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ZEN

WALKING IN ZEN, SITTING IN ZEN

Chapter 1: The Breath of the Soul

Question 1

 

Energy Enhancement             Enlightened Texts             Zen            Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen

 

The first question

Question 1
OSHO,
WHY HAVE YOU CALLED THIS SERIES OF DISCOURSES: "WALKING IN ZEN, SITTING IN ZEN"?

I AM NOT TO BLAME. The whole blame goes to this old guy Yoka. Yoka is one of the rarest enlightened people; his sayings are tremendously beautiful. Very few sayings are available, but each saying is a diamond unique in itself.
Reading his sayings, I came across this statement:

A MAN OF ZEN WALKS IN ZEN AND SITS IN ZEN. WHETHER HE SPEAKS OR ACTS, WHETHER HE IS SILENT OR INACTIVE, HIS BODY IS ALWAYS PEACEFUL. HE SMILES, LOOKING STRAIGHT AT THE SWORD WHICH TAKES HIS LIFE. HE KEEPS HIS BALANCE EVEN AT THE MOMENT OF DEATH.

I love the statement that the "man of Zen walks in Zen and sits in Zen" for the simple reason that meditation cannot be just a part of your life. You cannot make a fragment of your life meditative; it is not possible to be meditative for one hour and then non-meditative for twenty-three hours. It is absolutely impossible. If you are doing that, that means your meditation is false.
Meditation can either be a twenty-four-hour affair or it cannot be at all. It is like breathing: you cannot breathe for one hour and then put it aside for twenty-three hours, otherwise you will be dead. You have to go on breathing. Even while you are asleep you have to go on breathing. Even in a deep coma you have to go on breathing.
Meditation is the breath of your soul. Just as breathing is the life of the body, meditation is the life of the soul.
The people who are not aware of meditation are spiritually dead.
George Gurdjieff used to say that very few people have souls -- and he is right. One is born not with a soul but only with a seed which can grow into a soul -- which may not grow. It will depend on you. You will have to create the right soil, the right climate for it to grow, to bloom. You will have to provoke the spring into coming to you so that your soul can flower, otherwise you are just a body-mind. The soul is only an empty word. Meditation makes it a reality. Meditation is the climate in which the soul happens.
Zen is another name for meditation. The word zen comes from the Sanskrit root dhyan -- it has traveled far. Dhyan means a state of absolute silence, of thoughtless silence, but full of awareness. Even the thought that "I am aware" is enough to distract you from your meditation. Even to know that "I am in meditation" is enough to destroy it.
A state of meditation is an innocent, silent state. You are blissfully unaware of your awareness. You are, but you are utterly relaxed. You are not in a state of sleep; you are fully alert, more alert than ever. You are alertness, rather.
Dhyan is the greatest contribution of the East to the evolution of humanity.
Buddha himself never used Sanskrit; he used a language that was used by the masses of those days, he used Pali. In Pali, dhyan becomes jhan. When Buddha's message reached China, jhan became chan. And when it traveled from China to Japan, it became zen. But it originates from dhyan. Dhyan means meditation, but the English word "meditation" does not have that flavor, it has a long association with contemplation. The English word "meditation" means meditation upon something; there is an object of meditation.
And in Zen there is no object at all, only pure subjectivity. You are aware, but not aware of something. There is nothing to be aware of; everything has disappeared. You are not even aware of nothingness, because then nothingness becomes your object, then nothingness becomes your thought. You are not aware of emptiness either. You are simply aware; there is no object to your awareness. The mirror is empty, reflecting nothing, because there is nothing to reflect.
You have to remember it, otherwise "meditation" can give you a wrong impression. Whenever the word "meditation" is used, immediately the question arises, "On what?" That question is irrelevant. If you are asking, "On what?" then you are asking what to think about, contemplate about, concentrate on -- and that is not meditation.
Concentration is not meditation, concentration is an effort of the mind to focus itself. It has certain purposes of its own. It is a method in science -- useful, but it is not meditation.
Contemplation is a little vague, more abstract. In concentration, the object is more visible; in contemplation, the object is abstract. You concentrate on a flame of light; you contemplate on love. And in Christianity, contemplation and meditation have become synonymous.
Meditation should be given a new meaning, a new fragrance -- the fragrance of Zen. Concentration is of the mind, meditation is not of the mind at all, and contemplation is just in between, in a limbo. It is something of the mind and something of the no-mind, a mixture; a state where mind and no-mind meet, the boundary.
One has to reach to the absolute state of awareness: that is Zen. You cannot do it every morning for a few minutes or for half an hour and then forget all about it. It has to become like your heartbeat. You have to sit in it, you have to walk in it. Yes, you have even to sleep in it.

Ananda, one of Gautam Buddha's chief disciples, asked Buddha, "One thing always puzzles me and I cannot contain my curiosity anymore although my question is irrelevant. The question is that when you go to sleep you remain the whole night in the same posture. Wherever you put your hands, your feet, whatsoever side you lie on, you remain exactly the same, like a statue. You don't move, you don't change your side, you don't move your hands,. your feet -- nothing changes. You wake up in the morning in exactly the same posture that you had gone to sleep in. One night, just out of curiosity, I looked at you the whole night -- not a single movement. Are you controlling yourself even in your sleep?"
Buddha said, "There is no question of control. I am awake, I am in meditation. I sleep in meditation. Just as I wake up early in the morning in meditation, every night I go to sleep in meditation. My day is my meditation, my night too. I remain absolutely calm and quiet because deep down I am perfectly aware. The flame of meditation goes on burning smokeless. That's why there is no need to move."

Yoka says:

A MAN OF ZEN WALKS IN ZEN AND SITS IN ZEN.

This is of great significance for you all. Meditation has to become something so deep in you that wherever you go it remains, abides with you; whatsoever you do it is always there. Only then can your life be transformed. Then not only will you be meditative in your life, you will be meditative in your death too. You will die in deep meditation.
That's how Buddha died. That's how all the Buddhas have always died: their death is something exquisitely beautiful. Their life is beautiful, their death too. There is no gap between their life and death. Their death is a crescendo of their life, the ultimate peak, the absolute expression.
When Buddha died he was eighty-two years old. He called his disciples together -- just as he used to when he talked to them every morning. They all gathered. Nobody was thinking at all about his death.
And then Buddha said, "This is my last sermon to you. Whatsoever I had to say to you I have said. Forty-two years I have been telling you, saying to you... I have poured out my whole heart. Now, if somebody has any question left he can ask, because this is the last day of my life. Today I leave for the other shore. My boat has arrived."
They were shocked! They had come just to listen to the daily discourse. They were not thinking that he was going to die -- and without making any fuss about death! It was just a simple phenomenon, a simple declaration that "My boat has come and I have to leave. If you have any question left you can ask me, because if you don't ask me today, I will never again be available. Then the question will remain with you. So please, be kind and don't be shy," he told his disciples.
They started crying. And Buddha said, "Stop all this nonsense! This is no time to waste on crying and weeping! Ask if you have something to ask, otherwise let me go. The time has come. I cannot linger any longer."
They said,'We have nothing to ask. You have given more than we would have ever asked. You have answered all the questions that we have asked, that we could have asked. You have answered questions which for centuries will be fulfilling for all kinds of inquirers."
Then Buddha said, "So I can take leave of you. Good-bye."
And he closed his eyes, sat in a lotus posture, and started moving towards the other shore.
It is said: the first step was that he left his body, the second step was that he left his mind, the third step was that he left his heart, the fourth step was that he left his soul. He disappeared into the universal so peacefully, so silently, so joyously. The birds were chirping; it was early morning -- the sun was still on the horizon. And ten thousand sannyasins were sitting and watching Buddha dying with such grace! They forgot completely that this was death. There was nothing of death as they had always conceived it. It was such an extraordinary experience.
So much meditative energy was released that many became enlightened that very day, that very moment. Those who were just on the verge were pushed into the unknown. Thousands, it is said, became enlightened through Buddha's beautiful death.
We don't call it death, we call it Mahaparinirvana, dissolving into the absolute -- just like an ice cube melting, dissolving into the ocean. He lived in meditation, he died in meditation.

It is because of Yoka that I have chosen this title'Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen." In this simple phrase, the whole experience of all the awakened ones is condensed.

Yoka also says:

THE FEARLESS THOUGHT OF ZEN IS LIKE THE POWERFUL ROARING OF A LION, STRIKING TERROR INTO THE HEARTS OF ALL OTHER ANIMALS. EVEN THE KING OF THE ELEPHANTS RUNS OFF FORGETTING HIS DIGNITY. DISCIPLES OF GOOD HEART, THEY ALONE, LIKE THE OLD DRAGON HEAR THAT ROARING WITH CALM DELIGHT.

Yes, Zen is like the roar of a lion. All other religions speak in a way that does not hurt so much. They are compromising; they compromise with your sleep. Zen is non-compromising. It does not care about your sleep and your beautiful dreams. It shocks you, it shatters you. Its whole effort is to wake you, whatsoever the cost. Yes, it is like a lion's roar.

ONLY DISCIPLES OF GOOD HEART, THEY ALONE, LIKE THE OLD DRAGON HEAR THAT ROARING WITH CALM DELIGHT.

It can be heard only with a deep love for truth. It can be heard only by those who are real inquirers, not just curious, not just spectators, not just philosophers, but who are really ready to go through a radical transformation -- who are ready to die and be reborn. It is only for those few people who have guts and courage, because it is not a Sunday religion like Christianity, that each Sunday you go to the church and your paradise is assured. It is not like Mohammedanism, that you pray five times, go on repeating like a parrot the same words, which are not your words, which are not spontaneous to you, which have been imposed by others on you -- you may not even know their meaning.
It is such a stupid world! Mohammedans pray in Arabic, which they don't understand; Hindus pray in Sanskrit, which they don't understand; and now Buddhists pray in Pali, which they don't understand -- for the simple reason that priests have been very much insistent on keeping the dead language because those prayers are very poor if they are translated into the language which you understand. You will be at a loss -- you will not be able to see what there is to pray in them; they will lose all the mystery. The mystery is because you don't understand them. Hence Latin, Greek, Arabic, Sanskrit, Pali, Prakrit -- dead languages which nobody understands anymore. Priests go on insisting that prayers should be in those dead languages.
You are saying something the meaning of which is not known to you. What kind of prayer is this? To whom are you addressing it? You don't know anything about God. And what you are saying is not arising out of your heart, you are just being a gramophone record -- His Master's Voice.
Zen is not interested in such compromises. It wants you to really wake up. And it is hard work, a thankless job. A Zen Master has chosen something for which nobody is going to thank him. Everybody will feel sabotaged by him and everybody will feel hurt by him. Everybody will feel he is disturbing their sleep. Only very few people, who are real inquirers, who are ready to risk all, will be able to understand, because Zen says your whole life has to be transformed, not just a part of your life.
When you are in the temple, in the mosque, in the synagogue, you become religious, and when you are outside of it you are irreligious, just the old self. Then your being in the temple is a pretension. It divides you, it creates a schizophrenic humanity, it creates people who have split minds. If you go and see them praying in the mosques, in the temples, you will say, "How beautiful they are!" And the same people in the marketplace become so ugly. And the same people will kill each other with such cruelty you could not have conceived of it! If you had seen them praying in the mosque, in the church, you would not have believed that they would butcher each other so cruelly, so mechanically.
Christians have killed thousands of Mohammedans, Mohammedans have killed thousands of Christians Hindus have killed Mohammedans, Mohammedans have killed Hindus, Hindus have killed Buddhists, and so on and so forth. All these religions have been enemies to each other. They talk of love, but that is only mere talk; the reality is totally different. And why is it so?because their prayer is false.
Zen wants you to be religious, not in a formal way, but to be really religious in your day-to-day life. Zen does not divide your life into the mundane and the sacred, it says everything is sacred. So eating, be meditative. Walking, be meditative. Whatsoever you are doing... taking a bath, be meditative. Wherever you are, you are in the temple. This whole existence is God's temple! Behave as you would like to behave in a temple. God is present everywhere.
Zen does not talk about God at all, but only of godliness: a certain quality, a fragrance which is everywhere. Only when you have the capacity to learn will you be able to see it. All that is needed on your part is the capacity to be silent, receptive, welcoming, open.

 

 

Next: Chapter 1: The Breath of the Soul, Question 2

 


Energy Enhancement             Enlightened Texts             Zen            Walking in Zen, Sitting in Zen

 

 

Chapter 1:

 

 

 

ENERGY

ENHANCEMENT MEDITATION

MEDITATION HEAD

 HOME PAGE

 

GAIN ENERGY APPRENTICE LEVEL1

THE ENERGY BLOCKAGE REMOVAL PROCESS

LEVEL2

THE KARMA CLEARING PROCESS APPRENTICE LEVEL3

MASTERY OF  RELATIONSHIPS TANTRA APPRENTICE LEVEL4

 

STUDENTS EXPERIENCES  2005 AND 2006

 

MORE STUDENTS EXPERIENCES

 - FIFTY FULL TESTIMONIALS

2003 COURSE

 
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