it knocks at the door, it means the universe is ready to receive you back.
In the East we respect death. And this young man Zengen just came in without even expressing a word of sympathy or respect. He simply became curious. Not only that, he was very disrespectful -- he tapped on the coffin and asked Dogo, 'Is he really dead?' His question is beautiful, but not in the right moment. The question is right but the moment he has chosen is wrong. To be curious before death is childish; one has to be respectful, silent. That is the only way to have a rapport with the phenomenon.
When somebody dies it is really something very deep happening. If you can just sit there and meditate many things will be revealed to you. Questioning is foolish. When death is there, why not meditate? Questioning may be just a trick to avoid the thing, it may be just a safety measure so as not to look at death directly.
I have watched when people go to burn or to cremate somebody -- they start talking too much there. At the cremation ground they discuss many philosophical things. In my childhood I loved very much to follow everybody. Whosoever died, I would be there. Even my parents became very much afraid; they would say, 'Why do you go? We don't even know that man. There is no need to go.'
I would say, 'That is not the point. The man is not my concern. Death... it is such a beautiful phenomenon, and one of the most mysterious. One should not miss it.' So the moment I heard that somebody had died I would be there, always watching, waiting, witnessing what was happening.
And I watched people discussing many things, philosophical problems such as: What is death? And somebody would say: 'Nobody dies. The innermost self is immortal.' They would discuss the Upanishads, the Gita, and quote authorities. I started feeling: 'They are avoiding. By just becoming engaged in a discussion, they are avoiding the phenomenon that is happening. They are not looking at the dead man. And the thing is there! Death is there, and you are discussing it! What fools!'
You have to be silent. If you can be silent when death is there you will suddenly see many things, because death is not just a person stopping breathing. Many things are happening. When a person dies, his aura starts subsiding. If you are silent you can feel it -- an energy force, a vital energy field, subsiding, getting back to the center.
When a child is born just the opposite happens. When a child is born an aura starts spreading; it starts near the navel. Just as when you throw a pebble in a lake, ripples start -- they go on spreading, go on spreading -- when a child is born breath is like a pebble in the lake; when the child breathes the navel center is hit. The first pebble has been thrown in the silent lake, and the ripples go on spreading.
Your whole life you go on spreading. Nearabout the age of thirty-five your aura is completed, at its peak. Then it starts subsiding. When a person dies it goes back to the navel. When it reaches the navel, it becomes a concentrated energy, a concentrated light. If you are silent you can feel it, you will feel a pull. If you sit near a dead man you will feel as if a subtle breeze is blowing towards the dead man and you are being pulled. The dead man is contracting his whole life, the whole field that he was.
Many things start happening around a dead man. If he loved a person very deeply, that means he had given a part of his life energy to that person, and when a person dies, immediately that part that he had given to another person leaves that person and moves to the dead man. If you die here and your lover lives in Hong Kong, something will leave your lover immediately -- because you have given a part of your life and that part will come back to you. That's why when a loved one dies you feel that something has left you also, something in you has died also. A deep wound, a deep gap will exist now.
Whenever a lover dies, something in the beloved also dies, because they were deeply involved with each other. And if you have loved many, many people -- for example, if a person like Dogo dies, or a buddha -- from all over the universe energy moves back to the center. It is a universal phenomenon because he is involved in many many lives, millions of lives, and from everywhere his energy will come back. The vibrations that he has given to many will leave, they will move to the original source, they will become again a concentration near the navel.
If you watch you will feel ripples coming back in a reverse order, and when they are totally concentrated in the navel, you can see a tremendous energy, a tremendous light-force. And then that center leaves the body. When a man 'dies', that is simply a stopping of the breath, and you think he is dead. He is not dead; that takes time. Sometimes, if the person has been involved in millions of lives, it takes many days for him to die -- that's why with sages, with saints, particularly in the East, we never burn their bodies. Only saints are not burned; otherwise everybody is burned, because others' involvement is not so much. Within minutes the energy gathers, and they are no more part of this existence.
But with saints, the energy takes time. Sometimes it goes on and on -- that's why if you go to Shirdi, to Sai Baba's town, you will still feel something happening, still the energy goes on coming; he is so much involved that for many people he is still alive. Sai Baba's tomb is not dead. It is still alive. But the same thing you will not feel near many tombs -- they are dead. By 'dead' I mean they have accumulated all their involvement, they have disappeared.
When I am dead, don't bury my body, don't burn it, because I will be involved in you, many of you. And if you can feel, then a sage remains alive for many years, sometimes thousands of years -- because life is not only of the body. Life is an energy phenomenon. It depends on the involvement, on how many persons he was involved in. And a person like Buddha is not only involved with persons, he is involved even with trees, birds, animals; his involvement is so deep that if he dies his death will take at least five hundred years.
Buddha is reported to have said, 'My religion will be a live force for only five hundred years.' And the meaning is here, because he will be a live force for five hundred years. It will take five hundred years for him to get out of the involvement totally.
When death happens, be silent. Watch!
All over the world, whenever you pay respect to a dead man, you become silent, you remain silent for two minutes -- without knowing why. This tradition has been continued all over the world. Why silence?
The tradition is meaningful. You may not know why, you may not be aware, and your silence may be filled with inner chattering, or you may do it just like a ritual -- that is up to you. But the secret is there.

WITHOUT TAKING TIME TO EXPRESS A WORD OF SYMPATHY, ZENGEN WENT UP TO THE COFFIN, RAPPED ON IT, AND ASKED DOGO: 'IS HE REALLY DEAD?'
His question is right, but the time is not right. He has chosen the wrong opportunity. This is not the moment to talk about it, this is the moment to BE with it. And the man who is dead must have been someone very deep; otherwise Dogo would not be going to pay his respects. Dogo is an enlightened man. The disciple who is dead must have been something. And Dogo was there to do something more for him. A master can help you when you are alive; a master can help you when you are dead even more -- because in death a deep surrendering happens.
In life you are always resisting, fighting, even with your master; not surrendering, or surrendering half-heartedly -- which means nothing. But when you are dying, surrendering is easier, because death and surrender are the same process. When the whole body is dying, you can surrender easily. To fight is difficult, resistance is difficult. Already your resistance is being broken, your body is moving into a let-go; that is what death is.
Dogo was there for something special, and this disciple asked a question. The question is right but the time is not right.
'I WON'T SAY,' SAID DOGO.'WELL?' INSISTED ZENGEN.'I'M NOT SAYING, AND THAT'S FINAL,' SAID DOGO.

First thing: what can be said about death? How can you say anything about death? It is not possible for any word to carry the meaning of death. What does this word 'death' mean? In fact it means nothing. What do you mean when you use the word death? It is simply a door beyond which we don't know what happens. We see a man disappearing inside a door; we can see up to the door, and then the man simply disappears. Your word death can give only the meaning of the door. But what happens really, beyond the door? -- because the door is not the thing.
The door is to be passed through. Then what happens to one who disappears through the door that we cannot see beyond? What happens to him? And what is this door? Just a stopping of the breath? Is the breath the whole of life? Don't you have anything more than the breath? Breath stops... body deteriorates... if you are body and breath alone, then there is no problem. Then death is nothing. It is not a door to anything. It is simply a stopping, not a disappearance. It is just like a clock.
The clock is tick-ticking, working, then it stops; you don't ask where the tick-tick has gone -- that would be meaningless! It has gone nowhere. It has not gone at all, it has simply stopped; it was a mechanism and something has gone wrong in the mechanism -- you can repair the mechanism, then it will tick-tick again. Is death just like a clock stopping? Just like that?
If so, it is not a mystery, it is nothing really. But how can life disappear so easily? Life is not mechanical. Life is awareness. The clock is not aware -- you can listen to the tick-tick, the clock has never listened to it. You can listen to your own heartbeat. Who is this listener? If only the heartbeat is life, then who is this listener? If breath is the only life, how can you be aware of your breath? That's why all Eastern techniques of meditation use breath awareness as a subtle technique -- because if you become aware of the breathing, then who is this awareness? It must be something beyond breath because you can look at it and the looker cannot be the object. You can witness it; you can close your eyes and you can see your breath going in and coming out. Who is this seer, the witnessing? It must be a separate force that does not depend on breathing. When the breathing disappears it is the stopping of a clock, but where does this awareness go? Where does this awareness move to?
Death is a door, it is not a stopping. Awareness moves but your body remains at the door -- just as you have come here and left your shoes at the door. The body is left outside the temple, and your awareness enters the temple. It is the most subtle phenomenon, life is nothing before it. Basically life is just a preparation for dying, and only those are wise who learn in their life how to die. If you don't know how to die you have missed the whole meaning of life: it is a preparation, it is a training, it is a discipline.
Life is not the end, it is just a discipline to learn the art of dying. But you are afraid, you are scared, at the very word death you start trembling. That means you have not yet known life, because life never dies. Life cannot die.
Somewhere you have become identified with the body, with the mechanism. The mechanism is to die, the mechanism cannot be eternal, because the mechanism depends on many things; it is a conditioned phenomenon. Awareness is unconditional, it doesn't depend on anything. It can float like a cloud in the sky, it has no roots, it is not caused, it is never born so it can never die.
Whenever someone dies you have to be meditative near them, because a temple is just near and it is holy ground. Don't be childish, don't bring curiosities, be silent so you can watch and see. Something very very meaningful is happening -- don't miss the moment. And when death is there, why ask about it? Why not look at it? Why not watch it? Why not move with it a few steps?
'I WON'T SAY,' SAID DOGO.'WELL?' INSISTED ZENGEN.'I'M NOT SAYING, AND THAT'S FINAL,' SAID DOGO.
ON THEIR WAY BACK TO THE TEMPLE, THE
FURIOUS ZENGEN TURNED ON DOGO AND THREATENED: 'BY GOD, IF YOU DON'T ANSWER MY QUESTION, WHY I'LL BEAT YOU!'

This is possible in zen, that even a disciple can beat the master, because zen is very true to life and very authentic. A zen master does not create the phenomenon around him: 'I am holier than you.' He does not say, 'I am so superior.' How can one who has achieved say, 'I am superior and you are inferior'? The disciple can think that he is superior, but the master cannot claim any superiority, because superiority is only claimed by inferiority. Superiority is only claimed by the ego which is impotent, inferior. Strength is claimed only by weakness: when you are uncertain you claim certainty, when you are ill you claim health, when you don't know you claim knowledge. Your claims are simply to hide the truth. A master claims nothing. He cannot say, 'I am superior.' It is foolish. How can a wise man say, 'I am superior'?
So a zen master even allows this -- a disciple to hit him -- and he can enjoy the whole thing. Nobody else in the world has done that; that's why zen masters are rare -- you cannot find rarer flowers than them. The master is so superior really that he allows you even to hit him; his superiority is not challenged by it. You cannot challenge him in any way and you cannot bring him down in any way. He is no more there. He is an empty house. And he knows that a disciple can only be foolish. Nothing else is expected because a disciple is ignorant.
Compassion is needed. And in ignorance a disciple is bound to go on doing things, things which are not proper, because how can an improper person do proper things? And if you force proper things on an improper person, he will be crippled, his freedom will be cut. And a master is to help you to be free -- so hitting is allowed. In fact it is not irreverence; in fact the disciple also loves the master so much, so intimately, that he can come so close. Even hitting a person is a sort of intimacy -- you cannot hit just anybody.
Sometimes it happens that even a child hits his father, or a child slaps his mother. No antagonism is meant, it is just that the child accepts the mother so deeply and so intimately that he doesn't feel that anything is improper. Andthe child knows he will be forgiven, so there is no fear.
A master forgives infinitely, unconditionally.
The disciple was very angry because he had asked a very meaningful question -- it looked meaningful to him. He couldn't conceive why Dogo should behave so obstinately and say, 'No!' -- and not only that, he said, 'This is final! And I am not going to say anything more.'
When you ask a question you ask because of your ego, and when the answer is not given the ego feels hurt. The disciple was hurt; his ego was disturbed, he couldn't believe it -- and this must have happened before many people. They were not alone, there were many others, there must have been -- when someone dies many people gather there. And before those people the master said, 'No, and this is final! I am not going to say anything.' They all must have thought, 'This disciple is just a fool, asking irrelevant questions.'
Zengen must have felt angry, he must have been boiling. When he found himself alone with the master going back to the monastery he said:
'BY GOD, IF YOU DON'T ANSWER MY QUESTION, WHY I'LL BEAT YOU!' 'ALL RIGHT,' SAID DOGO, 'BEAT AWAY.'

Be finished with it! If you are angry, then be finished with it.
A master is always ready to bring all that is in you out, even your negativity. Even if you are going to hit him he will allow you to. Who knows -- in hitting the master you may become aware of your negativity; you may become aware of your illness, your disease, your madness. Hitting the master may become a sudden enlightenment -- who knows. And a master is to help you in every way. So Dogo said:
'ALL RIGHT' -- go ahead -- 'BEAT AWAY.'
A MAN OF HIS WORD, ZENGEN SLAPPED HIS MASTER A GOOD ONE.
SOME TIME LATER DOGO DIED, AND ZENGEN, STILL ANXIOUS TO HAVE HIS QUESTION ANSWERED, WENT TO THE MASTER SEKISO, AND, AFTER RELATING WHAT HAD HAPPENED, ASKED THE SAME QUESTION OF HIM. SEKISO, AS IF CONSPIRING WITH THE DEAD DOGO, WOULD NOT ANSWER.

All masters are always in a secret conspiracy. If they are masters at all, they are always together -- even if they contradict each other, they belong to the same conspiracy; even if they say sometimes that the other is wrong, they are in a conspiracy.
Buddha and Mahavira were contemporaries and they moved in the same province, Bihar. It is known as Bihar because of them: BIHAR means their field of movement, they walked all over that part. Sometimes they were in the same village.
Once it happened that they were staying in the same roadside inn -- half the inn was engaged by Buddha and half by Mahavira -- but they never met each other and continuously they refuted each other. Disciples used to move from one master to the other. It has remained a problem -- why? Buddha would even laugh, he would joke about Mahavira. He would say, 'That fellow! So he claims that he is enlightened? He claims that he is all-knowing? But I have heard that he says it once happened that he knocked at a door to beg food and there was no one inside, and I have heard that he claims that he is all-knowing! And even this much he didn't know -- that the house was vacant?'
He goes on joking. He says, 'Once Mahavira was walking and he stepped on the tail of a dog. Only when the dog jumped and barked did he know that the dog was there, because it was morning and dark. And that fellow says that he is all-knowing?' And he goes on joking. He cuts many jokes against Mahavira; they are beautiful.
They are in a conspiracy, Buddha and Mahavira, and this has not been understood, neither by Jainas nor by Buddhists -- they have missed the whole point. They think they are against each other, and Jainas and Buddhists have remained against each other for these two thousand years.
They are not against each other! They are playing roles, and they are trying to help people. They are two different types. Somebody can be helped by Mahavira, and somebody else can be helped by Buddha. The person who can be helped by Buddha cannot be helped by Mahavira -- that person has to be taken away from Mahavira. And the person who can be helped by Mahavira cannot be helped by Buddha -- that person has to be taken away from Buddha. That's why they talk against each other; it is a conspiracy. But everybody should be helped, and they are two different types, absolutely different types.
How can they be against each other? Nobody who ever became enlightened is against any other enlightened person, cannot be. He may talk as if it is so because he knows the other will understand. Mahavira is never reported to have said anything about the jokes that Buddha was telling here and there. He kept completely silent. That was his way. By being completely silent, not even refuting, he was saying, 'Leave that fool to himself!' -- by being completely silent, not saying anything.
Every day reports would come, people would come and they would say, 'He has said this,' and Mahavira would not even talk about it. And that was fitting, because he was very old, thirty years older than Buddha; it was not good for him to come down and fight with a young man -- this is how young fools are! But he was the same as Buddha against other teachers who were older than him. He would talk about them, talk against them, argue against them.
They are in a conspiracy. They have to be -- because you cannot understand. They have to divide paths, because you cannot understand that life exists through opposites. They have to choose opposites. They have to stick to one thing, and then they have to say, FOR YOU, 'Remember that all others are wrong' -- because if they say everybody is right you will be more confused. You are already confused enough. If they say, 'Yes, I am right. Mahavira is also right, Buddha is also right -- everybody is right,' you will immediately leave them; you will think: 'This man can't help, because we are already confused. We don't know what is right and what is wrong, and we have come to this man to know exactly what is right and what is wrong.'
So masters stick to something and they say, 'This is right and everything else is wrong,' knowing all along that there are millions of ways to reach the Way; knowing all along that there are millions of paths which reach the final path. But if they say that millions of paths reach, you will be simply confused.
This disciple Zengen was in trouble, because his Master Dogo died. He never expected that this was going to happen so soon. Disciples always feel in great difficulty when masters die. When masters are there, they fool around and waste time. When masters are dead, then they are in a real fix and difficulty -- what to do? So Zengen's question remained, the problem remained, the puzzle was as it was before. The disciple had not yet come to know what death is, and Dogo had died.
He went to another master, Sekiso, and after relating the whole thing, what had happened, asked the same question of him.

SEKISO, AS IF CONSPIRING WITH THE DEAD DOGO, WOULD NOT ANSWER.'BY GOD!' CRIED ZENGEN. 'YOU TOO?' 'I'M NOT SAYING,' SAID SEKISO, 'AND THAT'S FINAL.'

They are doing something. They are creating a situation. They are saying, 'Be silent before death. Don't ask questions, because when you ask you come to the surface, you become superficial. These questions are not questions to be asked. These questions are to be penetrated, lived, meditated on. You have to move into them. If you want to know death -- die! That is the only way to know. If you want to know life -- live!'
You are alive but not living, and you will die and you will not die... because everything is lukewarm in you. You live? -- not exactly; you just drag. Somehow, somehow you pull yourself along.
Live as intensely as possible! Burn your candle of life from both ends! Burn it so intensely... if it is finished in one second it is okay, but at least you will have known what it is. Only intensity penetrates. And if you can live an intense life you will have a different quality of death, because you will die intensely. As life is, so will the death be. If you live dragging, you will die dragging. You will miss life, and you will miss death also. Make life as intense as possible. Put everything at stake. Why worry? Why be worried about the future? THIS moment is there. Bring your total existence into it! Live intensely, totally, wholly, and this moment will become a revelation. And if you know life, you will know death.
This is the secret key: if you know life, you will know death. If you ask what death is, it means you have not lived -- because deep down they are one. What is the secret of life? The secret of life is death. If you love, what is the secret of love? Death. If you meditate, what is the secret of meditation? Death.
Whatsoever happens that is beautiful and intense always happens through death. You die. You simply bring yourself totally in it and die to everything else. You become so intense that you are not there, because if you are there then the intensity cannot be total; then two are there. If you love and the lover is there, then love cannot be intense. Love so deeply, so totally, that the lover disappears. Then you are just an energy moving. Then you will know love, you will know life, you will know death.
These three words are very meaningful: love, life, and death. Their secret is the same, and if you understand them there is no need to meditate. It is because you don't understand them that meditation is needed. Meditation is just a spare wheel. If you really love, it becomes meditation. If you don't love, then you will have to meditate. If you really live, it becomes meditation. If you don't live, then you will have to meditate; then something else will have to be added.
But this is the problem: if you cannot love deeply, how can you meditate deeply? If you cannot live deeply, how can you meditate deeply? ... Because the problem is neither love nor meditation nor death, the problem is: How to move to the depth? Deepness is the question.
If you move deeply in ANYTHING, life will be on the periphery and death will be in the center. Even if you watch a flower totally, forgetting everything, in watching the flower you will die in the flower. You will experience a merging, a melting. Suddenly you will feel you are not, only the flower is.
Live each moment as if this is the last moment. And nobody knows -- it may be the last.
Both the masters were trying to bring Zengen an awareness. When Sekiso heard the disciple telling him the whole story he also said, 'No. I'M NOT SAYING AND THAT'S FINAL.' He repeated the same words Dogo had said. The first time the disciple missed, but not the second time.

AT THAT VERY INSTANT, ZENGEN EXPERIENCED AN AWAKENING.

A satori happened... suddenly lightning... he became aware. The first time he missed. It is almost always so. The first time you will miss, because you don't know what is happening. The first time, the old habits of the mind will not allow you to see; that's why the second master, Sekiso, simply repeated the words of Dogo -- simply repeated. He did not change even a single word. The very line is the same:
'I'M NOT SAYING,' HE SAID, 'AND THAT'S FINAL.'

He again created the same situation.
It was easy to fight with a Dogo, it is not easy to fight with Sekiso. He is not Zengen's master. It was easy to hit Dogo, it will not be possible to hit Sekiso. It is enough that he answers. It is his compassion; he is not bound to answer.
An intimacy was there between Dogo and this disciple, and sometimes it happens when you are very intimate that you can miss -- because you take things for granted. Sometimes a distance is needed; it depends on the person.
A few people can learn only when a distance is there, a few people can learn only when there is no distance -- there are these two types of people. Those who can learn from a distance, they will miss a master; they will miss their own master, but he prepares them. Many of you are here who have worked in many lives with many other masters. You have missed them, but they have prepared you to reach me. Many of you will miss me, but I will have prepared you to reach somebody else. So nothing is lost, no effort is wasted.
Dogo created the situation, Sekiso fulfilled it.
AT THAT VERY INSTANT ZENGEN EXPERIENCED AN AWAKENING.

What happened? Hearing again the same words... is there a certain conspiracy? Why the same words again? Suddenly he became aware: My question is absurd, I am asking something which cannot be answered. It is not the master who is denying the answer, it is my very question, the nature of it.
A silence is needed before death, before life, before love. If you love a person you sit silently with the person. You would not like to chatter, you would like to just hold their hand and live and be silent in that moment. If you chatter, that means you are avoiding the person -- love is not really there. If you love life, chattering will drop, because every moment is so filled with life that there is no way, no space to chatter. Each moment life is flooding you so vitally -- where is the time to gossip and chatter? Each moment you live totally, mind becomes silent. Eat, and eat so totally -- because life is entering you through food -- that mind becomes silent. Drink, and drink totally: life is entering through water, it will quench your thirst; move with it as it touches your thirst, as the thirst disappears. Be silent and watch. How can you chatter when you are drinking a cup of tea? Warm life is flowing within you. Be filled with it. Be respectful.
Hence, in Japan, tea ceremonies exist, and every house worth calling a house has a tearoom just like a temple. A very ordinary thing, tea -- and they have raised it to a very holy status. When they enter the tearoom, they enter in complete silence, as if it is a temple. They sit silently in the tearoom. Then the kettle starts singing, and everybody listens silently, as you are listening to me: the same silence. And the kettle goes on singing millions of songs, sounds, OMKAR -- the very mantra of life -- and they listen silently. And then the tea is poured. They touch their cups and saucers. They feel grateful that this moment is again given to them. Who knows if it will come again or not? Then they smell the tea, the aroma, and they are filled with gratitude. Then they start sipping. And the taste... and the warmth... and the flow... and the merging of their own energy with the energy of the tea... it becomes a meditation.
Everything can become a meditation if you live it totally and intensely. And then your life becomes whole.
Suddenly, listening to the same words again, Zengen came to realize, 'I was wrong and my master was right. I was wrong because I thought: He is not answering; he is not paying attention to my question; he is not caring about me at all and my inquiry. My ego was hurt. But I was wrong -- he was not hitting my ego. I was not at all in the question. The very nature of death is such....' Suddenly he was awakened.
This is called satori. It is a special enlightenment. In no other language does there exist a word equivalent to satori. It is a specially zen thing. It is not samadhi; it is samadhi. It is not samadhi because it can happen in very ordinary moments: drinking tea, taking a walk, looking at a flower, listening to the frog jumping in the pond. It can happen in very ordinary moments, so it is not like the samadhi about which Patanjali talks.
Patanjali would simply be surprised that a frog jumps into the pond and at the sound of it somebody becomes enlightened. Patanjali would not be able to believe that a dry leaf drops from the tree, zigzags, moves on the wind a little, then falls to the ground and goes fast asleep -- and somebody sitting under the tree attains enlightenment? No, Patanjali would not be able to believe it: 'Impossible, because,' he will say, 'samadhi is something exceptional; samadhi comes after much effort, millions of lives. And then it happens in a particular posture -- SIDDHASAN. It happens in a particular state of body and mind.'
Satori is samadhi and yet not samadhi. It is a glimpse, and a glimpse in the very ordinary of the extraordinary: samadhi happening in ordinary moments. A sudden thing also -- it is not gradual, you don't move in degrees. It is just like water coming to boiling point, to one hundred degrees -- and then the jump, and the water becomes vapor, merges into the sky, and you cannot trace where it has gone. Up to ninety-nine degrees it is boiling and boiling and boiling, but not evaporating. From the ninety-ninth degree it can fall back, it was only hot. But if it passes the hundredth degree, then there is a sudden jump.
The situation is the same in the story. With Dogo, Zengen became hot, but couldn't evaporate. It was not enough, he needed one more situation, or he may have been in need of many more situations. Then with Sekiso -- the same situation, and suddenly something is hit. Suddenly the focus changes, the gestalt. Up to this point he had been thinking that it was his question to which Dogo had not replied. He had been egocentric. He had been thinking, 'It is I who have been neglected by my master. He was not careful enough about me and my inquiries. He didn't pay enough attention to me and my inquiry.'
Suddenly he realizes: 'It was not I who was neglected, or that the master was indifferent, or that he didn't pay attention. No, it was not me -- it is the question itself. It cannot be answered. Before the mysteries of life and death, one has to be silent.' The gestalt changes. He can see the whole thing. Hence, he attains a glimpse.
Whenever the gestalt changes you attain a glimpse. That glimpse is satori. It is not final, you will lose it again. You will not become a buddha by satori; that's why I say it is a samadhi and yet not a samadhi. It is an ocean in a teacup. Ocean, yes, and yet not the ocean -- samadhi in a capsule. It gives you a glimpse, an opening... as if you are moving in a dark night, in a forest, lost; you don't know where you are moving, where the path is, whether you are moving in the right direction or not -- and then suddenly there is lightning. In a moment you see everything! Then the light disappears. You cannot read in lightning, because it lasts only a moment. You cannot sit under the sky and start reading in lightning. No, it is not a constant flow.
Samadhi is such that you can read in its light. Satori is like lightning -- you can see a glimpse of the whole, all that is there, and then it disappears. But you will not be the same again. It is not final enlightenment, but a great step towards it. Now you know. You have had a glimpse, now you can search for more of it. You have tasted it, now buddhas will become meaningful.
Now if Zengen meets Dogo again he will not hit him, he will fall at his feet and ask for his forgiveness. Now he will weep millions of tears, because now he will say, 'What compassion Dogo had, that he allowed me to hit him; that he said, "Okay, you go ahead. Beat away!"' If he meets Dogo again, Zengen will not be the same. He has now tasted something which has changed him. He has not attained the final thing -- the final thing will be coming -- but he has got the sample.
Satori is the sample of Patanjali's samadhi. And it is beautiful that the sample is possible, because unless you taste it how can you move towards it? Unless you smell it a little, how can you be attracted and pulled towards it? The glimpse will become a magnetic force. You will never be the same again. You will know something is there and 'whether I find it or not -- that is up to me.' But trust will arise. Satori gives trust and starts a movement, a vital movement in you, towards the final enlightenment that is samadhi.

 


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