The mountainless ocean

From:
Osho
Date:
Fri, 27 July 1988 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Dogen, the Zen Master: A Search and a Fulfillment
Chapter #:
3
Location:
pm in Gautam the Buddha Auditorium
Archive Code:
N.A.
Short Title:
N.A.
Audio Available:
N.A.
Video Available:
N.A.
Length:
N.A.

OUR BELOVED MASTER,

DOGEN CONTINUES:

WHEN WE LOOK AROUND OUR BOAT ON THE MOUNTAINLESS OCEAN, WE SEE NOTHING
BUT THE CIRCULAR SHAPE OF THE OCEAN. BUT THIS LARGE OCEAN IS NOT CIRCULAR
OR SQUARE; ITS OTHER SHAPES AND MOVEMENTS ARE INNUMERABLE. TO FISH IT IS LIKE
A PALACE. TO CELESTIAL BEINGS IT IS LIKE A NECKLACE. ONLY AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN
REACH, DOES IT TEMPORARILY APPEAR CIRCULAR.

THIS IS ALSO THE CASE WITH ALL THINGS. ALL THINGS WORLDLY AND UNWORLDLY HAVE
VARIOUS ASPECTS, BUT WE CAN SEE AND REALIZE THEM ONLY THROUGH PRACTICAL
UNDERSTANDING ....

HOWEVER FAR FISH SAIL IN THE WATER, THERE IS NO END TO THE WATER. HOWEVER
FAR BIRDS FLY IN THE SKY, THERE IS NO END TO THE SKY. BUT NEITHER OF THEM HAS
EVER LEFT THE WATER OR THE SKY.

WHEN THEIR NEED IS GREAT, THERE IS GREAT ACTIVITY; WHEN THEIR NEED IS SMALL,
THERE IS LITTLE ACTIVITY. THUS THEY NEVER FAIL TO EXPRESS THEIR FULL ABILITY IN
EACH THING, AND EXERT THEIR FREE ACTIVITY IN EACH PLACE.

BUT AS SOON AS A BIRD LEAVES THE SKY, IT DIES. THIS IS ALSO THE CASE WHEN A FISH
LEAVES THE WATER. WE CAN REALIZE THAT THE WATER IS LIFE TO THE FISH; THAT THE
SKY IS LIFE TO THE BIRD; THAT THE BIRD IS LIFE TO THE SKY; THE FISH IS LIFE TO THE
WATER; THAT LIFE IS A BIRD, OR THAT LIFE IS THE FISH. ABOUT THIS THERE MAY BE MANY
OTHER EXPRESSIONS.

IN THE HUMAN WORLD THERE ARE PRACTICE AND ENLIGHTENMENT, OR LONG LIFE AND
SHORT LIFE. THIS IS ALSO THE REAL STATE OF THINGS. NEVERTHELESS, IF A BIRD OR
FISH TRIES TO GO THROUGH THE SKY OR THE WATER AFTER KNOWING IT COMPLETELY,
IT WILL FIND NO WAY TO GO ALONG OR NO PLACE TO ATTAIN.

Maneesha, Eastern mysticism has accepted layers of reality. Western science knows only one reality - that of matter. It is poor, it lacks variety. The Eastern mysticism, of which Zen is just the ultimate peak, accepts the reality of your inner self which you cannot see, cannot understand, but which you are. You can be awakened to it or you can remain asleep, it makes no difference to the inner quality of your being. That is your ultimate reality.

Then there is the body, which is only an appearance - an appearance in the sense that it is changing constantly. You see a beautiful woman or a beautiful man and they are already becoming old. The moment you rejoice in the beauty of a rose, the time for it to disappear back into the earth is not far away. This kind of reality has also its place in the Eastern vision. They call it appearance, moment to moment changing. There is a time to be born and there is a time to die. The seasons will come again, and the flowers will blossom again. It is the round trip of existence in which - except your being, your center - everything goes on changing. This changing world is a relative reality.

And then there are other realities - like dreams. You know they are not, but still you see them. Not only do you see them, they affect you. If you have a nightmare and you wake up, you will see your heart is beating harder, your breath is changed by the nightmare. You may be even perspiring out of fear. You cannot say that the nightmare is not there; otherwise from where has this perspiration come, and this changed heartbeat and breathing?

Eastern mysticism accepts this third layer of reality: the dream, the horizon that you see all around, which exists nowhere ... but you can see it from anywhere.

Before I explain Dogen to you, let this be the introduction, because this is what he is trying to say:

that everything passes and yet there is something that never passes; that everything is born and dies and yet there is something that is never born and never dies. And unless you get centered into that eternal source you will not find peace, you will not find serenity, you will not find blissfulness, you will not find contentment. You will not feel at home, at ease in the universe. You will remain just an accident, you will never become essential.

And the whole effort of Zen, or any meditative method, is to bring you closer to that which never changes, that which is always. It knows no time .... If there is no change, how can there be past, future, present? The world that knows past, future and present can only be relatively real - today it is there, tomorrow it is gone. The body you had believed in so much one day dies. The mind you had believed in so much does not follow you, it dies with the body. It has been a part of the body mechanism.

That which flies out of the body in death is an invisible bird flying into an invisible sky. But if you are aware you will be dancing, because for the first time you will have known what freedom is. It is not a political freedom or an economic freedom; it is a more fundamental, existential freedom. And anything that grows out of this freedom is beautiful, graceful. Your eyes are the same, but their vision has changed. Your love is there but it is no more lust, it is no more possessiveness. It transforms itself into compassion. You still share your joy in your songs, in your dances, in your poetry, in your music - but just for their sheer joy.

It has been a centuries-long debate: What is art for? There have been pragmatic utilitarians who say that art should serve some purpose, otherwise it is useless. But these people don't know art.

Art can only be for its own sake. It is the sheer joy of a solitary cuckoo, of the bamboos standing in silence, of a bird flying into the sky. Just the very flight, the very feel of freedom, is enough unto itself. It need not serve anything else.

But that is possible only if you have known your fundamental existence. You are acquainted with the mind, which is borrowed, which is nurtured, educated. You are acquainted with your body very superficially. You don't know how it functions, although it is your body. You don't know how it turns food into blood, how it distributes oxygen to different parts of the body.

The body has its own wisdom. Nature has not left it to you to remember breathing, because you can forget. You are so sleepy, nature cannot take the risk. If you had to remember breathing, I don't think you would have been here. You would have been forgotten long before.

But whether you remember or not, whether you are awake or asleep, the breathing continues on its own, the heart goes on working on its own, the stomach goes on digesting on its own. It does not ask your advice, nor does it need any medical education, nor does it need any advice. It has simply an intrinsic wisdom of its own.

But it is just your house - you are not it. This house is going to become, one day, old. One day its walls will start dropping away, its doors falling. One day there will not be even a trace of the house - all will be gone. But what happened to the man who used to live in the house?

You have to understand that principle. You can call it awareness, enlightenment, consciousness, buddhahood - it doesn't matter what name you give to it. But it is the absolute responsibility of every human being not to waste time in mundane affairs. First things first! And the first thing is to be and to know what this being is. Don't go on running after butterflies. Don't go on looking at the horizon which only appears to be but is not.

I am reminded ... Twenty-three centuries ago, Alexander the Great came to India. His teacher was a great philosopher, the father of logic, Aristotle. And when he was coming towards India, Aristotle asked him, "Can you bring something for me as a gift?"

Alexander said, "Anything - just say it."

Aristotle said, "It is not so easy, but I will wait. Please bring me a sannyasin when you come back, a man who has realized himself. Because we don't know what this means ... what it means to be a buddha. Get hold of a buddha and bring him with you."

Alexander was not aware of what he was promising. He said, "Don't be worried. If Alexander wants to move the Himalayas, they will have to move. And you are asking only about a human being. Just wait - within a few months I will be back."

And there was so much to do that he remembered only at the last moment that he had forgotten to catch hold of a buddha, of one who knows the innermost reality. He inquired on the borders of India as he was returning. People laughed at the very idea. They said, "In the first place, it is very difficult to recognize that somebody is a buddha. In the second place, if by chance you are open enough to receive the radiance of a buddha, you will fall down at his feet. You will forget all about taking him with you. We hope that you don't find a buddha - just go back home."

Alexander could not understand .... What kind of human being is a buddha, that he cannot be taken away by force? Finally, he said: "Send messengers all over the place, find out if there is somebody who proclaims that he has arrived home."

And people came, and they said, "Yes, one naked sannyasin standing by the side of the river says, 'Where else can I be? - I am here. And who else I can be? - I am the buddha.'"

Alexander went himself to meet the man. The dialogue was tremendously beautiful, but very shocking to Alexander the Great. He had never come across such a man because before he said a single word - he was holding a naked sword in his hand - the old man, naked, poor, said, "Put your sword back into its sheath, it will not be needed here. A man of intelligence carrying a sword? I will hit you! Just put the sword back into its sheath."

Alexander for the first time found somebody who could order him, and he had to follow. In spite of himself he had to follow. And he said, "I have come with a prayer: Just come with me, to my land.

My teacher wants to see a buddha. In the West we don't know anything about what this inner self means."

The old man laughed. He said, "This is hilarious. If your teacher does not know, he is not even a teacher. And if he wants to see a buddha, he will have to come to a buddha; a buddha cannot be carried to him. Just tell your teacher, 'If you are thirsty, come to the well; the well is not going to come to you.'"

"And as for you, Alexander," the old man said, "learn at least to be human. You introduced yourself as Alexander the Great. This is the ego that is preventing you from knowing your buddha. You are carrying it within yourself, but this 'greatness', this desire to conquer the world ... What will you do with conquering the world? Soon death will take everything away. You will die naked, you will be buried in the earth. Nobody will bother not to tread over you, and you will not be even able to object, 'Keep away. I am Alexander the Great.' Please drop this idea of greatness. And also remember that the word 'Alexander' is not your name."

Alexander said, "My God! It is my name - how can I convince you?"

He said, "There is no question of convincing me. Nobody comes into the world with a name. All kinds of names are given - labels stuck, glued - and you become the label. You forget completely that you had come without any name, without any fame. And you will die in the same way.

"Tell your teacher to come here to face the lion. If he has the capacity to move inwards, only then can he know what it means to be a buddha; what it means to be enlightened. By somebody else becoming enlightened you cannot understand it - it is just like when somebody else drinks water it cannot quench your thirst."

Alexander touched the feet of the old man and said, "I am sorry to disturb you. Perhaps we don't understand each other's language at all."

And it is even today true: the Western mind and the Western educated mind - it may have been born in the East - has forgotten the language which Dogen is going to use. You have to be very conscious, very alert, that you 't misunderstand. A different world, a different climate which used to be here, which had made this world a beautiful searching and seeking pilgrimage .... Now it is only a marketplace for purchasing arms, and fighting and killing and wars. Who bothers about meditation? It seems to be a very faraway echo. It does not seem to be related with us in any way.

But unless you are open to this faraway echo, you will not understand what Dogen is saying.

Dogen says:

WHEN WE LOOK AROUND OUR BOAT ON THE MOUNTAINLESS OCEAN, WE SEE NOTHING
BUT THE CIRCULAR SHAPE OF THE OCEAN. BUT THIS LARGE OCEAN IS NOT CIRCULAR
OR SQUARE; ITS OTHER SHAPES AND MOVEMENTS ARE INNUMERABLE. TO FISH IT IS LIKE
A PALACE. TO CELESTIAL BEINGS IT IS LIKE A NECKLACE. ONLY AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN
REACH, DOES IT TEMPORARILY APPEAR CIRCULAR.

Its circularness is only an appearance. Although when you see it, it is there, you know that it is not a reality. If you go towards it you will never reach it; it will go on receding ... it is the horizon. But it has a certain reality of its own, although it is not the ultimate reality. Our body is our circumference, our horizon. It appears, it lives, it breathes, yet it is not our very self.

THIS IS ALSO THE CASE WITH ALL THINGS. ALL THINGS WORLDLY AND UNWORLDLY HAVE
VARIOUS ASPECTS, BUT WE CAN SEE AND REALIZE THEM ONLY THROUGH PRACTICAL
UNDERSTANDING.

For a blind man there is no light.

It happened ... A very learned scholar was blind, in the times of Gautam Buddha. And he was so articulate in argumentation that the whole village was tortured by him, because everybody tried, "You are blind, that's why light is not within your reach."

But he said, "Then make it available through other sources. I can hear - beat it like a drum. " You cannot beat light like a drum.

And the blind man said, "I can touch, at least let me touch light. My hand is open - where is your light? I can smell ..." But all these senses are not capable of sensing the reality of light.

The whole village was tortured: "What to do with this man? He is so argumentative ... we all know what light is, but he denies it. And he has valid reasons - we cannot offer any proof."

They heard that Gautam Buddha was coming to their village. They thought, "This is a good opportunity to take this blind man to Gautam Buddha. If Gautam Buddha cannot convince him then perhaps it is not possible. And either way it will be very crucial; we can see how far Gautam Buddha can argue with this man."

But they were wrong. Gautam Buddha did not argue with the man. He simply said, "don't harass him, it is ugly of you to tell him there is light. If you were compassionate enough you should have tried to find some physician to cure his eyes. Light is not an argument; you need eyes to see it and then there is no question of any doubt."

Gautam Buddha had his own personal physician. He told his physician, "You remain in this village until this man's eyes are cured. I will be moving with my caravan."

After six months the physician and the blind man came, but he was no more blind. He came dancing! He fell to the feet of Gautam Buddha and he said, "I am so grateful to you that you were not philosophical with me, that you did not humiliate me. That rather than making a great argumentation, you simply made a simple point: that it is not a question of light, it is a question of eyes."

The same is true about the inner self - it is not a question of your intelligence, not a question of your rationality, not a question of your logic, of your scientific knowledge, of your scriptures. It is a question of direct penetration with closed eyes into your own being, hidden behind your bones.

Once that is known, a tremendous relaxation follows. Life for the first time becomes a dance. Even death is no more a disturbance.

HOWEVER FAR FISH SAIL IN THE WATER, THERE IS NO END TO THE WATER. HOWEVER
FAR BIRDS FLY IN THE SKY, THERE IS NO END TO THE SKY. BUT NEITHER OF THEM HAS
EVER LEFT THE WATER OR THE SKY.

It is an ancient story ... about a very curious young fish inquiring, "I have heard so much about the ocean but I don't see where it is."

An old fish said to the young philosopher, "don't be an idiot - we are in the ocean, and we are the ocean. We come out of it and we disappear into it. We are nothing but waves in the ocean."

The same is true about the birds. Do you think they can find the sky? Although they are flying all the day - faraway places - they cannot find the sky. Because they are born out of the sky and one day they will disappear into the sky.

These are symbolic statements. They are in fact saying that you are part of the universe. You arise like a wave in the universe and you disappear one day back into the universe. This universe is not something objective, it is something subjective. It is something that is connected with your innermost core. If you have found yourself you have found the whole ocean, the whole sky, with all its stars, with all its flowers, with all its birds. To find oneself is to find everything. And to miss oneself ... you may have palaces and empires and great riches - all is futile.

WHEN THEIR NEED IS GREAT, THERE IS GREAT ACTIVITY; WHEN THEIR NEED IS SMALL,
THERE IS LITTLE ACTIVITY.

The fish and the birds are spontaneous beings. Except man, in this whole universe nobody has gone insane. You go on working even though there is no need to work - keep busy, without any business, otherwise somebody will point out to you, "What are you doing?" And you don't have the courage to say, "I am just being."

People will laugh and they will suggest, "Do something, just being will not help. Get a job! Earn money." But a fish will not work more than is absolutely needed.

Henry Ford, before his death, was asked, "You have long before passed the line, broken all records of richness. Now there is no competitor against you. Why do you go on working continuously?"

And you will be surprised to know that he used to come to his office at seven o'clock every morning.

The peons used to come at ten o'clock, the clerks at eleven, the manager at twelve. The manager would be gone by four, the clerks would be gone by five, the peons would be gone by six, but Henry Ford was still working. And he was the richest man of his times.

The questioner was right to ask him, "Why do you go on and on and on? It is unnecessary activity.

You have earned so much, you could do anything you wanted."

And his answer is that of a wise man; unenlightened, but certainly life had made him wise. He said, "It just became a habit. I could not stop myself becoming more and more rich. I knew it was not needed any more, but it is very difficult to drop an old habit, a whole-life-long habit."

Except man ... no trees have any habits, nor birds, nor fish. The whole nature is spontaneous.

It simply functions when it is needed, it stops functioning and remains simply silent when it is not needed. In fact, according to me this is sanity: to do only that much as is needed. Even to go a single inch further and you have moved beyond sanity, you have become insane. And there is no end to insanity.

WHEN THEIR NEED IS GREAT, THERE IS GREAT ACTIVITY. This can be understood from many aspects. Except man, no animal is interested in sex all the year round. There is a season, a mating season; once that season is gone ... for the remainder of the year nobody bothers about sex. You will not find sex maniacs amongst birds, nor will you find celibates. You will not find, even in their mating season, that they are greatly happy.

I have been watching birds, animals, and I am amazed that their sexual activity seems to be a thing forced on them. They don't look happy. Just look at a dog making love. He is doing it under some compulsion, some biological compulsion, otherwise he is not interested. And once the season is gone there is no interest at all. That's why marriage has not appeared in the animal world. What will you do with a marriage? Once the mating season ends - good-bye to each other!

But with man it is a habit. He has turned even a biological necessity into a habit. You will be surprised to know that, according to psychologists and their surveys, every man is thinking about women at least once every four minutes, and every woman is thinking of men at least once every seven minutes. This disparity is the cause of tremendous misery.

That's why every night, when the husband comes home ... the wife was perfectly okay, and suddenly she starts having a British face, she is suffering from a headache. Brilliant husbands bring super- strong Greek aspirins home with them. But there are very rarely brilliant husbands, because if you are brilliant you will never be a husband. That kind of thing is for the retarded, the brilliant remain absolutely free.

If you watch humanity, you will not believe that it is not a madhouse. Somebody is smoking a cigarette ... even though on the packet it is written it is dangerous to your life.

And just the other day, my ear was having a little ache. Anando was there. I asked her, "Can you bring a cotton-tip?"

She said, "No."

Now even on cotton-tips the same statement has been written, "It is dangerous to your health. don't use them."

And Anando said to me, "Poor Hasya was saying that this was her only enjoyment, now even that is gone." Sitting silently and enjoying ... It was not any harm to anybody.

There are people who are chewing gum. One cannot think of a more idiotic thing. Chewing gum?

Gum is made for chewing?

People are doing all kinds of things that, if they watch and note them down, they will find .... "My God, these things I am doing, and people still think me sane." But everybody is keeping a mask and trying to hide every insanity behind it. You will see soon, when we meditate ... because in meditation you have to put your mask away and let all the insanity of centuries come out. don't hold it back, because it is a tremendous cleansing. And once you are a clean, clear consciousness your realization of buddhahood is not far away - perhaps just one step more.

Dogen goes on:

THUS THEY NEVER FAIL TO EXPRESS THEIR FULL ABILITY IN EACH THING, AND EXERT
THEIR FREE ACTIVITY IN EACH PLACE.

BUT AS SOON AS A BIRD LEAVES THE SKY, IT DIES. THIS IS ALSO THE CASE WHEN A FISH
LEAVES THE WATER.

What about man? He has left his ocean long before. His oceanic relationship with existence is completely broken, there is no bridge left. And this is what is making him do all kinds of stupid things. In three thousand years, five thousand wars. One cannot believe that we are here just to kill each other. Isn't there anything more important than nuclear weapons?

Seventy percent of the whole humanity's income goes into war efforts. Even the poor countries, where they cannot afford food twice a day for their people, where they are living under the poverty line, still they are wasting seventy percent of their income in creating bombs, in purchasing weapons.

Do you think anything can be more insane than war?

A country like Germany, one of the most cultured, fell into the hands of a madman, Adolf Hitler.

Nobody thinks about why it happened. Even a man like Martin Heidegger, perhaps the greatest philosopher in Germany, was a follower of Adolf Hitler. And Adolf Hitler was absolutely insane. He needed to be hospitalized.

But there must be something in every man to which he appealed. The whole Germany - with all its intelligence - became a victim. And you can see the stupidity. He said, "It is because of the Jews that Germany is not rising as a world power, otherwise it is our birthright to rule over the world. It is because of the Jews."

I have heard a small anecdote. The head rabbi of Berlin, on a morning walk, came across Adolf Hitler. It was a strange meeting, accidental; both had gone for a morning walk. Adolf Hitler recognized the head rabbi and he said, "Do you agree with me or not? What do you think is the cause that the German Nordic Aryans are not ruling all over the world?"

The rabbi said, "It is the bicycles. Destroy all bicycles and you will rule all over the world."

Adolf Hitler said, "Are you sane?"

He said, "As sane as you are. You have killed six million Jews on a pretext, without any reason."

Why did people become convinced that he was right about such a stupid thing, that the Jews were preventing Germany from becoming a great power? The Jews contributed wealth, intelligence, everything to Germany. You will be surprised to know that forty percent of Nobel Prizes go to the Jews.

But why did all the remaining Germans become convinced? It was out of jealousy. The Jews were rich, the Jews were intelligent, the Jews were always on top in everything.

It is very dangerous to be successful in an insane world because everybody wants to kill you - on any grounds; right or wrong, it does not matter. The whole of Germany became convinced, not because there was any argument or reason in Adolf Hitler's statements; but because every German was jealous of the Jewish intelligence, their success, their wealth, their lifestyle. Because of this jealousy, Adolf Hitler managed for even the most intelligent Germans to act like animals.

Adolf Hitler alone killed thirty million people. And now the weapons Adolf Hitler used are just toys for children. Within these last forty years war technology has grown so much ... and it is still in the hands of people like Ronald Reagan. It is in the hands of all kinds of politicians, and politicians are people who are psychologically sick. Just the very desire for power is sickness.

A healthy man wants to love - not to possess, not to dominate. A healthy man rejoices in life - does not go begging for votes. It is the people who are suffering from deep inferiority who want to have some power, to prove to themselves and to others that they are superior. The really superior person does not care a thing about power. He knows his superiority, he lives his superiority. In his songs, in his dances, in his poetry, in his paintings, in his music he lives his superiority. Only the inferior ones are left for politics.

What Dogen is saying is, "don't leave your sky, don't leave your water, don't leave your nature. don't leave the existential. Because once you leave it you are just corpses moving around."

IN THE HUMAN WORLD THERE ARE PRACTICE AND ENLIGHTENMENT, OR LONG LIFE AND SHORT LIFE. THIS IS ALSO THE REAL STATE OF THINGS.

don't be worried that you are not enlightened.

Dogen is a very unique genius. He is saying, "You may be aware of your buddhahood or not aware of your buddhahood - don't be worried. When the right time and the right season come you will blossom into a buddha." Just wait ... wait intelligently, wait without desire; enjoy waiting, make waiting itself a blissful silence, and whatever is your birthright is bound to flower. Nobody can prevent a bird from flying, nobody can prevent a cuckoo from singing, nobody can prevent a rose from blossoming.

Who is preventing you from becoming buddhas? Except you, nobody is responsible for it.

NEVERTHELESS, IF A BIRD OR FISH TRIES TO GO THROUGH THE SKY OR THE WATER AFTER KNOWING IT COMPLETELY, IT WILL FIND NO WAY TO GO ALONG OR NO PLACE TO ATTAIN.

If you go into your inner world and into your inner sky you will not find any way or any end. You will find an eternal eternity, a pilgrimage without any beginning and without any end ... an immortality, a deathlessness which suddenly transforms you totally without any effort, without any austerity, without torturing yourself. You are already what you want to be, just a small thing is missing - very small. Wake up! In your waking you are a buddha. In your sleep you remain a buddha, but you are not aware of it.

When one person becomes a buddha he knows that everybody else is a buddha. Somebody is sleeping, somebody is snoring, somebody is running after a woman, somebody is doing some other kind of stupidity - but buddhas are buddhas. Even if you are smoking a cigarette, it does not mean that you have lost your essentiality; it only shows your sleep and nothing else.

A poet has written:

TAKING HOLD, ONE IS ASTRAY IN

NOTHINGNESS;

LETTING GO, THE ORIGIN IS REGAINED.

Letting go, relaxing, settling into yourself, the origin is regained.

SINCE THE MUSIC STOPPED, NO

SHADOW'S TOUCHED

MY DOOR: AGAIN THE VILLAGE MOON

IS ABOVE THE RIVER.

Even if you become enlightened, only your vision changes, otherwise everything remains the same.

Of course, the rose is more beautiful than it used to be. Just because all the dust from your mirror is missing, the world becomes a paradise. ... MY DOOR: AGAIN THE VILLAGE MOON IS ABOVE THE RIVER ... reflecting in the river.

The more you become clean of your thoughts which are just dust, the more you become reflective.

And the day you can reflect the whole existence in its purity you have arrived home.

Another poem:

SCOOP UP THE WATER, AND THE

MOON IS IN YOUR HANDS;

HOLD THE FLOWERS, AND YOUR

CLOTHES ARE SCENTED WITH THEM.

This is something tremendously beautiful. Zen speaks the language of poetry. What the poet is trying to say is that if you come across a buddha - you may know it or not - some fragrance of the buddha and his presence will be caught by your being.

It was a usual practice in Zen that seekers continued moving from one master to another master until the moment they found a man whose very presence fulfilled them; in whose presence all their masks and defenses fell down; in whose presence they became suddenly naked, just-born, innocent. Then this was the sign that you had found your master.

Basho wrote:

SKYLARK

SING ALL DAY,

AND DAY NOT LONG ENOUGH.

He is saying that you work the whole day, your whole life, never knowing the splendor of your being because your work - your so-called mundane activities - takes all your time. Life is so short, seventy years pass so quickly ... You don't know even when your childhood becomes your youth, you don't know when your youth disappears and you become old, you don't know that you are moving continuously towards the grave. Whatever you do, the grave is coming closer.

Remember, life is short, but it has become too short because of your unnecessary activity. I am surprised at people who are playing cards or chess, or going to the movie. And if you ask them, "What are you doing?" they say they are killing time. As if too much time, superfluous, has been given to them and they are killing it by playing cards. Just look at people leaning on the chess board as if it is their life, standing in a line before a movie house ...

I used to know a man ... he was the father of one of my friends. In my village there was only one movie hall. I saw that old man going every day, at exactly the same time, to the movie hall. And a film was shown at least for five or seven days, or more than that. It was not a big place. But he would see it every day for seven days.

Finally, I had to interrupt him. I said, "This is too much. Are you mad? You go on seeing the same film every day."

He said, "How to kill time? I am retired, just waiting for death. I think it does not matter, one day more ... just go to see the movie. What else is one supposed to do when one is retired?"

"And anyway," he said, "everybody is doing the same thing again and again and again, so don't think that I am crazy."

I said, "No, you are not crazy, you are just a specimen of this whole humanity."

I have heard about one man in California - Avirbhava, take note - who married ten times. Because in California human craziness has come to its peak. All the surveys show that everything in California lasts, at the most, three years. Everything is fashion: marriage, job, city, house, car - everything.

Within three years one is bored, wants to change to something else.

And this man married ten times. The tenth time, after two days, he realized, "This woman seems to be one that I have married before."

In fact all women are just different brands of cars - just the bonnet differs. Somebody has a longer nose, somebody has a shorter nose ... But the strange thing is, people go on exploring the same territory again and again and again. And still people think they are sane.

Another Zen poem:

WIND SUBSIDING,

THE FLOWERS STILL FALL;

BIRDS CRYING, THE MOUNTAIN

SILENCE

DEEPENS.

These are actual experiences of meditations, which have become condensed in haikus.

WIND SUBSIDING,

THE FLOWERS STILL FALL;

BIRDS CRYING, THE MOUNTAIN

SILENCE

DEEPENS.

This must be a man of meditation ... sitting silently by the side of the mountain, watching whatever is happening. Meditation is, in essence, becoming a watcher on the hills.

Question 1:

Maneesha has asked:

OUR BELOVED MASTER,

IT'S EASY ENOUGH TO FEEL TOTALLY CONTENT IN YOUR PRESENCE AND ENJOY YOUR
ENLIGHTENMENT; IT'S ALSO EASY ENOUGH TO WORK ONESELF UP INTO A STATE OF
PANIC ABOUT WHAT WE MUST DO TO REALIZE OUR OWN ENLIGHTENMENT.

ISN'T THE ART OF BEING WITH A MASTER HAVING THE CONTENTMENT AND THIRST
RUNNING LIKE AN UNDERCURRENT THROUGHOUT ONE SIMULTANEOUSLY?

Maneesha, a single experience is enough, it lasts for eternity. I am not referring to intellectual experiences. You can intellectually feel that you have relaxed. When I take you inwards, certainly you close your eyes. But when I say to you, "Be silent," your mind still goes on and on, weaving a thousand and one things. You feel a certain silence ... but it will be lost. And when I say to you, "Let go," you try, but you try very carefully. You look on both sides, on whom you are falling, whether it is worth falling. You take every care that no fracture happens. But in this very care you miss the point of let-go.

Enlightenment is worth multiple fractures. When you let go, let go. When you laugh, then become laughter. When you are silent, be silent. When I say, "Go in" - search inwards. Forget the body and forget the world.

I even tell you to die. You make every effort, but for dying no effort is needed. You just lie down there waiting for Nivedano's beat so that you can wake up again. Not a single one remains dead just a little while more, everybody immediately ... it is all intellectual. If it was not intellectual, every day we would have to call an ambulance because this place would become a graveyard. But nobody dies.

In the whole world people are dying, except in this Buddha Hall where we are trying to die every day.

On the contrary, you come back healthier, more robust.

Maneesha, what you feel is still intellectual. You are intelligent enough to feel it, but intellect is not going to give you the right experience; it blocks. You need not try to use the mind, in any way. Let it happen spontaneously. You simply risk yourself totally. Then even if you die, what does it matter?

One day you are going to die, and this day is perfectly good. There are only seven days. You will have to die on Monday, on Tuesday, on Saturday, on Sunday ... What does it matter?

But if you die really, leaving the mind and body aside, you will come to know your immortality; you will see the fiction of death. Death has never happened, you have only changed your form. And those few who have realized it have not even moved into another form, they have moved into the eternal ocean, into the very existence itself, losing themselves completely. That is the ultimate ecstasy.

Before somebody dies ... particularly Sardar Gurudayal Singh is getting ready. He has been missing every day, perhaps today he is going to die. We promise him we will celebrate ... don't be worried.

Gorgeous Gloria is very excited as she plans her coming wedding, with her friend, Sherry Cherry.

"Have you heard about the secret aphrodisiac from India?" asks Sherry.

"Why, no," says Gloria. "What is it?"

"It is called 'Burnt bindhi,'" says Sherry. "And if you want an unforgettable wedding night, get him to eat a dozen burnt bindhis after the ceremony."

A week later, Gloria meets Sherry in the supermarket.

"How did the wedding night go?" asks Sherry.

"Oh, okay I guess," says Gloria. "But only eight of the bindhis worked!"

In a little town in the Wild West of America, Polly Peekin, the pretty young tourist, is intrigued by a big macho-looking Indian. She is watching him and has noticed that he says, "Chance!" to every passing female.

Finally, Polly's curiosity gets the better of her and she walks up to him and says, "Hello."

To which he answers, "Chance!"

"That's interesting," says Polly. "I thought all Indians said, 'How!'"

"I know how," he replies. "Just want chance!"

Swami Deva Coconut arrives in Bombay airport with his pet parrot on his shoulder. He is intercepted by an Indian customs official who says, "Hey, stop! You have got to pay import duty on that parrot!"

"How much?" asks Coconut.

"Let me see," says the official, paging through his imports book. "Here we are," he continues. "Five hundred rupees for an alive parrot, one hundred rupees for a stuffed one."

"Hey, Coconut," screams the parrot. "don't get any crazy ideas!"

Swami Bharti Barfi, one of Shree Rajneesh's Indian disciples, is sitting on an Air India plane with the Shankaracharya of Puri and some of his aides. They are cruising at thirty-five thousand feet over the Indian sub-continent, when the shankaracharya suddenly feels very generous.

"If I throw this hundred-rupee note out the window," he says, "I will make one harijan very happy."

One of his aides adds, "But if you throw out two fifty-rupee notes, you will make two people happy."

And the other aide says, "Well, why not throw out one hundred one-rupee notes, and make one hundred people happy?"

At this point Swami Bharti Barfi stands up and says, "Why don't you make nine hundred million people happy and throw yourself out the window?"

Okay Nivedano ... give the first beat, and everybody goes crazy.

(Drumbeat)

(Gibberish)

Nivedano ...

(Drumbeat)

Be silent ...

close your eyes ...

no movement of the body - feel frozen.

Go inwards, deeper ... and deeper,

just like an arrow.

Penetrate all the layers

and hit the center of your existence.

This silence ...

this peace ...

Start discovering the buddha within you.

You are just a rock ...

non-essential parts have to be taken away,

and the buddha statue will reveal itself.

Nivedano ...

(Drumbeat)

Relax ... let go ... die!

In this moment,

at the very center of your being,

you are the immortal buddha.

You don't have to pray.

You don't have to worship.

You don't have to go to any temple.

Because you are the temple of the buddha.

Realize it

and express it in every action -

the grace of it, the beauty of it,

the blissfulness of it,

the ecstasy of it.

And your whole life becomes a dancing flame

of immortal joy.

This is the dimension

the whole East has devoted itself to

for millions of years:

to discover the point which is unmovable,

which is the very center of the cyclone.

Rejoice in it,

and remember the path,

how you have reached to it,

so that whenever you want,

you close your eyes

and immediately the buddha is there.

Nivedano ...

(Drumbeat)

Come back from your death ...

to life eternal.

Sit down for a few moments

just like a buddha,

in all his glory and splendor.

These few moments make this place the most

precious in the whole world.

Ten thousand buddhas

melting and merging into each other,

just like waves of the ocean.

The world has forgotten this language ...

it has to be reminded.

Everyone has to become a message,

not a missionary.

Revealing your own buddhahood

is enough to wake up people around you.

Your joy,

your blissfulness,

your benediction has to be shared.

The more you share it,

the more you have it.

Okay, Maneesha?

Yes, Beloved Master.

Can we celebrate the gathering

of ten thousand buddhas?

Yes, Beloved Master.

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"One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish fingernail."

-- Rabbi Ya'acov Perin in his eulogy at the funeral of
   mass murderer Dr. Baruch Goldstein.
   Cited in the New York Times, 1994-02-28