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ZEN

RETURNING TO THE SOURCE

Chapter 1: One Short Note

 

Energy Enhancement             Enlightened Texts             Zen             Returning to the Source

 

KAKUA WAS THE FIRST JAPANESE TO STUDY ZEN IN CHINA, AND WHILE HE WAS THERE HE ACCEPTED THE TRUE TEACHING.

WHEN HE WAS IN CHINA HE DID NOT TRAVEL. HE LIVED IN A REMOTE PART OF A MOUNTAIN AND MEDITATED CONSTANTLY.
WHENEVER PEOPLE FOUND HIM AND ASKED HIM TO PREACH, HE WOULD SAY A FEW WORDS, AND THEN MOVE TO ANOTHER PART OF THE MOUNTAIN WHERE HE COULD BE FOUND LESS EASILY.

WHEN KAKUA RETURNED TO JAPAN, THE EMPEROR HEARD ABOUT HIM AND ASKED HIM TO COME TO COURT TO PREACH ZEN FOR THE EDIFICATION OF HIMSELF AND HIS SUBJECTS.
KAKUA STOOD BEFORE THE EMPEROR IN SILENCE. HE THEN PRODUCED A FLUTE FROM THE FOLDS OF HIS ROBES, BLEW ONE SHORT NOTE, BOWED POLITELY, AND DISAPPEARED. NO ONE EVER KNEW WHAT BECAME OF HIM.

The real teaching cannot be taught, but still it is called a teaching. It cannot be taught, but it can be shown, indicated. There is no way to say it directly, but there are millions of ways to indicate it indirectly.

Lao Tzu says that the Truth cannot be said, and the moment you say it, you have already falsified it. The words, the language, the mind, are utterly incapable. Truth defies reason; it defies the head-oriented personality; it defies the ego. It cannot be manipulated. It is utterly impossible for reason to encounter it.

This is the first thing to be understood, and the more deeply you understand it, the more possibility will be available to me to indicate towards it. Whatsoever I am saying is not the Truth. It cannot be. Through words, only a situation can be created in which Truth may be possible. But that too one can never be definite about. It is unpredictable. No cause can be produced for it to happen -- it happens when it happens. The only thing that can be done is to become available to it. Your doors should be open. When it knocks at your door, you should be present there. If you are present, available, receptive, it can happen. But remember, through scriptures, through the words of the Enlightened Ones, you cannot attain it.

So the first thing is that it cannot be said. And every Master has to create an indirect situation, has to push you towards the Unknown. All that he is saying is just pushing you towards that which cannot be said.

The second thing, before we can understand Kakua and this beautiful Zen story: the real teaching defies words but it cannot defy the heart. If there were a language of the heart, it could be said through it. But the heart has no language, silence is the only language of the heart.

When the heart is silent, it says something; when the mind is silent, it says nothing. Words are the vehicle of the mind. No words, silence, is the vehicle of the heart. Silence is a language without words, but one has to learn it. Just as one has to learn the languages of the mind, one has to learn the language of the heart: how to be silent, how to be wordless, how to be without a mind, how to be a no-mind.

When the mind stops functioning, immediately the whole energy moves towards the heart. When the mind is not functioning the heart functions; when the heart functions, only then can something be taught to you. The real teaching can be taught through the heart. You MUST be near the heart. The nearer you are, the more capable you become of understanding the silence.

Remember, silence is not emptiness. To the reason, it may appear that silence is emptiness -- it is not. Silence is the most fulfilled moment possible. It is not only fulfilled, it is overflowing. But it is of a felt significance. The heart is not empty; it is the only thing which is full. The mind is just empty because mind has nothing but words. And what are words? -- ripples in emptiness. And what is silence? -- silence is the Total.

When you think, you are separate from Existence. When you don't think, you are one. In a non-thinking moment you lose all boundaries; suddenly you disappear, and still you are. And this felt moment of non-ego, of no-mind, of no-thought is the situation in which it becomes possible for the Truth to descend into you. When you are empty of yourself, you will be filled by Truth. So all that a Master has to do is to kill you utterly and completely; is to destroy your ego utterly and completely; is to cut your head so that you can become the heart. And then the whole energy moves into the heart.

Can you be headless? If you can be, only then can you be a disciple. If you cling to the head, then you cannot be a disciple. Can you live without the head? If you cannot live without the head, then you are closed to the Truth. Head is the barrier, and heart is the opening.

So how can the real teaching be taught? It cannot be taught, it is not a learning. You cannot learn it from somebody; it is an inner discipline. You have to become a receptive vehicle, a medium. It is not something which you can learn remaining as you are. It cannot be an accumulation. You have to go through a transformation, you have to be different. You have to bring a different quality to your being.

Only then does communication become possible -- not exactly communication but rather, communion. Through the head there is a communication; through the heart there is a communion -- it is not a dialogue. In fact, it is a meeting of the Master with the disciple. It is less a dialogue, more a merging, a melting, where the Master and the disciple merge into each other just as lovers merge. But lovers merge in the body, at the most lovers can merge in the mind, but a disciple and a Master is the greatest love affair in the world. They merge in the spirit -- they become one.

Only when they are one can the Truth be shown; it cannot be taught, it cannot be learned, nobody can teach you. You can get it from nobody. The whole effort of getting it from somebody, alive or dead, from scriptures or from teachings, is futile. And the sooner you understand it the better, because the time wasted will simply be wasted. Nothing can be achieved by it.

You have to pass through a transformation. You have to die and be reborn. You have to be completely new, totally new. With that 'new' -- when the old has gone, when you have disappeared and a new being has taken place -- then there is communion.

This beautiful Zen story says many things. Try to understand each word because each word is significant.

KAKUA WAS THE FIRST JAPANESE TO STUDY ZEN IN CHINA.

Zen is the most subtle teaching. The word Zen comes from dhyana. The teaching was born with Buddha in India, but then unfortunately India became non-receptive, and Buddha's disciples had to seek in China people who were more receptive to it.

Buddha said many things, but he never said a single word about Truth. He talked his whole life; for forty years after his Enlightenment he talked every day continually, but he never said a single word about Truth. Whenever somebody would ask: What is Truth? he would remain silent.

Then one day it happened. He sat under a tree; many people had gathered. All his disciples were present and they were waiting for him to say something. But he would not say anything, he simply sat there. He had a flower in his hand, a lotus flower.

It is very significant, because in the East the lotus flower is the symbol of ultimate flowering. In the East, the highest. peak of your being is thought to be like a lotus -- it is. When your final peak comes, inside your being a flower starts opening. And then it goes on opening and opening and opening, from perfection to more perfection and still more perfection; there is no end to it. This lotus is called SAHASRAR, the one-thousand-petalled lotus.

Buddha came with a lotus; he sat under a tree and he looked at the lotus as if he had forgotten about the ten thousand people who had gathered there -- who were there. And they were waiting impatiently. Moments passed, then hours started passing and people became very uneasy. Buddha had forgotten completely about them.

He is there, the flower is there and he is so attentive to the flower that it seems that even the boundaries between Buddha and the flower are lost. Then suddenly one disciple, his name is Mahakashyap, starts laughing loudly. It is unbelievable because this Mahakashyap is such a silent one, nobody has ever seen him laughing; and such a belly laugh, as if he has gone mad. Everybody looks at him. Buddha calls him near, Mahakashyap comes. Buddha gives the flower to Mahakashyap and tells the assembly: Whatsoever can be said I have told you, and whatsoever cannot be said I have given to Mahakashyap -- and this is the real teaching.

For thousands of years now Buddhists all over the world have been asking: What was given to Mahakashyap? What was it? It became one of the most penetrating questions. Buddha told Mahakashyap to find a man who could receive that lotus. Mahakashyap found a man. For a few hundred years others could also, then others, but the Sixth Master, Bodhidharma, could not find a single man in the whole of India. He wandered around with a lotus. He went to every village, he knocked on every door; he couldn't find a man to commune with, to say that which cannot be said. Nobody was ready to receive the real teaching.

In India there were millions of scholars, men filled with knowledge -- great pundits. Those were the peak days of the Indian mind. Never again has India reached to that peak of scholarship. But Bodhidharma could not find a single man who was able to receive Buddha's lotus. So Bodhidharma had to go to China to find a man there. Even there, he had to search for nine years continuously before he found one.

Zen is dhyana; in China it became ch'an. And then from China it had to be taken to Japan, because in China also it soon became impossible to find a man who was ready to receive it. This Kakua brought it from China to Japan. Just as Bodhidharma took it from India to China, Kakua brought it from China to Japan.

This man Kakua is very significant and very rare. Nobody knows anything about him -- only this story exists. He is just exactly like Mahakashyap -- nobody knows anything about him, only this story I told you about the giving of the lotus flower -- only this story is known about him. About Kakua also only this story is known. No one ever knew what became of him. A man who becomes totally silent loses boundaries, loses definitions, loses autobiography. There is nothing to talk about. There is nobody to talk about.

Paramahansa Yogananda is the first yogi in the whole history of yoga who has written an autobiography. This is foolish because the yogi, by the very nature of his being, has no autobiography. Autobiographies exist around the ego. A yogi, by the very nature of his being, is nobody; that is his whole autobiography.

Nobody knows anything about Kakua except this small anecdote, but this is enough. Because this anecdote contains all the Vedas, all the Korans, and all the Bibles -- all the Vedas that have existed and that will exist in the future -- this small anecdote contains them all. So listen carefully.

KAKUA WAS THE FIRST JAPANESE TO STUDY ZEN IN CHINA, AND WHILE HE WAS THERE HE ACCEPTED THE TRUE TEACHING.

He accepted the true teaching.... Look at the words. True teaching is always available. Somebody is needed to accept it. It is always available but you are not ready to accept it; you reject it. Whenever a Master knocks at your door, you reject. This has been my experience working on so many people; it is rare that when I knock at their door, they accept me -- it is very rare. They reject in millions of ways -- acceptance is difficult. Why? Because if you accept, your ego is lost. The ego decides whether to accept or not; the reason thinks whether this is true or not. The reason never loses control.

Just the other day I was talking to somebody and I told him: Now you are ready, take a jump into sannyas. The man said: I will think about it. How can you think about it? Thinking is possible only if you have known it before, because thinking moves into the realm of the known. If you had known in the past what sannyas is, if you had ever been a sannyasin, then you could think about it. But once you have been a sannyasin, you can never be otherwise, because to be a sannyasin is such a transformation. You don't know what sannyas is and you say: I will think about it. How will you think about it? -- What will you think about it?

sannyas is a movement into the unknown. It is a trust. It is not your rational decision, it is an irrational jump. If you are fed up with your reason -- only then. But you say: I will decide. Who will decide -- your mind?

Are you not fed up with your mind? Have you not done everything the mind says to you to do? Where have you got through it? Where have you reached? What has happened? Look at your life; this is where your mind has got you to -- it is a hell. Still you cling to it and you say: I will think about it. And who are you, and who is saying: I will think about it? Who is this 'I'?

sannyas is to drop the 'I', and if the 'I' decides, then there can be no dropping because in the very decision, the 'I' has been saved. You cannot decide, that's why it is a trust. That's why I say it is an ultimate love affair. If you trust, you trust a Master. Then you don't say: I will decide. You simply say: I accept; I am here available, you do whatsoever you want to do with me; don't ask, just do whatsoever you want to do with me. That is the meaning of acceptance -- it is a trust, it is shraddha, it is faith; it is not a conviction.

AND WHILE HE WAS THERE HE ACCEPTED THE TRUE TEACHING.

You cannot learn it, it cannot be taught. But it can be accepted and it can be given. Whenever you are ready to accept it, it can be given, just like the lotus flower of the Buddha. Don't think in literal terms. Don't think that Buddha really carried the lotus flower in his hand. His hand is the lotus flower; he is the lotus flower. It is possible that only Mahakashyap could see it, nobody else.

Look at my hand -- the lotus flower is there. If you accept, I can give it to you. But acceptance means a death. Acceptance means that you die as you are. Something new is born, disconnected, discontinuous with the past. When you are reborn, you will not be able to connect it with who was there before, because the old man and the new man never meet. The old man goes out -- the new man comes in, but in the innermost core of your being they never meet. The old goes out -- only then the inner opens for the new to receive. They never meet.

Enlightenment is a discontinuity with the past. You will never become Enlightened remember, you will have to leave. Only when you leave, only when you are not in the way, does the new happen.

KAKUA ACCEPTED THE TRUE TEACHING.

Acceptance is one of the most beautiful words. Buddhists, the followers of Buddha, have a term for it which is even deeper than the English word 'acceptance'; it is tathata. tathata means saying 'yes' so totally that in your being there is no division. You become one in your yes. You say 'yes' so totally that there exists no 'no' inside you, no denial.

tathata, or total acceptance, is not a majority decision. It is not parliamentary, it is total. It is not that the major part of your mind, the major part of your being decides, and the minor still goes on saying 'no'. Then it is conflict -- then who knows? Any day the majority may become a minority, and the minority may become a majority. It is bound to be so, because sooner or later the majority will be tired of saying 'yes' and will relax more and more, and the minority which says 'no' without doing anything will gather force and momentum. By and by the majority will be exhausted and the minority will collect energy. Not doing anything, sooner or later it will become the majority.

There is an inner politics. Acceptance, total acceptance, tathata, means without any political decision -- total. There is nobody who says 'no' within you, not even a fragment, because even a fragment can be destructive. And even if part of you says 'no' you cannot receive the true teaching.

People come to me. They say: We surrender, and they don't do what they are saying. If I say to them: Okay, change your dress to ochre, they say: It is difficult, I am not ready for it. Just the dress, and you are not ready to change it -- and you are thinking of changing your soul, your being! And just a moment before the person was saying: I surrender to you. He does not know what surrender means; he does not know what he is saying, he is fast asleep. In his sleep he may have used the word 'surrender', but the moment I say: Change something, your dress, your name, he says: It is difficult, I love my name. Let my name remain the same. My name is beautiful, don't change it. Even the name, which is nothing but a word -- and you don't come with a name when you are born, you come without a name, a nameless being; this is just a label attached to you -- and you cannot even change the label. You are not ready for any change at all.

People ask me: Why do you change people's name and dress? That is just the beginning. That's how I start taking hold of you. That's how I feel whether you are ready to change anything or not.

You would like to receive the true teaching without any change. You would like to receive the true teaching as you are. That is not possible. It is not possible because of the very nature of the true teaching. I cannot do anything about it, nobody can. It is in the nature of the very phenomenon; you receive it only when you accept it.

God is available, Truth is available, Light is available, but you are such a miser in receiving. You are not only a miser in giving, you are a miser in receiving also. A miser has to be a miser whatsoever he does. You cannot give; you cannot receive. What type of life have you got? Giving and receiving are two aspects of the same coin. If you can give, you can also receive. Hence, so much insistence on giving -- giving to people whatsoever you can give -- giving in love. There is so much insistence from all the religions to give; give more and more. Why? -- so that you can become capable of receiving more and more.

Remember, it is just like inhalation and exhalation. If you exhale deeply, automatically you will inhale deeply. If you want to inhale deeply, you will have to exhale deeply -- there is no other way. And life is a balance between exhalation and inhalation. If you are afraid of exhalation your breathing will become shallow. Then your inhalation cannot be very deep. it is impossible. Exhalation is giving, giving whatsoever you can give. And the more you give, the more you become capable of receiving. And when you give completely, utterly, totally, that is the moment of acceptance.

Kakua must have given to his Master so totally that he became capable of accepting, receiving. He received the true teaching.

WHEN HE WAS IN CHINA, HE DIDN'T TRAVEL. HE LIVED IN A REMOTE PART OF A MOUNTAIN, AND MEDITATED CONSTANTLY.

These are symbolic words: When he was in China he didn't travel... Mind is constantly travelling. Your outer travelling is just a manifestation of your inner turmoil. When people become so tense inside, so much movement, outside, also they start travelling. Hence, the American traveller; all over the world, American tourists.

Chuang Tzu reports that he has heard that in the old days, people wouldn't even go to the other side of the river. Chuang Tzu said: I have heard grandfather say that in his time they knew that there existed a town on the other side of the river, because in the evening the smoke would rise in the sky, and in the night, in the silence of the night, dogs would bark in the other village. They knew, but nobody would even ask who lived there. A different quality of people; they must have lived in total silence: Why inquire? Why this curiosity? Why bother? -- somebody must be living there, so it is okay. Nobody went to the other shore of the river to see who was living there.

And just the opposite is happening in America. I have heard an anecdote: Near a Greek volcano an American tourist was standing with a guide. He looked deep into the volcano and he said: Looks like hell. The guide said: You Americans! You have been everywhere!

Kakua did not travel at all, neither to hell nor to heaven. This is just symbolic; one has to be where one is. Non-travelling means not only in space, but in time. There are two types of travelling: one travelling is in space -- you go from New York to London, from London to Poona, from Poona to Singapore -- this is a travelling in space; and then there is a travelling inside the mind, in time. You go into the past, you go into the future, and that is a, greater travelling. Instantaneously you can go anywhere, no passports are needed, there is no visa problem. You can move into the past, you can go into the future -- you can go anywhere. And mind constantly moves.

Remember, mind is never where you are; it is always somewhere else. You are never in the present moment, because to be in the present moment one has to learn how not to travel, not to go somewhere else, not to visit the past and not to dream the future. Past is no more -- future is not yet. You are wasting your life, your energy. You are wasting your precious moment; that which is. It is here, now. The door opens in the present and you miss the door. That is your misery and anguish.

Why are you in such misery? -- because you have been missing life itself. Your misery is just an indication that you have missed what life is.

Life is in the present and you go on, either in the past or in the future. You are just like the pendulum of an old grandfather clock. You go from this to that right, left, right, left. The pendulum goes on; it never stays in the middle. If the pendulum stays in the middle immediately the clock stops.

And mind is just like a clock. This travelling from past to future is the pendulum. If you stop in the moment, this very moment, if you are here, listening to me -- to the breeze that passes through the trees, to the airplane that is just now passing, to a bird, to the traffic noise, to all that is happening right now, open to it, receptive to it, the past dropped, the future not there -- then you are in a non-travelling state of mind. And this is all that meditation is.

KAKUA DID NOT TRAVEL. HE LIVED IN A REMOTE PART OF A MOUNTAIN AND MEDITATED CONSTANTLY.

There are mountains outside and there are mountains inside. A whole parallel world exists on the inside also. That's why people used to move to the mountains, just to create an outer situation to move inwardly -- to the inner mountains. Hindus even have a name for the inner mountain; they call it sumeru. If you ask them where it is they say it is in heaven. If you think that there is a mountain like sumeru in heaven you miss the point. They are saying that inside you, there is a moment when you are on such a top peak of your being; that top peak of your being is SUMERU, the mountain that exists in heaven. Because at that moment you are in heaven.

These are all symbols -- Kakua lived on a remote part of a mountain... He may have lived there outwardly also but that is not very significant. Inside you there are remote parts. Inside you there are parts which belong to the market, there are parts which belong to the family, there are parts which belong to the surface. And there are remote parts inside you which do not belong to the market, to the family or to anybody. Those remote mountains where nobody ever moves, only you are... you have to seek. You have to sit silently and seek the remote parts within you.

Remember, you are a vast universe. The surface that you have taken it for granted that you are is just the beginning, the porch. If we are talking on the porch it is because of you. There are remote corners inside the house. Many people live their whole lives on the porch, just by the side of the road: market, family, things, prestige, politics. You live on the surface. Kakua moved inside to inner, remote, and still more remote places. How can you go inside? -- first stop travelling.

There are two movements of energy, only two. Energy has only two dimensions: one is horizontal, another is vertical, just like the Christian cross. And the Christian cross is really the symbol for the two dimensions. One is horizontal: you go from one thought to another, from A to B, from B to C -- horizontal. Then there is another movement of energy: you don't go from A to B, you go deeper into A -- from A1 to A2, from A2 to A3 -- you go deeper, or vertical, or higher, because they all mean the same thing.

Look at the cross on which Christ was crucified. It has two poles: one is horizontal on which his hands were nailed -- that is ordinary time, that is living near the roadside, living in the market, living on the crossroads -- and then, the depth. His whole body is on the vertical pole. That is going deeper, deeper. When you go for a swim you swim on the surface; that is horizontal. Then you dive deep; that is vertical. A meditator dives deep -- a thinker moves on the surface. Thinking is like swimming. Meditation is not like swimming, it is diving deep; going to the same point but on a deeper and deeper layer.

Stop travelling, because travelling is on the surface. Be still, don't travel, remain in the moment; then you start falling into the abyss. You may be afraid and that may be the reason why you go on thinking of the past and the future. Because if you remain in the moment, you will fall into an endless abyss. A depth opens and you are absorbed into it.

The ego cannot exist on the vertical, it can exist only on the horizontal. The mind cannot exist on the vertical, it can exist only on the horizontal. But the horizontal and vertical meet; that is the meeting of the two poles where they become a cross. They meet, they meet in the present moment -- the present moment becomes the meeting point. There, the horizontal crosses the vertical. From the present moment you can move in two directions, either from A to B, or from A1 to A2. Kakua was travelling from A1 to A2, from A2 to A3; and it is an infinite depth -- you can never reach to the end.

WHEN HE WAS IN CHINA HE DIDN'T TRAVEL. HE LIVED IN A REMOTE PART OF A MOUNTAIN.

And the deeper you go into the vertical, the more remote you go, then the farther from the world you go. Then the family is left on the surface; the anxieties of the day to day existence are left on the surface. They belong to the road, the traffic, the market. You simply move inside and they disappear.

Remember, there are two ways to encounter worries: one is to try to solve them on the surface -- nobody has ever solved -- another is to remove yourself to a remote corner of the mountain. The further you go away, the more the distance, the better you can see, because distance gives perspective. And when you can see better the worries start dissolving, The further away you move, the more worries automatically dissolve, Because now you are not feeding them by constantly remaining near them. Now you are not giving your attention to them -- they wither away. And once you have reached to the farthest corner of your being, even you don't know whether there are worries or not, whether they ever existed. You simply wonder.

This is the Eastern way to solve worries: to move inside to a remote corner. The Western way is to face the worries and try to solve them. And the West has been a failure. Nothing has helped -- neither psychoanalysis nor other trends in psychiatry, nothing has helped -- because everybody is trying to solve them on the surface. They may give you a little consolation, or they may make you more adjusted to the society; they may give you a little more confidence, they may make you normal, that's all.

But 'normal' simply means normally-abnormal, nothing else. Normal simply means like everybody else -- but how is everybody else? Everybody else is also neurotic, lukewarm neurotic. Psychiatry, psychoanalysis, and all trends in the West can make you more adjusted, normal, that's all. The maladjustment disappears; you become adjusted. But what do you become adjusted to? If the whole society is sick, you become adjusted to sickness. If the whole society is neurotic, you become adjusted to the neurosis.

The Eastern way is totally different. It is not to become more adjusted to society -- no, because society itself is ignorant, sick. To be adjusted to it is not the point. The point is to get more remote from the society so that you can find your own roots, your own grounding. Once you find your own grounding, worries will exist, they are part of life, but you are not worried by them. They exist and you tackle them on the surface, but you are not involved -- you remain outside.

A real meditator becomes authentically an outsider. He remains outside. He remains at such a far away distance that he can look at himself as if he is looking at somebody else. Worries will be there, just like waves will be there on the surface of the ocean. But in the deeper layers of the ocean there are no waves. If you get identified with the waves, then there is trouble. This identification is the root cause of all misery. The more remotely you move, the more the identification dissolves; it breaks, it falls. Suddenly you are in the world but not of the world. Suddenly you have transcended.

There is only one transcendence and transcendence is the only way. And that transcendence is going deeper and deeper within yourself. Just witness your mind and the deeper you will move. Just remember that you are not the mind and the deeper you will move. Just remember that you are not to fall into the old trap of going into the past or the future. Just remember that you are not here to travel, but to be. You are not here to become something; you are already that which you can become. But just to know this being, what it is....

The West has been making vast tremendous efforts to become something. And the East has been doing only one thing, relaxing and knowing who they are. The becoming is not the point because becoming is travelling; you have to become something. The point is first to know who you are. You may already be the thing you want to become. And those who have known, have known that it is already the case. You are already that which you can become. You just have to become acquainted with this fact.

This fact is hidden deep in you. More significant facts are always hidden deeper. They are not on the surface, they are not on the skin -- they are in the heart. Be a witness to the mind, and you will find remote corners of your being, unacquainted, unknown to you. You don't know yourself. You know only a part, the porch of your house. You just move on the outside.

KAKUA LIVED IN A REMOTE PART OF A MOUNTAIN AND MEDITATED CONSTANTLY.

This has to be remembered -- meditation cannot be a part. Either it is the whole or not. It is a twenty-four hour thing. You cannot do it and leave it. It is not a fragment like your going to the church or your going to the temple, meditating for a few minutes and being finished with it. It is not an act that you can do and be finished with. It is not an act, it is you. How can you do it and be finished? It is for twenty-four hours. Meditation is a way of life. It is not an activity, it is your very being. It has to be constant, it has to be continuous, it has to be, whether you are walking, eating, or even when you are sleeping, it has to be there. It must become a crystallized continuity. Only then Enlightenment happens, never before it.

Of course in the beginning you have to start. You do it in the morning, sometimes you do it in the evening, then you forget about it and even that helps. But it is not meditation yet, it is still an activity. It has not become part of your being. It is not yet like breathing. Can you do breathing in the morning and then leave it? It must become like breathing, continuously with you. And a moment comes when it becomes even deeper than breathing, because breathing is also not constant. It is not really constant. When you breathe in there is a moment when breathing stops. When you breathe out there is a moment, a fraction of a moment, when breathing stops. When you are very very silent, breathing stops -- no breathing.

Meditation is deeper than breathing because breathing belongs to the body. Meditation doesn't belong to the body. Meditation belongs to the seed, to the very center around which body revolves. The body is just like the wheel. Breathing is necessary for the body and meditation is necessary, just as necessary, for the soul. Without breathing you will be dead; that means the body will be dead. Without meditation you will be dead; that is, the soul will be dead.

Gurdjieff used to say: Don't believe that you already have got a soul. How can you have a soul unless you meditate? And he was right. When you meditate, for the first time the soul revives in you. It has been waiting for you. And when the soul starts breathing within you, just like the body, when the soul starts beating within you just like the heart, then you have a different quality; that quality is the religiousness. It has nothing to do with rituals. Then you are a different, a totally different human being.

Desire disappears; instead of desire -- contentment, deep contentment comes to you, because desire is discontent. Anger disappears and instead of anger -- compassion; the same energy becomes compassion. In anger you would like to destroy the other. In compassion, just the opposite; you would like to create, you would not like to destroy. Hate disappears without any trace; you simply cannot find it within you. You happen to be loving, and then love is not an affair; it is not falling in love with someone, it is simply the way you are.

If you touch a leaf there is love. If you carry a rock there is love. If you look at the sun there is love. Whatsoever you do, it becomes a love act.

Meditation is not part, it is the whole, so one has to be constantly remembering, constantly aware. You cannot afford to meditate in the morning and then forget about it.

HE LIVED IN A REMOTE PART OF A MOUNTAIN AND MEDITATED CONSTANTLY.
WHENEVER PEOPLE FOUND HIM AND ASKED HIM TO PREACH, HE WOULD SAY A FEW WORDS, AND THEN MOVE TO ANOTHER PART OF THE MOUNTAIN WHERE HE COULD BE FOUND LESS EASILY.

He moved outwardly and inwardly also. Sometimes, even if you go to a remote part inside yourself, you will find that a thought comes and visits you; those are the people inside. And outside also, even if you go to a very remote part of the Himalayas, somebody, someday; a hunter, a wood-cutter, or a traveller who is going to Manasarover Lake, or somebody who has forgotten his way, will visit you. And just the same happens inside. Sometimes a vagrant thought that has forgotten the way will visit you.

In deeper meditations suddenly you will see one thought standing: but it will be one, it will not be a crowd. And when one thought visits it is beautiful. because you can see it so clearly. It has a personality of its own. Thoughts are people, but you live in such a crowd of thoughts that the crowd has no personality. You are so filled with thoughts that you cannot see the beauty, the face of a single thought. By the time you become aware, the thought has gone, another is passing; it is a constant traffic.

 

In traffic, in a crowd, you don't look at faces, you don't feel people; you simply feel a mess all around you. In a crowd others are things, not people. Have you watched it? If you are travelling in a crowded train, many people around you touching from everywhere; even if you are a woman and somebody is touching your body, you don't feel bothered. Why not? Because he is not a person; they are not people -- it is just a crowd. If you are standing alone under a tree and the same man comes and rubs against you then you will become angry. Now he is a person.

In a crowd nobody has personality. It is just a crowd -- with whom can you be angry? -- and you shrink into yourself. In a crowded bus, in a crowded train, you shrink inside; you are not available on the surface of the skin, so if somebody touches you it is okay. It is not a touch, it is a dead thing. But alone with a single person, then it's different.

And the same happens within. You have lived in a crowd of thoughts, a mad crowd. You have never looked at a single thought. Thoughts are people, and they are beautiful. When you can see a single thought against the sky, with a personality, its own being, its own energy, then that thought will ask you something. The mind has never asked you anything because you are so identified. When the identification breaks, by and by, even the mind starts asking you many things.

People would ask and inquire of Kakua. He would preach, he would say a few words, and then move to another part of the mountain, because this part had also become crowded; people were reaching. And this will happen every time you settle inside with your meditation. Every time you settle a thought will visit. That shows that you are still available to thought; still not really removed to where nobody can reach. You have to change, you have to go still deeper. And you will feel a very very deep gratitude for the thought that visited you, because it showed you that you are still not very far away from the surface: a thought can reach, a wave can come. You will think the thought, take your belongings and move.

Kakua would preach a few words, he would have a good communication with the thought and move further into the interior, so that nobody could reach him. One has to find a place which is absolutely individual, nobody reaches you -- that is your soul. Nobody reaches you, not even a thought -- it is total aloneness.

You cannot imagine the silence, you cannot imagine the beauty, you cannot imagine the flavour of it; when you are absolutely alone, when nobody can reach you, when nothing reaches. You cannot understand the benediction, the bliss that happens. Go on moving, go on moving inside yourself, and reach to a point where not even a single thought can come and visit you. Reach to a point where only the host remains, and no guest ever comes.

Only then the real guest will knock at your door. Only then the God, only then the NIRVANA, the Enlightenment, the Supreme Light, Truth, or whatsoever name you would like to give it, knocks at your door. When you are not available to the world you become available to God. Until that happens, the total aloneness, you are not yet a right vehicle for the Divine to descend.

A moment came in Kakua's life when he achieved, achieved the total aloneness, and then the Supreme guest knocked at his door. Then he returned to Japan.

WHEN KAKUA RETURNED TO JAPAN THE EMPEROR HEARD ABOUT HIM AND ASKED HIM TO COME TO COURT TO PREACH ZEN FOR THE EDIFICATION OF HIMSELF AND HIS SUBJECTS. KAKUA STOOD BEFORE THE EMPEROR IN SILENCE.

It must have been a very awkward moment for the Emperor. Kakua simply stood there in silence. He would not say anything. He tried to commune, but the Emperor was waiting for communication. In that world even emperors are beggars, because emperors also live where you live. They may be living in great palaces -- but they live in words just like you. They think just like you, they imagine, they desire; they move to the past and the future just like you. As far as the Ultimate reality is concerned, a beggar and an emperor are in the same boat. There is not a single bit of difference. Just their outer garments are different; their inner being is the same.

Kakua stood in silence, he would not speak a single word. The Emperor waited, the court waited.... Then feeling the impossibility -- that silence will not be understood, that there was nobody who could laugh like Mahakashyap and could understand his silence -- Kakua did the next best thing. What did he do?

HE THEN PRODUCED A FLUTE FROM THE FOLDS OF HIS ROBES, BLEW ONE SHORT NOTE, BOWED POLITELY, AND DISAPPEARED. NO ONE EVER KNEW WHAT BECAME OF HIM.

That is the next best thing. If silence cannot be understood, then the next best thing is music.

Something has to be understood about music: music is not language, and yet it is language; it does not say anything and still it speaks. Music is not words, it is just sound; sound just in the middle of no-word and word. If no-word cannot be understood -- then music. And if music also cannot be understood, then Kakua simply disappears.

I am talking to you -- in fact it is nothing but music. The flute may not be apparent but I am not really talking, I am singing something. It is not a philosophy, it is a poetry -- hence all the contradictions of a poet. I say something today; I said something absolutely different yesterday and you cannot predict me. Tomorrow I may say something else, because what I say is not the point. What I sing through it is the point. The words change; flutes can change, that is not the point -- but the single note....

And I have been talking and talking, but have you observed the single note? The single note remains single. In different ways I sing the same song with different flutes, with different words. They may look contradictory, because sometimes I use a bamboo flute and sometimes a golden flute; sometimes with few holes, sometimes with many holes. Flutes are different -- even the sounds may be different, but the basic note remains the same. All Buddhas have been singing the same note.

Listeners go on changing -- Buddhas never change. I am singing the same song that Kakua sang before the Emperor. 'He produced a flute from the folds of his robes, blew one short note...' Just like a single flower in a big garden -- a single note against the whole sky -- a single note against the whole mind, the chattering of the mind.

... BOWED POLITELY AND DISAPPEARED. NO ONE EVER KNEW WHAT BECAME OF HIM.

He tried his best. First he tried silence. I have also tried silence first, but it was difficult; the listener could not hear anything. Now I am trying the single note with a flute. And if you don't listen, remember this story; Kakua disappears. Then nobody ever hears anything about him.

And Kakua tried with the best, the Emperor and his court. And when he saw that even the Emperor and the court could not understand, then what was the use? -- who could understand? He simply didn't bother again. And this has been happening many, many times, millions of times. Many Kakuas never even tried when they saw the whole absurdity. They simply looked at your faces; they found walls there. They simply never tried. But some Kakuas are very bold -- they try. That is hoping against hope.

This story is a very beautiful indication. What will you do because of this story? First try silence; be silent with me. If you feel it impossible, then listen to the music; not to the words I am saying to you, words are just excuses -- listen to the music. And don't argue, because what I am saying is not a logical statement, it is absurd. But that is not the point at all, the logic of it. The point is the music of it.

First try silence with me. If it happens, it is beautiful. If it cannot happen, then try music. These two are the only ways, there is no third way. Don't listen to what I say, just listen to the rhythm. Just listen to the harmony, the harmony of the opposites. And it is a single note, remember. I go on repeating the same thing every day in different ways. Sometimes a Zen story is the excuse, sometimes a Sufi story is the excuse, sometimes the Gita, sometimes Jesus or Mahavir; these are all excuses. But I go on repeating the same note. I go around you trying from everywhere, all the possibilities.

Listen to the music! Don't listen to the logic. It has no logic in it -- it has only a melody.

 

 

Next: Chapter 2: Throw It Out!

 


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