Never Pretend, Even About Skulls
THE MASTER FUGAI WAS CONSIDERED VERY WISE AND GENEROUS, YET HE WAS MOST SEVERE BOTH WITH HIMSELF AND HIS DISCIPLES.
HE WENT TO THE MOUNTAINS TO SIT IN ZEN. HE LIVED IN A CAVE, AND WHEN HE WAS HUNGRY HE WENT TO THE VILLAGE FOR SCRAPS.
ONE DAY A MONK CALLED BUNDO, ATTRACTED BY FUGAI'S AUSTERITIES, CALLED AT THE CAVE AND ASKED TO STAY THE NIGHT.
THE MASTER SEEMED HAPPY TO PUT HIM UP, AND NEXT MORNING PREPARED RICE GRUEL FOR HIM. NOT HAVING AN EXTRA BOWL HE WENT OUT AND RETURNED WITH A SKULL HE FOUND LYING NEAR A TOMB. HE FILLED IT WITH GRUEL AND OF OFFERED IT TO BUNDO.
THE GUEST REFUSED TO TOUCH IT, AND STARED AT FUGAI AS IF HE HAD GONE MAD.
AT THIS FUGAI BECAME FURIOUS AND DROVE HIM OUT OF THE CAVE WITH BLOWS. 'FOOL!' HE SHOUTED AFTER HIM.'HOW CAN YOU, WITH YOUR WORLDLY NOTIONS OF FILTH AND PURITY, THINK YOURSELF A BUDDHIST?'
SOME MONTHS LATER THE MASTER TETSGYU VISITED HIM AND TOLD HIM THAT HE THOUGHT IT A GREAT PITY THAT HE HAD FORSAKEN THE WORLD. FUGAI LAUGHED LOUDLY AND SAID:'OH, IT'S EASY ENOUGH TO FORSAKE THE WORLD AND BECOME A BONZAI, THE DIFFICULT THING IS THEN TO BECOME A TRUE BUDDHIST.'
TRUTH IS ONE, but it can be approached in many ways. Truth is one, but it can be expressed in many ways.
Two ways are very essential; all the ways can be divided into two categories. It will be good to understand that basic polarity.
Either you approach truth through the mind or you approach truth through the heart. So there are two types of religions in the world -- both true, both meaningful, but both opposite to each other -- the religion of the mind and the religion of the heart.
The religion of the mind believes that if you become thoughtless, if the mind is dropped, you attain to truth. The mind is the barrier; the no-mind will be the gate. Buddhism, Jainism, Taoism -- these are the religions of the mind. They are religions of deep analysis, religions of deep awareness, religions of enlightenment.
Then there are religions of the heart: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism. They believe that the path goes through the heart, that the heart has to be dissolved into the beloved, into the Divine.
The first religions are the religions of meditation. The word 'meditation' is not exactly right but there is no other word to translate DHYANA into English, because the language has never known a religion of meditation so the word does not exist. All Western languages, in fact, have known only the religion of the heart so they have the perfect word for that path -- prayer. But for DHYANA they don't have any word so meditation is the only word that can be used. In fact, DHYANA means exactly the opposite; DHYANA means just the contrary. The word 'meditation' comes from a Greek root 'medonai' which means to think about. The word 'meditation' means to think about, and DHYANA, which we are translating as meditation, means how not to think about; how to be in a state of no thought; how to come to a point where you are but there is no thinking; a state of no-mind, pure awareness. But meditation is the only word so we will use it.
Zen is the culmination of the Buddhist search. Zen is the uttermost flowering of the path of meditation. The word 'zen' comes from DHYANA. DHYANA became 'chen' in China, then 'chen' became 'zen' in Japan. Remember this: Zen originated in India with Gautam Buddha. When Gautam Buddha attained to his ultimate enlightenment, the state of no- mind, the world came to know the path of analysis, the path of right thinking, the path of right remembering, and the path of how to dissolve all thinking by becoming more and more aware of thoughts. Just by watching thoughts, slowly, slowly, they fade out -- you become simply a watcher, you are not identified with your thinking, you stand aside and you go on watching, just as if you are standing by the side of the road and watching the traffic. The mind is like traffic, very circular, goes on moving in a circle, very repetitive, almost a mechanism. You go on doing the same thing again and again and again. Your whole life is nothing but a prolonged repetition, very circular. The mind is a mandala, a circle, and it moves. If you watch, by and by you become aware of the circle, of the vicious circle of the mind. Again and again it brings the same emotions: the same anger, the same hatred, the same greed, the same ego.... And you go on. You are just a victim.
Once you become aware of the mind and you start watching it, the bridge is broken, you are no more identified with the mind. Once you are not identified with the mind, the mind disappears because it needs your co-operation to be there.
These coming ten days we will be talking about Zen. But to understand it rightly, you have to understand the opposite also -- the opposite becomes a contrast, a background.
The path of prayer does not analyse; it does not try to be aware or alert. On the contrary, the path of prayer dissolves itself completely into the prayer. You should not witness, you should not be a watcher; you should be drunk like a drunkard and lost, completely lost.
On the path of prayer, love is the goal. You should be loving; you should be so full of love that your ego dissolves into your love, melts into your love. On the path of prayer, God is a necessary hypothesis. I call it a hypothesis because it is a need on the path of prayer but it is not a need on the path of meditation.
On the path of meditation no God is needed, hence the influence and the appeal of Zen in the West. God has become almost incomprehensible. The very word 'God' looks dirty.
The moment you say 'God' you put people off. Hence the appeal of Zen in the West.
Christianity is dying because that hypothesis has been used too much, has been exploited too much. The other, just the opposite, is needed.
On the path of prayer you are to be drunk; on the path of meditation you have to be alert.
In both the ways the ego disappears. If you are fully alert there is no ego because in full awareness you become so transparent that you don't create any shadow. If you are fully drunk, in deep love with God, again you disappear -- because in LOVE you cannot be.
The ultimate is the same: the ego disappears. And when the ego is not there you come to know what truth is.
Nobody has ever been able to say what it is; nobody will ever be able to say what it is.
The experience is so ultimate, so vast, that it is indefinable. It is so unlimited it cannot be put into words -- words are very narrow and the experience is tremendously vast. But from both the paths, people reach to the same goal.
Truth is one. Vedas say, 'Truth is one but it has been seen in different ways by the seers.'
So remember that. All religions are basically, intrinsically, leading to the same goal. Even when they appear very opposite, even when they appear diametrically opposite, they are leading to the same goal.
So it depends on you which path you would like to choose. If you have a feeling for God -- not a belief, belief alone won't do, belief is just a dead thing -- if you have a feeling for God, if, by hearing the word 'God', you start a subtle throbbing, you feel a trembling, you feel inspired, your heart starts beating faster, if the very word 'God' gives you a great awe, then you can move on the path of prayer. Then Zen is not for you, then Zen is to be simply forgotten, because then Zen will be a disturbance.
But if the word 'God' has no meaning for you, if it has really died for you, if God is really dead, it provokes no feeling in you, no emotion in you, it does not vibrate you, it does not pulsate you, it does not whirl your being into the unknown, then Zen is for you. More and more people will have to be moving on the path of Zen because Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism -- all, in a way, have been exploited too much. They have lost their appeal.
Buddhism is still unspoiled, still fertile, and for the modern mind particularly it has a very deep appeal -- because the modern mind is made of a scientific attitude and Zen is absolutely scientific, super-scientific. It goes to the very roots of your mind and it does not ask you to believe in anything. It has no hypothesis whatsoever. It does not ask that you should believe in something, it has no superstition.
The word 'superstition' is very beautiful. It comes from the Latin 'superstes' which means:
that which survives, remnants of the past, things which have become futile but persist out of habit. You go to the church but you don't have any feeling for going there, and every night before going to the bed you may pray also -- but it is just an impotent gesture because there is no heart in it. You simply repeat with the lips; you pay lip-service to it. It is maybe just an old habit, an old conditioning: you have been taught from your very childhood to pray, so you continue. The mind goes on repeating the familiar.
So this has to be decided by you. Nobody else can decide it for you. You have to search in your own heart. If you still have that innocence which is needed for the path of prayer, if you are still like a child, if you still can trust, can believe, if you still can have faith, then there is no need to bother about Zen because it will be an unnecessarily arduous path. You can simply melt and merge into God.
I was reading one anecdote -- I loved it.
One evening a priest who was visiting Ireland was walking along a country road, when he came upon an elderly gentleman. As they walked along enjoying the evening together, a storm suddenly arose and they took shelter. They talked for a while and then when silence came upon them, the old man took out a prayer book and began to pray.
The American priest, observing him, was struck very deeply by a certain kind of hallowedness around him as he prayed. Unintentionally he said aloud, 'You must be very close to God.'
The old man paused, smiled and said, 'Yes, he is very fond of me.'
'Yes, he is very fond of me.' That is what prayer is all about. It is not only that you love God -- that alone won't help. If you can also feel God's love flowing towards you, only then; if you can feel his presence all around you, only then will prayer become possible.
Prayer is possible as a shadow of his felt presence. You cannot pray in an empty room if he is not present. To whom will you pray? To whom will you utter your heart? To whom?
Prayer is futile if the presence is not felt. If the presence is felt, then you are in prayer -- whether you say something or not. You may not say a single word, you may be simply so full with awe that you remain silent, but you will feel the presence. Yes, to feel the presence of God is what prayer is all about.
But if God is dead, if you don't feel anything, if no song arises in your heart for God, if the presence has disappeared from the world -- you look at trees and you only see trees and no God hidden there, you look at the sky and you only see the sky and not his infinite presence -- then Zen is going to be your path.
Zen is going to be the religion of the coming century because science has killed, or damaged very badly, the capacity to trust. But there is nothing to be worried about -- you can move from another direction. But then there is no question of love, of presence, of God, of prayer -- nothing of the sort.
When the Western world for the first time became aware of Buddhism, Jainism, Tao, they could not believe it. What type of religions are these? There is no God in them. They could not believe that religion could exist without the concept of God; God has always been the centre of religion. So they thought that these must be just moral codes. They are not. They are a totally different kind of religion. And India, in the days of Buddha and Mahavir, twenty-five centuries before, reached to the same scientific attitude as the Western world has reached now. Twenty-five centuries before, India realised -- at least, those who were very, very intelligent, brilliant, alert -- they realised that the old God was dead. They realised that the God of prayer was dead.
To say this was simply to say that the heart of man was dead; it was no longer functioning. So a new path had to be found in which heart was not a basic necessity.
Buddha and Mahavir worked out a new sort of religion -- the religion of meditation, without any God, without any prayer, without any belief. Nothing is required of you except a seeking, except a searching mind, except a deep enquiry -- that's all.
The world is going to be more and more 'zenist'. Zen is the ultimate flowering of the Buddha-mind.
Before we enter into the world of Zen, some things are needed to be understood about the mind. One thing: mind functions because of your co-operation. You can stop it if you withdraw your co-operation. Without withdrawing your co-operation you cannot stop it.
So the whole method of Zen is how to withdraw the co-operation. Many people try to stop the mind without withdrawing the co-operation -- then you will go crazy, then you will do something absurd, impossible. On one hand you go on pouring energy into the mind and on the other hand you go on trying to stop it.
It is as if you are driving a car and you go on pushing the accelerator and at the same time you go on pushing the brake as well. You will destroy the whole mechanism; you are doing two contradictory things together.
Zen is not in favour of stopping the mind directly, it is in favour of withdrawing your co- operation from the mind in a subtle way. As more energy is withdrawn from the mind it starts falling on its own accord and a moment comes when the mind simply disappears -- because it is you who are supporting it; it is you who are maintaining it; it is you who unknowingly, continuously, goes on pouring energy into it. Through your desires, through your discriminations, through your choices, through your likes and dislikes, you go on pouring energy into it.
So Zen says, if you really want the mind to stop.... There is no other way for Zen to come to know the truth unless the mind stops. Because if the mind goes on functioning, it is a projector. Then the reality functions as a screen and you go on projecting your mind onto it, you go on seeing that which you want to see, you go on hearing what you want to hear.
You never see reality as it is, you never see that which is, you corrupt reality. Mind is a great corruptor.
So mind, the projector, has to be stopped. Then suddenly the reality appears as it is, because nothing is projected onto it. You are sitting in a movie house, you just see a white screen, and then the projector starts. Then the screen disappears and you see the film, a great story unfolding. You forget completely the screen, the whiteness, the purity of it, the virginity of it -- everything is forgotten. You are lost in a dream-world. Then the projector stops and suddenly you realise there has been nothing. The screen has been empty. It was just a game of shadows -- you were befooled, you were deceived.
In India we call the world MAYA, illusion. It means: it is not that there is no truth in it, but the truth is hidden. The truth is hidden like a white screen in a movie house and you have projected your desires and your dreams on top of it and have forgotten completely what reality is.
Zen says stop the projector, put it off, and you will be able to know what is. And to know that which is, is freedom; to know that which is, is to be liberated; to know that which is, is to be enlightened.
So mind is the barrier. And mind is a continuous repetition. Because you have never watched it, you are not aware of it. Nothing new ever happens in the mind; it is always the rotten old. Nothing new can ever happen in the mind because it is a mechanism. The mechanism can only go on playing the same thing again and again -- it is like a gramophone record.
Look at it and by and by you will be able to see the mechanicalness of it. Gurdjieff used to say that if a man realises that he is a mechanism then there is a possibility. If a man realises that he is only a machine, then there is a possibility to go beyond the machine.
Then a man can become conscious.
I was reading a very beautiful anecdote. There is no story in it, just an extract from a petty-cash ledger.
Nov. 1 Advertisement for secretary .50
Nov. 2 Flowers for secretary's desk .80
Nov. 8 Week's salary for secretary L30.00
Nov. 9 Perfume for secretary L6.00
Nov. 11 Sweets for wife .10
Nov. 13 Lunch for secretary and self L9.45
Nov. 15 Weeks salary for secretary L35.00
Nov. 17 Bingo for wife and self L1.00
Nov. 18 Theatre for secretary and self L6.00
Nov. 19 Sweets for wife .10
Nov. 20 Doreen's salary L40.00
Nov. 21 Theatre and dinner for D and self L20.00
Dec. 2 Harley Street Clinic L150.00
Dec. 3 Fur coat for wife L700.00
Dec. 4 Advertisement for male secretary .50
Just take note. Make a small diary of your mind and you will see circles and circles moving. To make a diary is good, but make it for yourself, not for somebody else to read it. Then look at it, watch it, and you will see -- the same pattern again and again bubbles, surfaces. This is a sheer wastage of life because nothing new is happening in it.
Truth is always new and mind is always old. That's why mind and truth never meet. Mind is always of the past, truth is always of the present. That's why mind and truth never meet. Mind is that which you have already known; truth is that which is yet to be known.
Mind is the known and truth is the unknowable or the unknown. Mind is just a record of all that has happened. Mind is not an adventure; truth is an adventure.
There is an old proverb which says, 'There is nothing new under the sun.' If you think about the mind the proverb is true. But if you think about truth, the proverb is absolutely false. Then there is another proverb -- which is true -- which says, 'There is nothing old under the sun.' Everything is absolutely fresh and new -- like a fresh leaf coming out of the tree. Truth is always young, mind is always old. That's why Jesus says to his disciples, 'Unless you become like small children, you will not be able to enter into my Kingdom of God.'
Mind is very cunning and clever, but not intelligent. Intelligence is a quality of awareness and cunningness and cleverness are just substitutes for intelligence. So mind goes on playing tricks of cleverness and;n that cleverness, mind itself is caught. In its own cleverness and cunningness it is lost. Remember this that you will not become intelligent by being clever, you will become intelligent by being more aware. Cleverness need not be necessarily a sign of intelligence. Even stupid people can be clever. Cleverness comes out of experience: you do things many times, you learn. The mind becomes like a computer -- each experience is fed into it and it goes on learning and accumulating knowledge and it goes on using that knowledge.
Intelligence has a totally different quality: it has nothing to do with experience, it has something to do with awareness. Cunningness comes out of experience; intelligence comes out of awareness. That's why old people become very cunning... and hippies are right when they say never believe a person who is more than thirty. Because by that time a person becomes cunning, one has learned the tricks and the ways of the world.
But a child is intelligent because a child is more alert, more radiantly alert. See a child watching something. If a child is watching a snail just watch the child -- how alert, how totally in the moment he is. It is as if he has become just the eyes; his whole being is pouring through the eyes. A child is intelligent, an old man becomes cunning and clever.
A child has no experience so he cannot use the past. He has to face the present.
And the whole Zen attitude is that you will have to become a child again; you will have to attain a second childhood in which you drop all experiences. Mind is nothing but a name for the whole accumulated past. Mind is not an entity really, just a piled-up past. If you disperse it, if the dust of the past is cleaned away from the mirror of your being, you will become intelligent. And only intelligence can know what truth is.
After a lecture a student said to Hegel, 'Professor Hegel, I am confused by your teaching because reality looks quite different.'
Hegel said, 'My dear friend, all the worse for reality.'
Zen is not a philosophy because philosophy means some doctrine about reality. Zen is a pure encounter with reality. It has no doctrine, it has no philosophy, it has no scriptures. It is just a direct encounter with reality. All scriptures belong to the mind, all philosophies belong to the mind and all doctrines are the cleverness of the mind. The mind goes on consoling itself through creating philosophies that it knows.
It is very difficult to remain in ignorance because it is very ego-shattering. So the mind creates philosophies and gives you an illusion of knowledge.
Zen is a way of knowing. It has no knowledge. It is just a methodology to know, to face, to encounter -- immediate, herenow, direct. It is a direct transmission.
Clemenceau, the French statesman, was asked by a diplomat what he thought about diplomats.
Clemenceau said, 'Diplomats are people who solve problems that have been created by other diplomats.'
That's what philosophers also do and that's what the whole function of the mind is. Mind creates the problem and then mind tries to solve it.
Zen completely drops out of this whole game. It is not a mind game. Zen says there are no problems to be solved and there are no solutions to be made, because there are no problems in the first place. Zen says there has never been a problem in existence. It is the tricky mind which first creates a problem -- and of course, when you have a problem, you have to solve it. So it creates a solution. The problem is false, so how can you find a true solution for a false problem? The solution is also false. Then the solution creates ten more problems -- and so on and so forth it goes. Philosophies upon philosophies are created and they are all empty, all gibberish, all scrap. Zen is absolutely against philosophising because Zen is against mind.
Now this Zen story.
THE MASTER FUGAI WAS CONSIDERED VERY WISE AND GENEROUS, YET HE WAS MOST SEVERE -- BOTH WITH HIMSELF AND HIS DISCIPLES.
Zen is severe. It is a very arduous path. It is not a game to play with, it is playing with fire. You will never be the same again once you enter into the world of Zen. You will be totally transformed, so much so that you will not be able to recognise yourself. The person who enters into the world of Zen and the person who comes out are two totally different entities. There is no continuity, you become discontinuous with your past. All continuity is of the mind; all identity is of the mind; all name, all form, is of the mind.
When the mind is dropped you suddenly become discontinuous with the past -- not only with the past, you become unconnected with time.
And that is the whole secret of Zen: to become unconnected with time. Then you become connected with eternity. And eternity is here-now; eternity knows no past and no future; eternity is pure present. Time knows no present -- time is past and future. Ordinarily we think that time is divided into three categories: past, present and future. That is absolutely wrong. Time is divided only into two categories: past and future. The present is not part of time at all. Just watch, just see. When is the present? The moment you recognise that this is the present, it is already past. The moment you say, 'Yes, this is the present,' it is already gone, it is past. Or if you say, 'This is going to be the present,' it is still future.
You cannot recognise present, you cannot finger present, you cannot indicate present. In the world of time there is no present.
When you look at the clock it is already moving, not for a single moment has it stopped.
When you were watching it, then too it was moving. That's what Heraclitus means when he says, 'You cannot step twice in the same river.' The river is flowing. The past is there, the future is there, and the future is continuously being converted into the past. Not for a single moment is there present, not for a single moment does the clock stop, not for a single moment does the river stop. Heraclitus is right. You cannot step twice in the same river. One of his disciples said to him, 'Master, I tried, you are right. But one thing more I would like to add -- you cannot step even once in a river.' That's exactly how it is. When you touch the river, when your foot touches the river, the river is flowing. When you penetrate one inch into the river, the river is flowing. When you penetrate two inches into the river, the river is flowing. By the time you reach the bottom the river has flowed so much that you cannot say you stepped even ONCE in the same river.
In time there is no present; present is not part of time. Present is part of eternity. Present means now and now knows no past and no future.
Once you are discontinuous with mind, you are discontinuous with time. And time and space are together.
In this century Einstein discovered that time and space are not two separate things; they are one thing, or two aspects of the one thing. So he called the whole thing 'spatio-time' to emphasise the fact that time is nothing but the fourth dimension of space. If time disappears, space also disappears.
So a man who has gone beyond his mind is beyond time and space. He is, but you cannot say where he is; he is, but you cannot say when he is. When and where all dissolve. He simply is, without any definition of where and when. This is what Buddha called enlightenment. This is freedom, absolute freedom. Nothing confines you.
But the path is very severe. It has to be so because it is a sort of ultimate suicide. You commit suicide. You commit a mind suicide. You drop out of the mind, you drop out of time, you drop out of space. The world that you have known up to now disappears and something totally new, something indefinable, arises in your consciousness.
THE MASTER FUGAI WAS CONSIDERED VERY WISE AND GENEROUS, YET HE WAS MOST SEVERE...
A Zen Master has to be severe because he is trying to kill you.
Just a few days before, a sannyasin came and I asked her how long she was going to stay here. She said three months. So I said, 'Okay, that will be enough to kill you.' She said, 'What!?' But now she has understood the point -- getting ready to die.
... BOTH WITH HIMSELF AND HIS DISCIPLES. HE WENT TO THE MOUNTAINS TO SIT IN ZEN.
Zen simply means sitting. In Japanese they have the full word, 'zazen'. It means sitting silently, doing nothing.
All doing is of the mind. Whenever you do, the mind comes into being. Whenever you want to do something, the mind immediately starts planning. With even the idea of doing you start pouring energy into the mind.
Zen is a simple sitting. Not doing anything, not even meditating... because to meditate, from the back door the doing again comes in. Zen simply says, sit and don't do anything.
Don't think in terms of doing, think in terms of being. Just be. So for years a seeker of Zen simply sits. It is the hardest thing in the world to do and I can feel you will understand it. It is the hardest thing in the world to do -- just to sit. You would like something to do because that something keeps you preoccupied, and you go on feeling that you are doing something, that you are somebody. And at least it never gives you any opportunity to face yourself. Your doing is an escape from yourself, so that you never come face to face, so that you never encounter your own being. You go on avoiding.
So people go on doing a thousand and one things, many of them absolutely unnecessary.
Not only are they unnecessary, many of them simply create trouble for them. Just think about yourself. What have you done? You have created a hell around you but still you go on doing.
People come to me and they ask, 'What should we meditate upon? What mantra should we chant?' And if I say, 'Nothing, you simply sit. You just face the wall and sit silently and let time pass and don't do anything. Things will settle on their own accord. You simply sit. Because if you come in and interfere you will muddle things more. You please just sit on the bank. Let the river flow -- ' they say, 'But how can one sit without doing anything? At least give us a mantra so we can repeat it inside. If there is no activity outside, then let us have some activity inside.'
That's why in America, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi has certain appeal. The transcendental meditation is nothing but the transfer of activity from the outside to the inside. And the American mind is almost neurotic. Something has to be done. If you are not doing something you are wasting time. Do something! What it is is not the point, but do something. Speech and activity and aggressiveness -- do something, go on doing something, go on moving, fast, fast.
Now, if you simply say, 'Don't do anything, sit silently,' it looks almost impossible. How can one sit silently?'Give us some inner activity.' So a mantra is given. So you repeat inside, 'Aum, aum, aum; Ram, Ram, Ram,' -- anything will do. Any abracadabra. You can make your own mantra. You are foolish to go and ask somebody else for a mantra, you can create your own:'Blah, blah, blah!' That will give you the same silence and tranquillity as any transcendental meditation. Just an inner activity and you feel good.
Zen has no mantra. Zen is not transcendental meditation. It is the most arduous thing man has ever tried...not to do anything, zazen, just sitting.
It is unbelievable that sometimes a Zen seeker has sat for twenty years not doing anything -- then came the light. Everything became so silent in him, not even a flicker of energy, no occupation, nothing. He was almost dead because all activities disappeared. Then one comes face to face with being, then you come to know who you are.
Mind is activity. And if one has to drop mind, one has to drop activity.
HE WENT TO THE MOUNTAINS TO SIT IN ZEN. HE LIVED IN A CAVE, AND WHEN HE WAS HUNGRY HE WENT TO THE VILLAGE FOR SCRAPS.
Only for a few scraps would he come down to the village, otherwise he was sitting in his cave doing nothing.
That which you are seeking is already within you. But you are too much occupied with other things so you cannot fall into it. When all activity is lost, all clinging disappears.
You cannot cling to anything, you simply go on falling in and in and in. Your troubles arise because you hanker for activity. Have you ever heard about anybody who was troubled by the 'in'? The 'in' has never troubled anybody. That 'in', the inner, that very core of your being, is available to you right now, but you are not available to it. You are standing with your back towards it.
Activity is SANSAR, activity is the world; and when Zen people say leave the world, they don't mean leave the house, leave the market, they mean leave the attachment to activity. Even if you have to do something, do it very passively. If you are walking on the street, walk, but walk very passively. Inside, zazen continues; inside, you remain sitting, only outside you move. If you are eating, eat, but inside you remain sitting. By and by that inner posture is attained -- when one can do things and yet be without activity.
Taoists call it WU WEI, action without action. Once you know how to sit inside, then you can do things, then it will not be a disturbance. But first one has to come to roots, to a deep grounding, to a centering.
ONE DAY A MONK CALLED BUNDO, ATTRACTED BY FUGAI'S AUSTERITIES, CALLED AT THE CAVE AND ASKED TO STAY THE NIGHT.
THE MASTER SEEMED HAPPY TO PUT HIM UP, AND NEXT MORNING PREPARED RICE GRUEL FOR HIM. NOT HAVING AN EXTRA BOWL HE WENT OUT AND RETURNED WITH A SKULL HE FOUND LYING NEAR A TOMB. HE FILLED IT WITH GRUEL AND OFFERED IT TO BUNDO.
THE GUEST REFUSED TO TOUCH IT, AND STARED AT FUGAI AS IF HE HAD GONE MAD.
You can go mad in two ways. One is a wrong way, another is a right way. You can go mad if you are completely lost in your mind. Then you are uprooted from your being.
And you may not appear mad to others but you will be mad. You may not appear mad to others because others are also mad like you. This earth is a great madhouse. Normally everybody is mad; in fact, not to be mad is almost an abnormality. People differ in degrees but all are mad. And when psychiatrists help you to be normal they simply bring you back to the level of the social madness, they bring you to the level which is allowed legally. You were going a little beyond the social limit so they pull you back. That's what they call readjustment.
But a man can become mad in another way, in a right way. One can fall out of the mind into the inner silence, into the inner thoughtlessness, inner emptiness. Then he will immediately appear mad to us. If you look into the eyes of a man who has attained to zazen you will be frightened. His eyes will be like an abyss, bottomless; you will avoid his eyes. His eyes will be empty. He will look to you and yet he will not be looking at you. His eyes will be vacant, and you will feel that he has gone mad. In a way he has gone beyond the mind, and to go beyond the mind is to go mad.
So all great people like Jesus or Buddha or Mansoor, they all appeared mad to their contemporaries. When Jesus was crucified he was crucified as a neurotic who was creating trouble, who had gone out of his mind. He was crucified as one of the most dangerous criminals. When Socrates was poisoned, he was poisoned because he was mad in a certain way. He was leading other people to madness.
Society has always been afraid of people who attain to zazen because their appeal is great but their behaviour is incomprehensible. Their behaviour has to be incomprehensible because they function from a totally different centre than yours.
For a man of zazen there is no difference between a skull or a bowl. A skull is made of earth as a bowl is made of earth. All skulls by and by will dissolve into earth again and then you can make a bowl of the earth and you will not be bothered. But if a skull is brought to you it will be impossible to touch even; to drink, to eat out of it will be nauseating, vomiting. Impossible.
But for a man of zazen the inside has happened -- all is the same. It is the same reality in different forms. Out of the same gold you can make one sort of ornament or another sort of ornament, it makes no difference. It is the same reality which becomes the skull, it is the same reality which becomes the bowl. So what is the difference?
A man who has been deep inside himself knows that the whole reality consists of one elemental force, it is one energy even if it takes different forms.
And the man could not touch the skull, could not believe that somebody could offer it as a bowl to eat out of. What was he thinking? His mind was weaving, spinning, 'This is a skull of man.' The idea, the very idea, was nauseating. He thought that this man Fugai had gone mad.
AT THIS FUGAI BECAME FURIOUS AND DROVE HIM OUT OF THE CAVE WITH BLOWS.'FOOL!' HE SHOUTED AFTER HIM, 'HOW CAN YOU, WITH YOUR WORLDLY NOTIONS OF FILTH AND PURITY, THINK YOURSELF A BUDDHIST?'
All notions are of the mind. To say that this is beautiful and this is ugly is of the mind. In fact, nothing is beautiful and nothing is ugly. If the mind disappears, then what will be beautiful and what will be ugly? Likes and dislikes all belong to the mind.
You just think of the world. Man has disappeared, the third world war has happened and man has disappeared. The earth will remain the same. The flowers will flower, but will they be beautiful? They will be simply themselves, not beautiful, not ugly. Everything will be itself but there will be no evaluation about it because the valuer has disappeared.
The mind of a man who attains to zazen has disappeared. He is no more a man, because all his conceptions, values, attitudes, prejudices, have disappeared. Now he looks without any prejudices, without for and against. He simply looks. His eyes are empty because he has nothing to project. Then things appear in a totally different way.
But to ordinary human beings he will look almost mad because madness simply means one who is out of his mind. In fact, he is out of his mind -- but he has moved into his being.
So there are two types of madnesses: you can be out of your mind and not in your being, then you are unhealthy; you can be out of your mind and in your being, then you attain to real health. You become whole, you become holy.
'FOOL!' HE SHOUTED AFTER HIM, 'HOW CAN YOU, WITH YOUR WORLDLY NOTIONS OF FILTH AND PURITY, THINK YOURSELF A BUDDHIST?'
Discrimination is of the mind; non-discrimination is of the no-mind.
Fugai was trying to create a situation for this poor man. The man missed. Fugai was creating a device so that this man could be awakened. He was shaking him hard to pull him out of his dreams of likes and dislikes, purity and filth, beauty and ugliness, good and bad. The whole effort was to shatter his mind because the whole of Buddhism consists only of that -- how to shatter the mind.
It is said of a Zen Master, who, in his younger days, was a disciple of another Master, that he had been working hard at his meditation for months together. The one day the Master came, sat in front of him with a brick and started rubbing the brick on the stone. The sound was there and it was distracting and disturbing to the young disciple.
Finally, irritated, the young man asked, 'What are you doing?'
The Master said, 'I am trying to make a mirror.'
The disciple said, 'Have you gone mad?' Just by polishing a brick a mirror cannot be made, you may polish it for your whole life. Mirrors are not made that way.'
And the Master said, 'Then I have nothing to say to you. You are trying to polish your mind. Mirrors are not made that way either. I throw this brick -- see -- you do the same.'
Drop the mind. It is not a question of polishing the mind, modifying the mind, making it more and more clear. It is not a question of changing the mind, it is a question of dropping it utterly.
Buddhism is an effort to drop the mind totally. But how to drop the mind? If you continue in thinking -- likes and dislikes, prejudices, this is good, this is bad -- then you cannot drop the mind because it is the mind which distinguishes, discriminates, it is the mind which divides, categorises. All categories are of the mind. That's why Buddhists don't say that God is good and Devil is bad, because for a Buddhist God and Devil are both of the mind -- good and bad. That's why Buddhists don't say choose heaven and avoid hell because they say both are of the mind -- hell and heaven. Drop the whole mind. And by the dropping of the mind, all distinctions are dropped and you are in a deep, undiscriminated reality.
That is what truth is. It is not God, it is not Devil; it is not light, it is not darkness -- it is beyond both.
SOME MONTHS LATER THE MASTER TETSGYU VISITED HIM AND TOLD HIM THAT HE THOUGHT IT A GREAT PITY THAT HE HAD FORSAKEN THE WORLD. FUGAI LAUGHED AND SAID: 'OH, IT'S EASY ENOUGH TO FORSAKE THE WORLD AND BECOME A BONZAI, THE DIFFICULT THING IS THEN TO BECOME A TRUE BUDDHIST.'
It is very easy to forsake the world, it is very easy to renounce. Any coward can do that. It is easy to escape from the world, but escape is not a transformation. It is very easy to sit outwardly like a bonzai -- you can become a statue, still not moving at all -- but the real problem is to drop the movement of the mind, the inner working of the mind. You can sit silently from the outside but if the inside turmoil continues then you are not a Buddhist.
A Buddhist means one who has become a Buddha, one who has attained to enlightenment. And that happens only when inner movements have ceased, when thinking has stopped, when the mind is no more the master. When the mind no longer manipulates you, when the mind no longer controls you, when the mind is just a mechanism -- if you need, you use it, otherwise you put it aside -- you are free of the mind, you have attained your own masterhood.
It is easy to change from the outside, the real change has to happen inside. Remember that. Use the outside to help the inside to change, but never believe that the outside change is all. Sit silently, because the sitting posture will help. When the body sits completely immobile it helps the mind to relax, because body and mind are not two separate things -- they are one. You are not body and mind, you are bodymind. You are psychosomatic, so everything that happens in the body has subtle vibrations in the mind; and anything that happens in the mind reaches to the body.
That's how if you take alcohol, the mind becomes drunk. The alcohol goes into the body but it affects the mind. If you take LSD or marijuana or some other drug, it affects the mind. You take it into the body, you inject it into the body, and it reaches to the mind. Or, if you train your mind, discipline your mind, that reaches to your body also. If your mind is happy, if you have trained it....
For example, there are positive philosophies to train the mind, like Emile Coue's philosophy: go on auto-hypnotising yourself, suggesting to yourself, 'I am getting.better and better and every day I am becoming more and more compassionate, kind, loving.' If you go on repeating this again and again, the subtle idea will settle in the mind, it will affect your body. That's how many diseases can be cured by hypnosis -- because in the first place they may be just your suggestions and not real diseases. Out of a hundred diseases almost seventy-five are just pure mental things, but they affect the body. If the mind takes them in, if the mind is affected, then sooner or later the body follows. Both mind and body are one, so whatsoever affects one affects the other also. They are parallel, running together. A deep subtle balance is kept between the two.
So I am not saying don't use the outside -- you have to use it, but don't think that that is all. Use the outside to change the inside. Then you will not just become a bonzai, then you will not be just a statue, you will become a real Buddha.
It happened that a Zen seeker came to a Master and asked him, 'I have come from a very long distance, I have travelled thousands of miles to come to your feet.'
The Master asked, 'For what? What do you want?'
The man said, 'I would like to become a Buddha.'
The Master said, 'Get out from here! Already we have too many Buddhas here.'
The Master used to live in a temple which is called 'the Temple of One Thousand and One Buddhas'. There were one thousand and one statues of Buddha.
So he said, 'Get out of it! Immediately out of it. We are tired. We already have one thousand and one Buddhas here, we don't need anyone else. But if you want to become yourself, you can come in.'
Remember, Zen is not an imitation. No Zen Master can ever think of writing a book like Thomas Campus' book 'imitation of Christ'. Impossible. The very title will be laughed at.
The real religion is not imitation of anybody else, it is a search to find out your own authentic self, who you are. So just outer discipline will not help; outer discipline can be used as a means, but it is not the goal.
So remember that the basic thing has to happen inside you.
'OH, IT'S EASY ENOUGH TO FORSAKE THE WORLD AND BECOME A BONZAI, THE DIFFICULT THING IS THEN TO BECOME A TRUE BUDDHIST.'
The difficult thing is always to become a true Christian, a true Mohammedan, a true Hindu, a true Buddhist, a true Sikkha, because the difficult thing is to become true.
Man is a deceiver. He goes on deceiving himself. And it is much easier to become someone, to pretend to be someone; it is much easier to act like someone, than to be. To be is arduous. You will have to pass through many fires; you will have to pass through many deaths and rebirths; you will have to move through a great revolution, a total mutation. It is difficult. It is very easy to pretend, it is very easy to be pseudo. The whole world is full of pesudo-religious people. They go to the church, they go to the mosque, they pray, they pretend to meditate, but one is simply surprised. Whom are they deceiving? They are deceiving themselves and nobody else.
This should be remembered because you are on the path, you are here as seekers. The greatest pitfall for a seeker is to become a victim of self-deception; it is cheap and it looks like a short-cut. Never pretend. Once pretension settles in, you have taken a wrong move and it will be very difficult for you to attain to any reality. And you will have to go back one day or other because unless you drop that pretension you will never grow.
For example. If you are at the age of twenty-five and you pretend and you go on pretending up to the age of fifty, and then you realise that a certain pretension happened at the age of twenty-five, you will have to go back and undo it. You will have to relive those twenty-five years again. You will create an unnecessary complexity and life is already too complex. Unless you go and drop that layer of pretension at the age of twenty-five, all your house will be on a wrong base.
That's what the meaning of Primal Therapy is: you have to go back, regress. Wherever something has gone wrong, you have to re-traverse the path, move to that point, undo that knot and move again.
So don't create any unnecessary complexity. You are here with me -- remember one thing: not to pretend. Because you will not be deceiving anybody, you will only be deceiving yourself.
Don't become a bonzai. Truth has to be earned. It is not cheap and there is no short-cut to it.
I was reading a story about a famous Hassid rabbi. He used to tell this story to his disciples.
There was once a man who was very stupid. When he got up in the morning it was so hard for him to find his clothes that at night he almost hesitated to go to bed for thinking of the trouble he would have on waking.
One evening he finally made a great effort, took paper and pencil, and as he undressed, noted down exactly where he put everything he had on. The next morning, very well pleased with himself, he took the slip of paper and read:'Cap' -- there it was. He set it on his head.'Pants' -- there they lay.
He got into them. And so it went until he was fully dressed.
'That's all very well, but now where am I myself?' he asked with consternation.'Where in the world am I?'
He looked and looked but it was a vain search. He could not find himself.
'And that is how it is with us, ' said the rabbi to his disciples.
Remember, you may dress like a SANNYASIN, you may be in the ochre robe, but that doesn't make much difference unless you know where you are, unless you know who you are. You may be well -- dressed like a SANNYASIN but that is not going to help much.
So don't believe in cheap things. It is a great help in a way it is a gesture that you have become SANNYASINS, it is a gesture that you are ready to come to yourself, it is a great gesture that you are ready to go into the unknown, into the unfamiliar, it is going to make great difference -- but don't take it as the whole. It is just the beginning of the journey, not the end.
One great poet, Robert Frost, used to say, 'TWO ROADS DIVERGED IN A WOOD AND I, I TOOK THE ONE LESS TRAVELLED BY AND THAT HAS MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE.
You have chosen with me a path not ordinarily travelled by people, not travelled by the majority, by the crowd, by the mass. It is going to make a great difference, but it is just a beginning. Never for a single moment forget it that this is just a beginning. And the end is very far and much effort, much discipline, much inner transformation will be needed.
And nobody else can do it for you. You have to be born for yourself, nobody else can be born for you. You have to live for yourself, nobody else can live in your place. And you have to love and you have to die, nobody else can do it for you. Life is intrinsically individual. All that is meaningful, all that is significant, has to be done by you. That which can be done by servants is irrelevant; that which can be done by the priest is irrelevant. This transformation you have to bring to yourself. It is going to be arduous, but take it as a challenge. It is good that the path is arduous otherwise where are we going to prove our soul? Where are we going to prove our crystallised soul?
This challenge is a blessing. But never try to pretend.