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Chapter 5: Meditation, the method of great liberation

 

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OUR BELOVED MASTER,
DAIKAKU SAID TO HIS ASSEMBLY OF MONKS: "SITTING MEDITATION IS THE METHOD OF GREAT LIBERATION; ALL THE TEACHINGS FLOW FORTH FROM THIS; MYRIAD PRACTICES ARE MASTERED THIS WAY. SUPERNORMAL POWERS, KNOWLEDGE, WISDOM AND VIRTUE, ALL ARISE FROM HERE. THE PATH OF LIFE OF HUMANS AND GODS OPENS HEREIN; ALL THE BUDDHAS HAVE ENTERED AND LEFT BY THIS DOOR. BODHISATTVAS PRACTICING IT HAVE ENTERED THIS DOOR. DISCIPLES AND SELF-ENLIGHTENED ONES ARE STILL ONLY HALFWAY THERE, WHILE OUTSIDERS, THOUGH THEY PRACTICE, DO NOT ENTER THE RIGHT PATH. WHATEVER ESOTERIC OR EXOTERIC SCHOOLS DO NOT PRACTICE THIS, DO NOT HAVE ANYONE WHO REALIZES THE WAY OF BUDDHAHOOD."
A MONK THEN ASKED DAIKAKU, "WHAT DOES IT MEAN THAT SITTING MEDITATION IS THE ROOT SOURCE OF ALL THE TEACHINGS?" DAIKAKU ANSWERED, "MEDITATION IS THE INNER NO-MIND OF THE ENLIGHTENED ONES; DISCIPLINE IS THEIR OUTER CHARACTER; DOCTRINE IS THEIR SPEECH; BUDDHA-REMEMBRANCE IS THE INVOCATION OF THE BUDDHA'S NAME. ALL COME FROM THE ENLIGHTENED NO-MIND OF THE BUDDHAS; THEREFORE, IT IS CONSIDERED FUNDAMENTAL."
THE MONK ASKED AGAIN, "THE METHOD OF MEDITATION IS FORMLESS AND THOUGHTLESS; SPIRITUAL QUALITIES ARE NOT OBVIOUS, AND THERE IS NO PROOF OF SEEING REALITY -- SO HOW CAN WE BELIEVE IN THIS?"
DAIKAKU SAID, "YOUR OWN NO-MIND AND THE ENLIGHTENED NO-MIND ARE ONE -- IS THAT NOT SPIRITUAL QUALITY? IF YOU DON'T KNOW YOUR OWN NO-MIND, ON WHOM CAN YOU CALL FOR WITNESS AND PROOF? OTHER THAN THE IDENTITY OF NO-MIND AND BUDDHA, WHAT PROOF DO YOU SEEK?"

Maneesha, Daikaku is making some very important statements for those who are on the path; not for those who are seeking knowledge, respectability, reputation. Daikaku is a master only if you are a seeker. Unless your whole life depends on a single point of finding your own center, the very source of your being, you will not be able to understand what Daikaku is saying.
But this assembly is no ordinary crowd. This assembly is of the bodhisattvas, who are essentially buddhas, and their urge to explore their inner reality to its totality has brought them from all corners of the world. This is the right assembly for a man like Daikaku.
DAIKAKU SAID TO HIS ASSEMBLY OF MONKS:
SITTING MEDITATION IS THE METHOD OF GREAT LIBERATION.
It is very strange that just by silently sitting, watching your thoughts moving here and there as if they do not belong to you -- you don't have to do anything about them, not even make a judgment -- just sitting silently not doing anything, and the door opens. Your ultimate reality is not something to be sought in the outside world; it is hidden in the seeker himself. The moment you start looking for it here and there, you are going far away, far away from yourself. There is no need to go anywhere. Just sit down, settle down. The mind is just like dust in water. If you are patient enough, the dust will settle and the crystal-clear water will be there reflecting the full moon.
Zen does not preach any discipline, any doctrine, any practice. It is one of the greatest blessings to humanity that Zen has made the search for oneself so obvious and so simple.
SITTING MEDITATION IS THE METHOD OF GREAT LIBERATION; ALL THE TEACHINGS FLOW FORTH FROM THIS; MYRIAD PRACTICES ARE MASTERED THIS WAY. SUPERNORMAL POWERS, KNOWLEDGE, WISDOM AND VIRTUE, ALL ARISE FROM HERE. THE PATH OF LIFE OF HUMANS AND GODS OPENS HEREIN; ALL THE BUDDHAS HAVE ENTERED AND LEFT BY THIS DOOR.
These sentences have to be remembered. While sitting silently you will come across a door within you, just an opening. If you remain in this opening, still, many things will start happening to you: knowledge, wisdom, some miraculous powers, great virtue -- but this is only the door.
A few are sitting outside the door; they can sit as long as they want. They are exoteric people who cannot look in, who always look out. They have become obsessed with the outside reality. They are also sitting by the side of the door. But their back is towards the door, not their face.
The disciple is also sitting, but his face is towards the door. But this is only a door to a tremendous phenomenon of existence. You are not to stop here, although it will allure you with great wisdom, miraculous powers, virtues. It will bring you peace and silence.
But Daikaku says, ALL THE BUDDHAS HAVE ENTERED AND LEFT BY THIS DOOR.
There is something more beyond this door. The buddhas have entered and left the door behind. They have gone beyond.
What is beyond knowledge? -- innocence. What is beyond wisdom? -- just a sense that "I know nothing." What is beyond miracles? -- no buddha has done a miracle.
Buddha did not walk on water and did not turn water into wine and did not make any Lazarus come back to life. Compared to Jesus he has not done anything, but he is far beyond Jesus. Jesus is only at the door; he has not entered into the ultimate reality. Buddha cannot do any miracle for the simple reason that he is no more. He cannot be knowledgeable because he has dropped himself, like a dewdrop from the lotus leaf into the ocean. His let-go is so total that a tremendous energy field is created around him in which anything may happen; but he is not the doer.
I would like to show you the difference. Lazarus died -- he was a friend of Jesus, and a follower. His sisters were followers of Jesus. They wouldn't allow the town's people to bury the dead man. Jesus was informed; he was far away. It took four days, and when he came, the dead body of Lazarus was being kept in a cave in the mountains. He called, "Lazarus! Come out!" and Lazarus came out. This is thought to be the greatest miracle of Jesus.
A similar situation arose before Buddha, but the story is totally different. A woman was going to drown herself, but people saved her somehow. Her husband had died but she had a small child, so she thought to live for the child. But then the child died; now there was nothing for her to live for. People said, "Don't be worried, Buddha is in the town. You come with us, bring the dead body of the child. And if he cannot make him alive, then nobody can do anything."
The woman came crying, weeping, carrying the body of the dead child. Buddha said, "Leave the child here. I will bring him back to life on one condition: you have to bring some mustard seeds from a house where nobody has ever died."
The poor woman could not understand the logic of it. She thought, "What a great opportunity! This is not difficult" -- because mustard seed was the principal crop in that village. "There must be some house where nobody has died." She went from house to house.
And they said, "How many mustard seeds do you want? We can bring many carts full if your child can be revived. But it won't help, because not only one person but thousands of people must have died in this house, in this family. And you are unnecessarily wasting your time -- you cannot find a house where nobody has died."
But she went on searching -- perhaps... a hope against hope. By the evening it became clear that everybody who is born dies, and she could not find the required mustard seeds. But her tears disappeared, and instead of tears a great awareness arose, that "Life and death exist together. And what does it matter if my child dies today or tomorrow? He would have to die, and it is good that he has died before me. If I had died first he would have been an orphan, a beggar. This is a great blessing."
By the time she reached Buddha the sun was setting, and Buddha said, "Where are the mustard seeds?"
She fell down at Buddha's feet and she said, "I have brought myself, not the mustard seeds. I want to be initiated into the search for that which never dies."
Now you can see the difference between the two stories. In one Lazarus is resurrected, but he will have to die again. What was the point of resurrecting him? He has not been transformed. He has not gained any insight, he has not become awakened. But this woman in a similar situation with a great master, encounters the very basic problem: how to transcend life and death? How to get beyond this circle of life and death?
Buddha initiated her, and he said, "For this reason I had to send you -- so that the understanding arose on your own that everybody dies. Now the question is, is there something that never dies? And I am happy that you have come back with that understanding. Your initiation is not an imitation, your initiation is out of understanding."
Christian missionaries continuously go on saying that except for Jesus, nobody -- neither Buddha nor Bodhidharma... there have been thousands of masters, but Jesus is unique because of his miracles. But buddhas will laugh.
The real miracle is that the woman has come to an understanding that she wants to enter into herself. From the outside you may not think it a great miracle. To resurrect the body is not the question -- he will die again, you are simply giving him another chance to die.
Even Christian scholars are finding all the miracles of Jesus unfounded. They have been added three hundred years after Jesus, to give him a glamor that he is really the son of God. All pure fiction!
Now there is a great controversy going on in Christian circles: can we accept Jesus if his miracles are proved fictitious? Take away the miracles and Jesus is nothing. But take anything away from Gautam Buddha, he is still a Gautam Buddha. You cannot take away anything from him because nothing is added. He has remained simply himself, no fiction, no mythology. This is a real miracle, that a man who influenced the whole East also managed that nobody add any mythology, any fiction to his life. His life has remained a pure flame without any smoke.
ALL THE BUDDHAS HAVE ENTERED AND LEFT... This is only a door. It is not a place to live, it is simply a passage to pass through. ... AND LEFT BY THIS DOOR.
BODHISATTVAS PRACTICING IT HAVE ENTERED THIS DOOR. DISCIPLES AND SELF-ENLIGHTENED ONES ARE STILL ONLY HALFWAY THERE WHILE OUTSIDERS, THOUGH THEY PRACTICE, DO NOT ENTER THE RIGHT PATH.
If you are doing some practice outside, that means you are doing some yoga exercise, distorting the body this way and that way, standing on your head. And nobody ever thinks, "Is self-realization a certain posture of the body?" You can go on standing on your head for your whole life but still you will not become enlightened; you will just become a very fat head. All the blood will accumulate in your head, your hands and legs will slowly start shrinking. Certainly you will not be a human being anymore, but just a big football with small hands and legs. It is a miracle, but what can you do with such a miracle?
This statement, DISCIPLES AND SELF-ENLIGHTENED ONES ARE STILL ONLY HALFWAY THERE... They have not even reached the door.
It will be a little difficult to distinguish between the enlightened one and the self-enlightened. The self-enlightened is only imagining that he is enlightened. Nobody can prevent you from imagining any kind of thing you want. And nobody can refute you, because there is no way to refute and there is no way to argue for or against.

I have heard about a madman who got the idea that he was dead. Madness was not enough, he added something more. He would say, "I know that I am dead."
People said, "Don't say such things; you are talking, you are walking, you are eating."
He said, "So what? That does not prove that I am not dead. I have seen many dead people doing the same thing. What do you think about yourself?" Then people thought that this was very dangerous: if their families heard that this fellow thought that everybody is dead, and talking and eating and walking do not matter; you are dead and it can continue.... They took him to a psychiatrist who said, "Don't be worried. I will cure him."
They said, "We are not worried about him, we are worried about you -- because he has cured many people. A few of his friends have started having another thought, that perhaps they are dead. He is very convincing, a very logical and rational person."
The psychiatrist said, "You go and leave him with me."
To the madman the psychiatrist said, "Have you heard that dead men don't bleed?"
He said, "Yes, when I was alive I had heard it, I remember."
Then the psychiatrist said, "The matter is settled."
He took out his knife and cut a little on the mad fellow's hand and blood came out. The madman said, "Aha! That means that proverb is wrong: dead men do bleed. Now give me the knife, I will try it on you."
The psychiatrist said, "You will try it on me?"
He said, "I have to know whether you are alive or dead. Now it is proved that dead people bleed. If you are dead, you will bleed. If you are still alive you will not bleed. Just give me your hand."
He said, "My God, your family was right."
The madman took his hand and made a good cut and said, "Look! We both are dead. Everybody is dead. I have not come across a single person who is alive. But everybody is deluded -- what can you do?"
The psychiatrist said, "Please don't tell anybody else that I am dead. You just go home."
He said, "Which home? I am coming with you. Behave like a dead man -- graceful, silent, friendly. I can help your practice very much: every day I can have a table in your office. Difficult patients that you cannot treat, I can treat within a minute. It just has to be proved that they are dead. And a dead person cannot worry, a dead person cannot dream; they are just befooling themselves. A dead person needs no psychiatry."

Daikaku is saying, BODHISATTVAS PRACTICING IT HAVE ENTERED THIS DOOR.
They have not stopped at the door, they have passed through it. There is every allurement to remain at the door because you suddenly feel immensely powerful, capable of doing miracles.
But a real seeker is not in search of miracles, he is in search of the source of his life from where everything arises.
BODHISATTVAS PRACTICING IT HAVE ENTERED THE DOOR, left the door behind, become buddhas. Their miracle is their love, their miracle is their compassion. Their miracle is to spread buddhahood like a wildfire.
Making wine out of water is not a miracle, it is a crime. Don't do any such thing here. If Jesus had made wine into water, that was perfectly natural, there was no crime in it. But making wine out of water is certainly dangerous. But whether dangerous or not, it is trivia, not a miracle.
The only miracle is to be authentic, honest, yourself. And then anything that follows around you, in your field, is not your doing. So those who are of great understanding that their ultimate aim is to search for the buddha within, they have entered the door.
DISCIPLES AND SELF-ENLIGHTENED -- this is a category of mad people -- ARE STILL ONLY HALFWAY THERE,
WHILE OUTSIDERS, THOUGH THEY PRACTICE, DO NOT ENTER THE RIGHT PATH.
Those who are outside can go on doing austerities, self-torture, fasts and all kinds of things, but they will not enter. And those who have only half entered will remain clinging to the door. And the door is not the reality; you have to pass through it, beyond....
In other words, the door is the mind and the beyond is the no-mind -- and that is the only miracle worth calling a miracle.
WHATEVER ESOTERIC OR EXOTERIC SCHOOLS DO NOT PRACTICE THIS, DO NOT HAVE ANYONE WHO REALIZES THE WAY OF BUDDHAHOOD.
All esoteric schools are just hallucinatory, playing on the imagination of man with all good intentions, but they are not the path to know the truth, to know the source of life. And the exoteric who are doing outward things.... For example, they drop their clothes, and they think because they have become naked they have attained great virtue.
One cannot imagine the blindness of man. All the animals are naked -- except for a few English dogs. Some old ladies in England still cover their dogs. When they take the dog for a walk they go on pulling their leashes, particularly to keep him from making any tree or lamppost a toilet. Or he may come across a girlfriend... to prevent him from enjoying a love affair, they go on pulling the leash. And the dogs have to be covered, because naked dogs remind them of pornography. These women are really pornographic! England has a few specialties; one of these specialties is these old women. Even today they are afraid to leave their dogs, or even their chair legs or table legs naked, because that is pornographic. Now, who is pornographic? -- these women, in their imagination.

I have heard about three old men, great friends, all retired. One was sixty-five, another was seventy-five, and the third was eighty-five. One evening when they were meeting in the park, a daily routine, they found the youngest, the sixty-five-year-old, looking very sad. They asked, "What is the problem? You can tell us. We have been friends for years."
He said, "I am so ashamed. But I have to tell you that I was looking through the keyhole of the bathroom when a beautiful woman, who was a guest in my house, was taking her bath."
The other two laughed and said, "You idiot, everybody has done that. It is nothing special."
The man said, "You have not heard the whole story. I was caught red-handed and my mother slapped me."
Those two old fellows again said, "Don't be worried -- every child does it. And it is very rare to find a mother who does not slap."
That sixty-five-year-old man said, "You don't understand -- it is not a question of childhood, it happened today!"
They said, "Then it is certainly serious, but not much to be worried about."
The seventy-five-year-old then said, "My problem is more difficult. Whenever I make any approach to my wife, she simply turns over and says, `I am suffering from a great headache. Don't bother me!' Years have passed. I have already forgotten how to make love."
The third man laughed. He said, "You are also of the same category. Think about my problem. This morning my wife started beating me."
They said, "This is serious. What happened?"
He said, "I was just preparing to make love, and she started beating me and told me, `You idiot! The whole night, three times, you have already made love. Neither do you sleep nor do you allow me to sleep.'"
The other two fellows laughed and said, "It seems he is losing his memory. Otherwise at this age, four times... unbelievable!" They said, "You consult some psychologist. You are simply losing your memory."

The only grown-up-ness is not of age: you may be eighty-five and still an old goat. Goats don't grow wiser, they simply grow older. The only path to wisdom goes inwards.
That's why no other animal except man can know himself, because no other animal has any idea at all of the inner. Everything is outer. You become a man when you become aware that there is something inner. And it has to be searched for vigorously, because life is not certain -- at any moment death may destroy the opportunity.
A MONK THEN ASKED DAIKAKU, "WHAT DOES IT MEAN THAT SITTING MEDITATION IS THE ROOT SOURCE OF ALL THE TEACHINGS?"
It looks very simple; that's why it creates questions. Just say to somebody, "Sit silently and everything will happen," and he will think you are mad: "You have to do something for something to happen."
One great American writer, Napoleon Hill, has written a book, THINK AND GROW RICH -- just think. I thought, he seems to be a Zen master, because they say, "Sit and find the buddha." This fellow is saying, "Think and grow rich." Just think, with closed eyes, that a Lincoln Continental is standing in your porch: if you think really hard, you will find it.
He seems to be a very articulate writer, very convincing, that this whole world is your idea. Whatever you think happens. Think of money and money will start coming; think of a beautiful woman and you will hear a knock on the door, but the basic requirement is first to believe. If you don't believe, nothing is going to happen. That condition is tricky. If the Lincoln Continental does not arise in your porch, you know your belief is not strong enough to pull that big a car. If instead of a very beautiful woman a very ugly woman knocks on the door you know that Napoleon Hill is right, but your belief staggered, wavered; and this ugly lady is the result.
It happened that the day Napoleon Hill's book was published -- in America the writers promote their books -- he was standing in the bookstore where the book was released and he was signing books for the first buyers. By chance, Henry Ford came to look for some books and he saw this fellow autographing. He asked the owner of the shop, "Who is this fellow, and what is he doing here?"
He told him, "He is a great writer and his book is selling like hot cakes. It is a great book. Just seeing the name, you will be surprised. Think of purchasing it. It is called, THINK AND GROW RICH."
Henry Ford was a very clever, cunning fellow. He went to Napoleon Hill, looking at him from up to down, from down to up, and asked, "Have you come in your own car or on a public bus?"
Napoleon Hill said, "What kind of question is that? I am answering questions about my book."
Henry Ford said, "It is about your book."
He said, "I have come on the public bus."
Henry Ford said, "That shows that your book is a fraud. You don't even have your own car. Can't you think? I am Henry Ford and this is my address. So when you have your own car, come to me and I will purchase your book. But get the car by thinking, not by any other means."
Poor Napoleon Hill was so shocked, and could not say anything in answer.
There have been many movements like this in the world, particularly in Christian countries. There is a movement called Christian Science which believes that whatever you believe happens -- just believe it totally. They have their churches in all the great cities where they meet and read their literature, and enforce each other's belief, nourish each other with their own experiences, encourage each other to believe and it will happen. People return from their meetings full of joy, "Now I am going to really believe and really think for something great to happen."
The movement died, by and by; it had to die because it was so stupid.
One young man was encountered by an old woman who asked, "Your father is a regular member of our church, science and Christianity combined, but I have not seen him for two or three weeks. Where is he?"
The young man said, "He is sick, very sick."
The old woman said, "All nonsense! He simply believes that he is sick. Just tell him to think, `I am healthy. Who says I am sick?' Go home immediately!"
The boy was not a Christian Scientist; he giggled at this old woman. His father was really sick, but he said, "I will tell him your message."
After a few weeks again they met and again the old woman said, "What happened? Did you tell your father?"
He said, "I told him, but now he thinks he is dead. It has been almost one week -- everything is finished. We all tried, and he tried to think that everything is going great..."

By thinking you cannot reach anywhere. That's why in Zen the question arises again and again.
A MONK ASKED DAIKAKU, "WHAT DOES IT MEAN THAT SITTING MEDITATION IS THE ROOT SOURCE OF ALL THE TEACHINGS?"
DAIKAKU ANSWERED, "MEDITATION IS THE INNER NO-MIND."
By sitting he does not mean that you sit and think about a Lincoln Continental. Sitting in Zen means simply sitting and doing nothing, not even thinking, not even chanting a mantra; creating a silent space where even you are not, just a pure mirror reflecting nothing.
MEDITATION IS THE INNER NO-MIND OF THE ENLIGHTENED ONES; DISCIPLINE IS THEIR OUTER CHARACTER.
What you see as discipline is really their manifestation of meditation in the outside world. A buddha walks in a certain way, talks in a certain way, looks in a certain way. All his gestures have a quality of buddhahood, of awareness.
But you cannot reverse the sequence: you cannot first discipline yourself and hope that by disciplining yourself you will become a buddha. First you have to become a buddha; discipline comes on its own accord. And that discipline which comes spontaneously is the only right discipline. Otherwise, everything is torture.
DISCIPLINE IS THEIR OUTER CHARACTER; DOCTRINE IS THEIR SPEECH.
Whatever they say comes from the very source of life. The source is not the great scriptures, the source is their own experience. Hence, whatever they say is their doctrine.
BUDDHA-REMEMBRANCE IS THE INVOCATION OF THE BUDDHA'S NAME.
There have been many Zen masters who would wake up in the morning and the first thing they would ask.... For example, Obaku used to ask every morning, "Obaku, are you still here?"
And his disciples would say, "If outsiders listen to it they will think you are mad. Why do you do it?"
And he would say, "Because in the night I forget completely... a silent mind with no dreams, no thoughts. When I wake up I have to remind myself again that Obaku is still here. Who can I ask? I can ask only myself, `Obaku are you still here?'"
And he himself would say, "Yes, sir."
One has to have a deep respect towards oneself. It would be a good discipline for you. Rather than repeating the names of Rama and Krishna, it would be a great discipline for you just to ask yourself your own name: "Devageet, are you still here?" Don't bother that Raj may be listening. And say, "Yes, sir."
And all of you, if you can do this much, you will be surprised what a great silence follows when you say, "Devageet, are you still here?" and you yourself say, "Yes, sir." Then there follows a great silence. And it is also a remembrance of your own being, also a respectfulness, a gratitude that one day more is given to you, that again the sun will rise, that again for one day at least, you will be able to see the roses blossom.
A man of no-mind, a man of meditation, finds himself so grateful for each moment that life gives to him. There is no reason -- you don't deserve it, nobody deserves it. It is a sheer gift of life. You cannot ask to extend your life even by a single moment. You cannot say, "I am worthy, so let me have a few more years; I deserve it."
Nobody deserves. But life goes on pouring in you out of its abundance.
ALL COME FROM THE ENLIGHTENED NO-MIND OF THE BUDDHAS; THEREFORE, IT IS CONSIDERED FUNDAMENTAL.
THE MONK ASKED AGAIN, "THE METHOD OF MEDITATION IS FORMLESS AND THOUGHTLESS; SPIRITUAL QUALITIES ARE NOT OBVIOUS, AND THERE IS NO PROOF OF SEEING REALITY -- SO HOW CAN WE BELIEVE IN THIS?"
DAIKAKU SAID, "YOUR OWN NO-MIND AND THE ENLIGHTENED NO-MIND ARE ONE -- IS THAT NOT SPIRITUAL QUALITY?"
What Daikaku is saying is that your mind, minus your thoughts, is the no-mind of the buddha. And do you think it is not a spiritual quality? Because out of this no-mind will arise truthfulness, integration, compassion, all kinds of virtues and love.
IF YOU DO NOT KNOW YOUR OWN NO-MIND, ON WHOM CAN YOU CALL FOR WITNESS AND PROOF?
Nobody can be a witness to you. Nobody can enter into your no-mind, and you cannot have any proof except the transformation of your character.
OTHER THAN THE IDENTITY OF NO-MIND AND BUDDHA, WHAT PROOF DO YOU SEEK?
Daikaku is throwing the question on the monk. The monk was asking, "How can we be certain that somebody is a buddha?"
You cannot be certain about somebody being a buddha, unless you are a buddha. Only a buddha can recognize another buddha. The buddha can recognize even the potential buddhas. When I call you bodhisattvas, that's what I mean -- you are potential buddhas. The next moment you may awake, this moment you may be snoring. It is your right to snore, to sleep, to dream, to get out of all of this vicious circle. But whether you are asleep or awake, your inner quality does not change; the source remains always pure.
Yakusai wrote:
A DEAFENING PEAL,
A THIEF ESCAPED MY BODY.
WHAT HAVE I LEARNED?
THE LORD OF NOTHINGNESS
HAS A DARK FACE.

He is saying, "I had been trying to get rid of my mind -- finally the thief left." When for the first time your mind stops functioning, you encounter enormous darkness. Up to now you have been accustomed to the light of the small mind; now the light is so great that it is blinding. And one feels, in the beginning, that he has fallen into utter darkness. But slowly slowly, he becomes accustomed and starts seeing that the darkness was too much light.
You may have seen it happening: coming in from outside on a sunny day -- entering your home it looks dark, but after an hour it is no more that dark. Your eyes are flexible. When you go out, if there is too much sun, the lenses of your eyes shrink. They don't allow that much light in. And when you come home with those shrunken lenses of your eyes, it seems dark. You need your lenses to be larger again. It takes a little time, but soon the whole house is full of light.
The same is true about the inner eye -- the first encounter is of great darkness. But darkness turning into light is a great experience. Then you know that they are not two, but two faces of the same coin.
A haiku by Sodo:
IN MY TEN-FOOT BAMBOO HUT
THIS SPRING,
THERE IS NOTHING:
THERE IS EVERYTHING.

Just visualize poor Sodo, a master in his own right, in his ten-foot bamboo hut. The spring has come; there is nothing and there is everything....
The ultimate experience of meditation is of both: on the one hand there is nothing; on the other hand there is the whole universe.
You lose your old identity; that's why it feels there is nothing. But you gain a new identity with the oceanic existence -- then you feel there is everything. But both are authentic experiences.

 

 

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