ENERGY BLOCKAGE REMOVAL
|2005 AND 2006|
The Great Zen Master Ta Hui
LECTURE AT THE REQUEST OF WEI CH'IANG
HAVEN'T YOU SEEN THE SAYING OF THE MAN OF OLD: "EVEN IF THERE WERE SOMETHING SURPASSING NIRVANA, I WOULD SAY THAT IT TOO IS LIKE A DREAM, AN ILLUSION." IF IN THE MIDST OF DREAMLIKE ILLUSION, YOU ARE ABLE TO WITNESS IT AS IT REALLY IS, TO UNDERSTAND IT AS IT REALLY IS, TO WORK ON IT AS IT REALLY IS, AND TO ACT ON IT AS IT REALLY IS, THEN YOU CAN USE THE METHOD OF `ACCORDING WITH REALITY' TO SUBDUE YOURSELF, AND, AROUSING AN ATTITUDE OF GREAT COMPASSION, CREATE ALL KINDS OF SKILLFUL EXPEDIENTS WHEREBY YOU CAN ALSO SUBDUE ALL SENTIENT BEINGS.
DEALING WITH SITUATIONS
OLD YELLOW FACE (BUDDHA) HAS SAID, "WHEN THE MIND DOES NOT VAINLY GRASP PAST THINGS, DOES NOT LONG FOR THINGS IN THE FUTURE, AND DOES NOT DWELL ON ANYTHING IN THE PRESENT, THEN YOU REALIZE FULLY THAT THE THREE TIMES ARE ALL EMPTY AND STILL." YOU SHOULDN'T THINK ABOUT PAST EVENTS -- WHETHER GOOD OR BAD; IF YOU THINK, THAT OBSTRUCTS THE PATH. YOU SHOULDN'T CONSIDER FUTURE EVENTS; TO CONSIDER THEM IS CRAZY CONFUSION. PRESENT EVENTS ARE RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU: WHETHER THEY'RE PLEASANT OR UNPLEASANT, DON'T FIX YOUR MIND ON THEM. IF YOU DO FIX YOUR MIND ON THEM, IT WILL DISTURB YOUR HEART. JUST TAKE EVERYTHING IN ITS TIME, RESPONDING ACCORDING TO CIRCUMSTANCES, AND YOU WILL NATURALLY ACCORD WITH THIS PRINCIPLE.
UNPLEASANT SITUATIONS ARE EASY TO HANDLE; PLEASANT SITUATIONS ARE HARD TO HANDLE. FOR THAT WHICH GOES AGAINST ONE'S WILL, IT BOILS DOWN TO ONE WORD: PATIENCE. SETTLE DOWN AND REFLECT A MOMENT AND IN A LITTLE WHILE IT'S GONE. IT'S PLEASANT SITUATIONS THAT TRULY GIVE YOU NO WAY TO ESCAPE: LIKE PAIRING MAGNET AND IRON, UNCONSCIOUSLY THIS AND THAT COME TOGETHER IN ONE PLACE.
Ta Hui is facing something very fundamental as far as the intellect and intelligence of man is concerned. This is of great importance: to have a clear conception that intellect is not intelligence.
Intellect is of the mind: it depends on memory, it functions through borrowed knowledge. All our educational systems in the world are rooted in intellectual development; hence they all depend on memory. The examinations in our schools, colleges, universities, are not of intelligence -- they are only testing how good a memory you have. But memory is not an indication of intelligence. Memory is mechanical. A computer can have a better memory than a man of genius, but the computer has no intelligence.
The mind of man is nothing but a bio-computer, evolved over a long, long time. And intelligence is when the memory is silent and the intellect is not functioning, when the whole mind is at rest.
Intelligence is something beyond mind.
In English there is a problem because the same word is used for both -- and they are totally different. In Sanskrit, and in all Eastern languages, we have different names for each: intellect is called bodhi, the faculty of knowledge; and intelligence is called pragya, the faculty of knowing, not knowledge.
Knowledge is always dead; it is information. And all our educational systems are doing with students exactly what we are doing with computers -- feeding them with more and more information. But no computer can answer a question for which it has not been already prepared. Intellect can only answer that which it already knows; it is stale, it is of yesterday.
Intelligence is a response to a new situation, not out of your past memories but from your present awareness, this very moment. You don't function as a computer, you don't search for the answer in your memory storage; rather you simply open your consciousness to the situation and allow the spontaneous response.
In other words, intelligence is spontaneous responsibility.
The word `responsibility' has also been misunderstood. It has to be broken in two; otherwise, by and by, it loses its original meaning. It has become almost equivalent to duty. The reality is different. Break the word `responsibility' in two, then it becomes `ability to respond' or `response-ability'. Intelligence is response ability -- and that is bound to be spontaneous. The response is going to surprise even you, because it is so new -- you are not repeating anything from the past.
There has been a perennial conflict between intelligence and intellect. The man of intellect thinks that he is intelligent because he knows so much. He has accumulated a great heritage of knowledge, he is burdened with all kinds of information. The man of intelligence is innocent; he functions moment to moment, his functioning has a freshness and a beauty. But to find intelligence one has to go beyond the mind. Meditation is the way.
The problem with Ta Hui is the problem with all intellectuals of the world. They cannot think -- they would not like to think -- that there is something higher and superior to intellect.
It is not a coincidence that he calls Gautam Buddha `Old Yellow Face'; it is an unconscious, sarcastic remark. And it is not only in this passage; in another place he says something even worse than `Old Yellow Face'. He may not be aware... this is utterly disrespectful, but the intellectual is always disrespectful towards the man of intelligence. He feels deep down a certain inferiority complex and he takes revenge in many ways.
The intellectual tries to imitate the man of intelligence, the man of wisdom, the man of enlightenment -- and he is capable, he is articulate. He has more capacity as far as language and words are concerned. He may be a better speaker, a better writer, a better orator. He can manage to deceive the world very easily just by repeating whatever the enlightened people have said.
Sometimes it has happened that the imitator can defeat the original. It happened once that a few friends arranged a birthday celebration for an English actor. They made it a nationwide competition: who can imitate the actor the best? In every big city people would be chosen, and then the final test would be in London. The winner was going to have a great prize.
Many actors participated. The actor himself thought that it would be a good joke to enter the competition from a small town. Of course he was certain that he was going to come in first -- he is the original, everybody else is imitating him. But to everybody's surprise -- and more to his -- he came in second. When it became known that he was the real man, nobody could believe that it had happened -- how had all the examiners got misled by an imitator?
But I see deeper into the psychology of it: the imitator prepares, rehearses, does much homework. The original simply stands there in his spontaneity and reality -- he has not prepared, he has not rehearsed, he is just as he is. But somebody who is trying to come in first in the great competition may have worked for months. Naturally, he deceived the examiners. And this has happened a thousand and one times -- that someone like Ta Hui, who is just an intellectual, has been accepted for one thousand years as a great master of Zen teaching, and he is simply repeating.
I would like you to see that everything can be imitated, except enlightenment. You may say the same words, but they will not have the same fire. Your gestures may be the same, but they will not have the same grace. You may act as if you are enlightened, but that `as if' is a big gap, almost unbridgeable. This becomes so clear in Ta Hui's case.
He says, HAVEN'T YOU SEEN THE SAYING OF THE MAN OF OLD: "EVEN IF THERE WERE SOMETHING SURPASSING NIRVANA, I WOULD SAY THAT IT TOO IS LIKE A DREAM, AN ILLUSION."
It is true that the people who have achieved the ultimate realization -- you can call it nirvana, liberation, self-realization -- those who have achieved it are fully able to say that that too is made of the same stuff as dreams are made of. It is the most beautiful dream, the most perfect dream -- but nothing more than that.
The reason for the enlightened man to call his enlightenment only a dream is a very fundamental one. He is trying to say: "This too is an experience, and I am separate from my every experience -- whether the experience is of misery, of suffering, of anguish, or of blissfulness or enlightenment, it makes no difference. They belong to the same category of experiences.
"I am not the experience, I am the experiencer. I am always transcendental to any experience that happens to me. I am only a witness, a sakshi. Just as I have seen black clouds, I am seeing white clouds. Just as I have seen clouds, I am seeing a cloudless sky -- but I am separate.
"My consciousness is not an experience. All experiences pass in front of my consciousness, but I am always a witness. So whether the experience is of misery, agony, or of ecstasy, it makes no difference."
But this can be said only by a man who has attained to that beatitude, that benediction -- that this too is a dream, a beautiful dream, the most beautiful dream, but one has not to get identified with it. Hence the saying that when one becomes the buddha he forgets all about buddhahood; he becomes again an ordinary human being. Then the circle is complete. He had started from being an ordinary human being, but that was a state of unconsciousness, like a sleepwalker, a somnambulist. Now he has come back to the same state, with only one difference: now he is no longer asleep, he is awake.
A buddha is fully awake but, compared to anyone else, he is not special. He is not holier than you and he is not higher than you. You are asleep and he is awake -- this makes no qualitative difference. In fact, the person who is asleep is showing that he has the capacity to be awake. If you were not capable of being asleep, you would not be capable of being awake either; both capacities belong to the same realm. And unless an enlightened man again becomes an ordinary man, he has been fulfilling only his ego. Then his enlightenment is not authentic; his enlightenment is only an intellectual understanding, not an experience.
Ta Hui is quoting some ancient seer: "Even if there were something surpassing nirvana" -- something surpassing enlightenment -- "I would say that it too is like a dream, an illusion." A tremendously pregnant statement...
IF IN THE MIDST OF DREAMLIKE ILLUSION, YOU ARE ABLE TO WITNESS IT AS IT REALLY IS, TO UNDERSTAND IT AS IT REALLY IS, TO WORK ON IT AS IT REALLY IS, AND TO ACT ON IT AS IT REALLY IS, THEN YOU CAN USE THE METHOD OF `ACCORDING WITH REALITY' TO SUBDUE YOURSELF.
Now here he goes wrong. As long as he was quoting the ancient seer he was perfectly right, because those were not his words, he was only repeating. They were the words of someone who has known the experience. Now he starts his own understanding, his own intellectual grasp -- and everything goes wrong.
He says, "If you can be a witness of this dreamlike illusion, then you can use the method of `according with reality' to subdue yourself." A man who has come to the point of knowing that even enlightenment is an illusion cannot have the idea of self anymore -- he cannot have the idea that "I am."
The witness has no idea of any ego.
The witness is but there is no idea of "I am."
The witness is simply like a mirror; it reflects. Whatever comes in front of it, it reflects -- without any reaction, without any attachment, without any identity. A beautiful face or an ugly one, all are just reflections, without any difference. When the beautiful face goes away, the mirror does not try to prevent it, to cling to it. And when an ugly face comes before it, it does not want to get rid of it, it does not close its eyes. It has no evaluation, no judgment; it remains simply a witness of whatsoever is the case.
A man of enlightenment has no problem as far as the self is concerned -- the self was lost long before. You cannot attain to enlightenment before you have lost your self. That is a necessary step to attain to enlightenment.
Let me say it this way:
You cannot be enlightened.
When you are not, enlightenment is.
You have to give way for enlightenment to descend, for that great awakening to fill your whole sky, to fill your whole consciousness.
If you are there, then whatsoever happens is only mental gymnastics. You can manage to create an illusion of everything except enlightenment. You can see Jesus Christ, you can create the illusion; your mind has every capacity. You may just have to make the right arrangement -- a three week fast and isolation, and the continuous repetition of the name of Jesus Christ -- and you will start seeing Jesus Christ with you in the cave. You will start talking with Jesus Christ -- and not only will you be talking, he will be answering you too! And nobody is there except you.
All the religions of the world have insisted on fasting. The reason is that when you are fasting your capacity to judge between the real and the unreal is lost after three weeks. Your mind needs the continuous nourishment of certain proteins; just a three week fast, and those proteins are finished. The mind keeps a certain emergency reserve and that emergency reserve is finished in three weeks -- and that is if you are a non-vegetarian. If you are a vegetarian, then within a week all your proteins are gone, because vegetarian food is not sufficient food as far as the mind is concerned.
It is no coincidence that not a single vegetarian has received the Nobel prize! It is strange; it should be otherwise. Vegetarians think that since they are eating the purest food, they must have the purest minds, but even the three persons from India who have received the Nobel prize -- all were non-vegetarians.
Being a vegetarian and fasting and isolation are all strategies to bring your mind to a position where you cannot distinguish whether what you are seeing is real or unreal. It happens to small children. At an early age, when they wake up they start crying for something they had in their dream. They ask, "Where has it gone? It was just now here with me." It takes a little time for children to grow to understand that what they see in sleep is a dream and what they see when they are awake is not a dream.
The distinction between dream and reality needs a certain development of the mind. And what happens in this development? Those proteins which make your intellect...
All religions are agreed on the principle that fasting is something spiritual, but the reason is psychological, not spiritual: fasting is a beautiful way to create illusions. Have you ever thought about it... that a Christian never comes to see Krishna? When he is meditating in isolation, fasting in his monastery, Krishna never comes to him, Buddha never comes to him. And to a Buddhist, Jesus never comes. It seems these people also discriminate between Christians, Buddhists, Hindus... First they enquire whether this man is a Buddhist -- should I go or not?
It is your conditioning. Nobody comes, there is nobody to come! These people have disappeared into the universal consciousness. They don't have any body, any vehicle anymore -- even if they want to come, they cannot come. But you can create the illusion, and these are the devices: fasting, isolation...
When you are with people, it is one thing; when you are alone it is another thing. Have you watched the difference? -- when you are in your bathroom you are a different person than when you are in a marketplace. In the bathroom, even though you may be seventy years old, you can start making faces before the mirror. And if you become aware that just a small child is looking through the keyhole, you will change immediately into a serious, mature, experienced, seventy-year-old person! Just the eyes of that five-year-old boy in the keyhole can make such a great change.
Albert Einstein's life was full of surprises. His greatest surprise was when he became aware that if you are observing the behavior of electrons, they behave differently from when nobody is observing them. Strange! We used to think that electrons were like dead people -- just matter -- but they seem to be very much alive, and very sensitive.
They don't belong to our society, they don't belong to our culture, they don't need to be worried about what we think about them, but something happens... when they are alone they behave in one way and when they feel that somebody is watching, then they immediately become gentlemen! Albert Einstein was so shocked, because it meant that electrons have awareness of some kind. They are not just electric particles; they have their own consciousness.
Perhaps you are not aware that when you pass by the side of a tree it changes its behavior. It stands more erect, more beautiful, it releases more fragrance from the flowers. Somebody is coming by; it has to show itself as beautiful as possible.
I was teaching in a university, and by the side of my department there was a long row of a certain beautiful flower -- gulmohar. That flower is not found in cold countries; it is a flower of very hot countries. And when it comes to blossom, then all the leaves disappear and only red flowers... it seems as if the whole tree has become aflame, afire. It is a very beautiful thing to see. The whole department was surrounded by gulmohar trees.
I used to park my car under one gulmohar tree, and it had become known to almost everybody that that gulmohar tree had to be left for my car, because I had been parking my car there for years. Even when I didn't go to the university, I used to send my car! The car was parked -- everybody was satisfied that I was in the university. I had told my driver, "Just enjoy the garden" -- the university has a beautiful garden -- "and after two, three hours, you take the car back, but first let the vice-chancellor see it." The vice-chancellor's office was just beside the tree and he could see from his window that my car was standing there.
It was he who brought to my notice... I had not been looking closely at the other trees, and one day just as I was parking my car he came out of his office, and stopped me saying, "It is a miracle! All the other gulmohar trees" -- and there were nearly fifty trees -- "have died for no reason at all; perhaps some kind of epidemic has attacked those trees. Only your tree is still alive, is still green, still blossoms. It must have something to do with you!"
I said, "It is strange... I had never thought about it."
Seeing that other trees had died, I had enquired of the gardener, "What is the matter? Why have all the trees died?"
He told me, "I cannot figure it out. Every care has been taken, but they simply go on dying."
The trees were just standing naked, without leaves, without flowers. The vice-chancellor jokingly said to me, "You must be doing something; only your tree is alive."
Two years after I left the university I went there again, and the first thing I did was to look at my tree -- but it was gone! I was going to speak, so the vice-chancellor had come to receive me. He said, "Look! I told you that you were doing something to that tree. It remained alive for seven years when all the other trees were dying, but the day you left the university your tree started dying. Within two months it was gone. We tried everything, but we could not save it. And I used to love that tree," he said, "because it was just in front of my window."
It is possible that the tree had become in some way intimate to me and just for friendship's sake it remained alive for all those seven years.
Now, scientists are finding out that trees are very sensitive. When a woodcutter comes to cut the tree it trembles, and its trembling can be read on a graph, just like a cardiogram. A little instrument has to be attached to the tree, and it goes on showing how the tree is feeling -- whether it is feeling happy, wholesome... The moment the tree sees the woodcutter coming... the woodcutter has not started cutting the tree but if he has in his mind the idea to cut the tree, the graph goes suddenly crazy, it loses all harmony. Just a moment before, everything was harmonious on the graph, and now the graph is going up and down. The tree must be trembling; its heart must be worried.
Strange -- it was sensitive to the thought of the man. He has not done anything as far as cutting is concerned, only the idea was there. Perhaps the tree is more sensitive than we are. And if the woodcutter passes by without the idea, the graph remains the same.
Not only does the tree that he is going to cut become worried, concerned, other trees surrounding it also start feeling worried and concerned -- because one of them is going to be harmed. It seems subtle vibrations from the mind of the man who is going to cut or not cut are being caught by the trees.
This whole existence is immensely sensitive.
Everything is made of consciousness.
Once you experience this universal consciousness, you are not there -- you are left far behind. Hence the question of `subduing yourself' and `arousing an attitude of great compassion'.... These statements by Ta Hui are absolute nonsense.
He is saying, and arousing an attitude of great compassion. The man of enlightenment does not have to arouse the attitude of compassion; he finds that it is already there. It comes with enlightenment as a by-product.
We have to practice it. If you want to be compassionate you have to discipline yourself, you have to practice... you have to practice against yourself, because you are basically violent and cruel. Deep down you are carrying all the animals that you have passed in the evolution.
But a man of enlightenment does not practice compassion. He has not even to think about compassion, he simply finds it. As his ego disappears and as he realizes the ultimate universal life force as his own -- it is not that he is only a part of it... That is something very difficult to understand.
P.D. Ouspensky, in his great work about George Gurdjieff's teachings, IN SEARCH OF THE MIRACULOUS, has a statement. There is a mathematics that we know -- and Ouspensky was a mathematician by profession -- where the part is never equal to the whole. That is simple mathematics. How can the part be equal to the whole? The part is always less than the whole.
But living with Gurdjieff, meditating with him, he states that there comes a moment when a higher mathematics becomes real, where the part can be equal to the whole and sometimes the part can be bigger than the whole. Looked at logically it is absurd, but looked at from a different perspective than logic, from the perspective of no-mind, I support it absolutely. There is a higher mathematics, which belongs to no-mind, where the part is the whole.
So when one disappears in the whole, it is not that he is only a part; he is one with the whole. He is the whole cosmos. The question of being compassionate to anybody does not arise -- because there is nobody else left outside him! The trees are within him, the animals are within him, the oceans are within him, the stars are within him; everything that is is within him. To whom is he going to be compassionate? But he feels a tremendous compassion.
It is as if you are sitting in your room and nobody is there. If you are a man of love, although there is nobody in the room you will still be radiating love, you will still be radiating compassion; although there is nobody in the room, if you are a man of truth you will still be radiating truth.
So two things are to be remembered: the man of enlightenment finds that with enlightenment many things have come as by-products -- and compassion is one of the most important. But there is nobody left towards whom he can be compassionate.
It is a strange, mysterious existence. When there are millions of people to be compassionate towards, it is so difficult for you; you have to practice it, you have to go through austerities, you have to discipline yourself, you have to torture yourself. And when the compassion comes to you on its own accord, there is nobody left to whom you can be compassionate!
These small things show whether the man is enlightened himself or is simply repeating words from other enlightened people. Ta Hui is saying, "subdue yourself" after enlightenment. It as if somebody comes and says to you when you have brought the light in, "Now throw out the darkness." It is exactly that kind of statement. If the light is there... The darkness was only an absence of light; you cannot find it.
I have always loved an ancient story: When God created the world, one day darkness appeared before God, very grumpy and angry, and said to God, "You have to do something! Your sun, from the morning till the evening, harasses me unnecessarily. Wherever I go, sooner or later he reaches and I have to run away. I cannot find rest, I cannot relax, I have to be continuously on guard. The sun may come any moment.
"I have not done any harm to the sun; in fact we have not even been introduced to one another. There is no question of enmity, we are not even friends! You just tell your sun that this misbehavior -- and that, too, with a lady -- is very ungentlemanly! This primitive behavior has to be stopped."
God was absolutely convinced that this should not be so. He said, "You should have informed me before," and he immediately sent messengers to bring the sun into his court. The sun was simply amazed to hear that some lady called darkness has complained against him: "I don't know any such lady -- I have never come across her, I have never seen her! What harm can I do without seeing her?"
God was very angry, but the sun said, "Before you become so angry and start shouting at me, please give me a chance to say something also. I don't know any lady who is being harassed by me. The best course will be for you to bring that lady in front of me. At least I can see who the person is who is complaining against me." And since then God has been trying... But he can get only one, either the sun or the lady, but never both together in the court. So the case remains in the file.
You should not condemn the bureaucracies that exist in this world, where files move with such slow speed. Albert Einstein used to say that light has the greatest speed, and I say to you that files have the slowest speed. I don't think that God will ever be able to produce both parties together in the court. The case cannot be solved.
It is exactly the same thing: when enlightenment comes, the ego has already gone out. When enlightenment comes, just as a shadow to it compassion comes in, truth comes in, beauty comes in, grace comes in, blissfulness comes in. All that you have been searching for and were never able to manage is just showered on you.
One of the disciples of Gautam Buddha -- the first of his disciples to become enlightened -- was Manjushree. The story is beautiful... one day he had been meditating in the early morning, and as the sun was rising in the cool breeze of the morning, he became enlightened. And the story says that the whole existence started showering flowers on him. What flowers? They cannot be just the flowers that we know; they are the flowers of compassion, of love, of beauty, of grace, of truth, of authenticity.
These flowers shower on you on their own accord. It is the whole existence rejoicing in your enlightenment, because your enlightenment is not only yours; it raises the consciousness of the whole existence higher. With each person becoming enlightened, the whole existence becomes more enlightened. The whole existence rejoices and celebrates.
Ta Hui has no idea of enlightenment and what happens as a by-product.
SUBDUE YOURSELF, CREATE THE ATTITUDE OF COMPASSION, CREATE SKILLFUL EXPEDIENTS WHEREBY YOU CAN ALSO SUBDUE ALL SENTIENT BEINGS...
This too is very significant to understand.
Gautam Buddha has related many stories of his past lives, and they have such beauty and significance. In one of his past lives he heard about a man who had become enlightened; his name was Deepankar Buddha. The word deepankar means one who can light the candle of your being; the word `lamplighter' is the exact meaning of deepankar. Deep means lamp, and deepankar means lamplighter. Gautam Buddha was not enlightened in that life. Thousands of people were going to see Deepankar Buddha, and just out of curiosity he also went.
When he saw Deepankar Buddha -- he had no intention... He had come there only out of curiosity, but the moment he saw the man and the beauty of the man -- those deep eyes reminding him of the depth of oceans -- and the field of a certain energy vibrating around the man... not knowing what he was doing, with tears rolling down from his eyes, he touched the feet of Deepankar Buddha.
He himself could not believe what he was doing, and why...? He had not come to touch his feet, and why were these tears coming and why was he feeling so immensely happy? Nothing visible had happened, but something invisible had touched his heart, the bells in his heart had started ringing. A subtle music had touched him.
And at that very moment, as he stood in front of Deepankar Buddha, Deepankar Buddha bowed down and touched the feet of Gautam Buddha -- who was not enlightened in that life. He could not believe what was happening. He asked, "What are you doing? If I touch your feet it is perfectly right, I am ignorant. But you have attained to the ultimate consciousness -- you are not supposed to touch my feet."
And Deepankar Buddha said something that Gautam Buddha remembered when he became a buddha. The first thing that he remembered then was the statement of Deepankar Buddha of many lives before: "Don't be worried. Yesterday I was also ignorant, today I am enlightened; today you are ignorant, tomorrow you will be enlightened. There is not much difference -- it is only a question of time. When you become enlightened, remember."
The moment somebody becomes enlightened, to him the whole existence becomes enlightened -- at least potentially. He can't see himself in a special position. And that's what Ta Hui is trying to say -- that you should create devices and methods whereby all other sentient beings can also become enlightened.
The really awakened man does nothing to enlighten anybody. His very presence certainly does miracles, his very being is magical, but as far as he is concerned, he himself is no more. Who is there to do anything?
On the last day of his life, Gautam Buddha said -- when his disciples were paying tributes to him because then he was leaving his body -- "Don't feel grateful to me, because I have not done anything. In fact, since the day enlightenment happened I have not been in existence. Things have been happening around me -- that's another thing. But I am not the doer; the doer is dead, the doer has gone long before enlightenment entered."
Things certainly happened, hundreds of people became enlightened around Gautam Buddha, but he was not doing anything to make them enlightened. He was just available, like a well. If you are thirsty you carry the water from the well and drink, but the well is not doing anything.
Ta Hui's statements show very clearly that he has not tasted the experience itself -- he has only heard about it. And then he says,
OLD YELLOW FACE (BUDDHA) HAS SAID, "WHEN THE MIND DOES NOT VAINLY GRASP PAST THINGS, DOES NOT LONG FOR THINGS IN THE FUTURE, AND DOES NOT DWELL ON ANYTHING IN THE PRESENT, THEN YOU REALIZE FULLY THAT THE THREE TIMES ARE ALL EMPTY AND STILL."
The statement of Buddha is right, but this sarcastic reference to Buddha as `Old Yellow Face' is so ugly that it shows the mind of Ta Hui. Although Ta Hui is quoting Gautam Buddha, there seems to be no reverence. Intellectuals are very clever in criticizing, but are absolutely impotent as far as showing reverence is concerned. Criticism is very easy because it is very ego-fulfilling. Reverence is very difficult because it means you have to put your ego aside.
Ta Hui wants to pretend that he himself is an enlightened man, but still he cannot show reverence to Gautam Buddha. To call Gautam Buddha `Old Yellow Face' is just unimaginable. But his ego is feeling hurt somewhere. In a very subtle way, from the back door, it is taking revenge.
The quotation of Gautam Buddha is beautiful:
"WHEN THE MIND DOES NOT VAINLY GRASP PAST THINGS, DOES NOT LONG FOR THINGS IN THE FUTURE, AND DOES NOT DWELL ON ANYTHING IN THE PRESENT, THEN YOU REALIZE FULLY THAT THE THREE TIMES ARE ALL EMPTY AND STILL."
It is a very significant statement, particularly to us, because for the first time, on a scientific basis, time is no longer the same as it used to be. Since Albert Einstein, time has become the fourth dimension of space.
Time is still, just as space is still. It neither goes anywhere nor comes from anywhere. It is just our language that goes on saying that time is passing. In fact, we are passing, time stands still.
Time has no movement. There are not only scientific but logical difficulties. If time moves, for example just like a river... if time moves, then there must be something on both sides of the river, unmoving. The river moves only in contrast to two unmoving banks. If there are not two banks which are still, how can the river move?
Once in a while you may have been sitting in a train, with another train standing on the next track, and suddenly you feel that your train has started moving. Then you look at the platform, and you realize that your train is not moving because the platform is still there. The other train is moving. But if the platform was not there... Just think, if there was nothing on the other side -- only empty space -- how would you manage to know whether your train is moving or the other train is moving?
The example can be taken even further. If two trains in space, or two planes in space, are moving parallel in one direction, nobody will feel that there is any movement -- because to feel the movement you need something static in contrast. If you say time is moving, you have to show against what.
Time is still; only the mind is moving.
These tenses -- past, present and future -- are not the tenses of time; they are tenses of the mind. That which is no longer before the mind becomes the past. That which is before the mind is the present. And that which is going to be before the mind is the future.
Past is that which is no longer before you.
Future is that which is not yet before you.
And present is that which is before you and is slipping out of your sight. Soon it will be past.
Buddha is saying: If you don't cling to the past... because clinging to the past is absolute stupidity. It is no longer there, so you are crying for spilled milk. What is gone is gone! And don't cling to the present because that is also going and soon it will be past. Don't cling to the future -- hopes, imaginations, plans for tomorrow -- because tomorrow will become today, will become yesterday. Everything is going to become yesterday.
Everything is going to go out of your hands.
Clinging will simply create misery.
You will have to let go.
You cannot manage to prevent the process of things moving out of your sight, so it is better just to watch, just to witness, and let things be wherever they want -- in the past, in the present, in the future. Don't you be disturbed, because everything is going to fall into the past.
Only one thing is going to remain with you: that is your witnessing, that is your watchfulness. This watchfulness is meditation.
Mind is a clinger -- it clings, it hoards, it possesses. In the name of memory it collects all the past. In the name of planning for the future it clings to hopes, desires, ambitions -- and it suffers. Mind is continuously in tension, is continuously in anguish -- always in a turmoil.
Buddha is saying: If you can just remain silent and a witness, every misery, every worry, every tension will disappear. And there will be a silence and a clarity that you had never even thought about. This clarity will bring you the awakening; it is witnessing that, as it matures, finally becomes the awakening.
Witnessing can be called the seed and enlightenment can be called the flowers. But begin from witnessing, and then it starts growing. Go on nourishing it, go on caring for it, go on watering it, strengthen it in every possible way -- and one day it is going to blossom. That day will be the greatest day of your life.
You should not think about past events -- whether good or bad. This is commentary by Ta Hui on Buddha's statement -- and you can see the difference. You should not think about past events... Buddha is not saying anything about thinking; he is simply saying, don't cling!...whether good or bad -- Buddha is not saying anything about good or bad.
If you think, that obstructs the path. Buddha is not talking about any obstruction to the path. His statement is very simple. He is saying if you don't cling to past, present and future, then all is empty and still. There is nothing else to say. To add anything else would be superfluous.
You should not consider future events. Now does Ta Hui think he is enriching Buddha's statement? To consider them is crazy confusion. He himself is in crazy confusion; Buddha's statement was complete -- impeccably complete. There is nothing to be added to it.
PRESENT EVENTS ARE RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU: WHETHER THEY ARE PLEASANT OR UNPLEASANT.
He is simply bringing in his own mind about good and bad, about pleasant and unpleasant.
DON'T FIX YOUR MIND ON THEM. IF YOU DO FIX YOUR MIND ON THEM, IT WILL DISTURB YOUR HEART.
Now he is really in crazy confusion!
The witness is neither the mind nor the heart.
Mind is a division which thinks, and heart is another division of the same mind which feels. Feeling and thinking, thoughts and emotions... but witnessing is separate from both. Whether you are thinking, the watcher watches... a thought is passing by, or you are feeling angry -- the witness still watches. An emotion is passing by, just like clouds pass and you see them.
You are neither the good nor the bad.
You are neither the pleasant nor the unpleasant.
You are neither the thought nor the emotions.
.You are neither the mind nor the heart.
But Ta Hui says,
IF YOU DO FIX YOUR MIND ON THEM, IT WILL DISTURB YOUR HEART. JUST TAKE EVERYTHING IN ITS TIME, RESPONDING ACCORDING TO CIRCUMSTANCES, AND YOU WILL NATURALLY ACCORD WITH THIS PRINCIPLE.
What principle? What principle is he talking about? Buddha has not given any principle. He has simply explained a simple thing: if you cling, you suffer; if you don't cling, you attain to peace and silence.
Buddha is not a moralist or a puritan. He is not interested in what is good and what is bad. His whole interest is very simple, and that is: you should not be asleep. Spiritually, you should be awake and then everything else will be settled. You don't have to do anything else.
UNPLEASANT SITUATIONS ARE EASY TO HANDLE. Now this crazy fellow goes on.... UNPLEASANT SITUATIONS ARE EASY TO HANDLE; PLEASANT SITUATIONS ARE HARD TO HANDLE. FOR THAT WHICH GOES AGAINST ONE'S WILL, IT BOILS DOWN TO ONE WORD: PATIENCE. SETTLE DOWN AND REFLECT A MOMENT AND IN A LITTLE WHILE IT IS GONE. IT IS PLEASANT SITUATIONS THAT TRULY GIVE YOU NO WAY TO ESCAPE: LIKE PAIRING MAGNET AND IRON, UNCONSCIOUSLY THIS AND THAT COME TOGETHER IN ONE PLACE.
It is good to reflect on the statements of those who have arrived home, but your reflections should make them in some way more rich. If you drag what they have said into a lower state, you are being very unjust. It is better not to say anything if you don't know. But this is the problem with intellectuals: they have to say something. Whatever Ta Hui is saying is so ordinary, so meaningless, that it does not help you in any way to enter into the space of enlightenment. On the contrary, he starts bringing in things which will certainly confuse you.
It has to be very clearly understood that morality is not religion, although religion is morality. A moral person need not be religious, but the religious person is of necessity moral; he cannot be otherwise. A moral person need not even be concerned with religion: he may be an atheist, he may be an agnostic -- still he can be moral. But the religious person has no possibility of being immoral. His very consciousness is enough to give him the right direction. He has not to depend on the precepts given by great religious founders or by religious scriptures; he has his guide in his own awareness.
And because he lives according to his own light, there is a joy in his living. His morality is not a burden. His morality is not something imposed on him. His morality is something like overflowing joy, overabundant rejoicing. He loves because he has so much love. He cannot hate because hate has disappeared from his being.
I am reminded of one very great woman -- Rabiya al-Adabiya, a Sufi woman. A great Sufi mystic, Hassan, was staying with Rabiya. In the morning he wanted the holy KORAN. He had not brought his own copy, thinking that Rabiya must have a holy KORAN and that will do.
Rabiya gave him her copy. He opened it and he was shocked, because Rabiya had made many corrections in the holy KORAN! To any fanatic religious person, to any fundamentalist, nothing can be more sacrilegious. A Mohammedan cannot think that you can correct God's only messenger, and the last messenger. Now God is not going to send another improved edition of his holy scripture. The last one he sent was the holy KORAN. Mohammedans say there is only one God; one prophet, Mohammed, and one holy scripture, the KORAN. And this old woman, Rabiya, is making corrections -- she has cut out a few lines completely!
Hassan said, "Rabiya, it seems somebody has spoiled your book."
Rabiya said, "Nobody has spoiled my book. I have simply corrected it."
Hassan said, "I cannot understand. I always thought that you were a great religious woman. I cannot conceive that you would do such a thing."
She said, "I had to do it. Just look at what I have crossed out!" The sentence in the KORAN was: "When you see the devil, hate him." And she has crossed it out.
Rabiya said, "Since I have experienced my innermost being, I don't have any hate left. Even if the devil stands before me, I have nothing to offer but love. I have to correct the KORAN. It is my book; it has to be according to my experience! Mohammed has no monopoly. I will not tolerate anything in my book which is against my experience."
A man of enlightenment is so full of love, so full of joy, that he shares it. Sharing comes to him without any effort -- it is not an effort, it is not an action. That's why people like Lao Tzu say "actionless action," and "effortless effort."
But people like Ta Hui cannot understand that. To them, "effortless effort" and "actionless action" will look like illogical, absurd statements. How can there be an actionless action? How can there be effort without any effort? But I know that once you are awakened, you don't do anything -- everything starts happening. It is just a spontaneous outpouring, just as roses come on rose bushes, without any effort.
Love and compassion, good and beauty, grace and blessings, simply go on and on coming out of the overfullness. Just as a raincloud showers without any effort, an awakened man showers also without any effort. And the beauty of no-effort -- and yet tremendous happenings -- is so majestic. It is the ultimate splendor in existence.
Gautam Buddha has said... For forty-two years continuously he was speaking, and at the end he says, "I have not spoken a single word." And he is right, because he has not made any effort to speak. It was just a raincloud showering, it was a rose bush bringing roses with no effort, with no action. Buddha had to speak because he was so overfull. All that poetry, all that music, all that came out of him was simply spontaneous.
A moralist makes efforts; he tries to do good, he avoids doing bad. His whole life is continuously "Do this," or "Don't do that." He is always split, and he is always worried about whether what he is doing is right... is it really right? Or, who knows? -- it may not be right. The moralist acts out of confusion. He depends on others who themselves may have been confused.
The last words of Gautam Buddha on the earth were, "Be a light unto yourself. Don't be bothered about what others say, don't be bothered about traditions, orthodoxies, religions, moralities. Just be a light unto yourself."
Just a small light is enough, and you can go on with that small light for ten thousand miles without any difficulty. Your light may be falling only four feet ahead of you -- just go on moving. As you move, the light will be moving ahead, and if you can see four feet ahead, that's enough. You can go as far as you want. You can go on an eternal pilgrimage with just a small light of your own.
Don't live on borrowed light.
Don't live on borrowed eyes.
Don't live on borrowed concepts.
Live according to your own light, and your life will be, each and every moment, a greater joy, a greater blissfulness, a greater ecstasy.