Ringing bells in your heart

Fri, 14 February 1989 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
I Celebrate Myself: God Is No Where, Life Is Now Here
Chapter #:
pm in Gautam the Buddha Auditorium
Archive Code:
Short Title:
Audio Available:
Video Available:
174 mins










Friends, first, a few questions.

Question 1:

The first question:


No, not at all. God can never be synonymous with no-mind. God is always there, far away. God has been always referred to by the word 'that' -- invisible, just a fiction. No- mind has been always referred to as this.

No-mind is your reality, your ultimate nature; God was a mind-created lie. No-mind is your truth, your splendor, your very universe. They cannot be synonymous.

God does not exist; no-mind exists.

God is only a belief; no-mind is an experience.

God has been the cause of all your mental sickness.

No-mind is pure health, wholeness.

The moment you utter the word 'God' you immediately start thinking of him as a person, as a creator. No-mind is not a person; on the contrary, your very personality disappears, only then does no-mind start blossoming. No-mind is not a creator. It has always been here, and will remain always here; it is always now. No-mind is your eternity, your very source of life.

God was just an excuse to exploit humanity and to keep humanity in a very subtle and invisible bondage. God has been your prison; no-mind is your freedom. God has been in the hands of the priests, and the priests are doing the ugliest job in the world, because their whole business depends on a lie.

No-mind has no priests, it is simply there inside you. And once you experience it, suddenly you become aware that no-mind is not your property, it is not your monopoly.

The first experience appears to be that it is your no-mind, but soon you become aware that the no-mind contains the whole universe, it contains the whole existence.

God has always been an outsider. You cannot create anything if you are not an outsider.

The Hindus refer to God as a potter, but the potter has to be outside the pot, only then can he create it. If he is inside the pot, the pot is already created. What is he doing inside the pot? The potter has to be outside, only then can he create the pot. All religions have the same idea in different symbols -- but God is an outsider.

If there is a God you are only creatures, created people. Without God you are buddhas, uncreated people. God is the heaviest burden that man has been carrying, and because of that there is no progress, there is no evolution. The heavy burden, the chains, go on pulling you backwards. They don't allow you to move faster to the higher peaks of evolution.

God has to be completely demolished from your minds. It is an absolute necessity and urgency. Once you drop God you will be surprised how many other lies have simply disappeared. He is the source, the foundation of all lies. Just watch God disappearing and you will see heaven has disappeared, hell has disappeared, fear has disappeared, dread, greed ... they are simply gone. God was the source. For the first time you can breathe at ease.

God was judgmental; no-mind has no judgment. God was continuously condemning you; no-mind is a blissful, ecstatic state. God is just programmed into your mind.

In the Soviet Union they program differently. They program no-God, but both are programs. The atheist does not know that there is no God, nor does the theist know that there is a God. Both are belief systems contrary to each other. But that does not mean that one is right and the other is wrong. Both cannot be right, but both can be wrong -- and both are wrong.

An authentic man will not accept any belief system either of atheist or of theist. He will explore on his own what the truth is; he will not like secondhand knowledge. You never think about it, but you would not like to wear somebody else's shoes. You would not like to wear somebody else's secondhand clothes. But your whole mind is secondhand, and not only secondhand, in fact, your mind has been going from hand to hand to hand for millions of years. Living with this mind is not living at all.

Your mind is borrowed -- your life cannot be sincere and honest. Your mind is borrowed -- your morality cannot be truthful, it will only be hypocrisy. Out of a borrowed mind, how can you manage any truthfulness, any sincerity, any authenticity, any originality?

God is the oldest lie, and no-mind is a fresh original experience.

God is no where; no-mind is now here.

No-mind is equivalent to life, is equivalent to existence. God is against life, God is against existence.

Can't you see all the religions are against life? They don't want you to live. Anything that makes you joyous, anything that makes you really alive -- they start crushing it, condemning it as a sin.

No-mind simply allows you to be natural. It gives you an opportunity to be natural, to be relaxed, to be at ease -- no guilt, no inhibition, no suppression. Nature is accepted in its totality, it becomes your very heart, your very being.

There is no morality from outside. That outside God was creating all things from outside, imposing on you. And everybody around the world is carrying mountains of loads of beliefs, moralities, commandments. They are all inventions of the mind.

No-mind is not an invention of the mind, it is a discovery. You don't have to invent it, it is already here. You just have to be here also -- and the meeting, and the transformation.

And out of that meeting and transformation arises a totally new kind of morality, a new kind of spontaneity, a new kind of natural grace, a new love for existence, a new reverence for all that is here, for all that surrounds you.

But everything that comes from your very innermost being is being prevented by your God, by your priests, by your scriptures. They are your enemies. You have to take it very clearly. Unless you understand who are the obstacles, you will never reach to no-mind.

God is the biggest obstacle to no-mind.

Because of God, the God-oriented religions could not manage any kind of meditation, because meditation goes inwards, and God is outside. And because God is outside, all the God-oriented religions have invented prayers.

Prayers are for the outside God, and nobody has seen that God. A few people have pretended -- either they were lying or they were hallucinating, but nobody has seen God.

It is one of the most unproved hypotheses. Don't carry with you unproved hypotheses; they become very burdensome. As time passes they go on gathering more weight. The weight becomes so heavy that you stop growing. There is no space left for you to grow.

All kinds of rubbish, furniture, rotten ... surrounds you. You don't have any space to move.

If God is there you don't have any empty space, you don't have any empty sky. You don't have any possibility to evolve -- there is no space. Where are you going to evolve? God is filling every place. That's why religions insist that he is omnipresent. If he is omnipresent, then there is no space left for you. If he is all over, then wherever you go you will be struggling against God.

No-mind is a pure space. It simply gives you an opening which goes on widening as your experience becomes ripe. Finally, you find there is only pure space all around you, infinite and eternal -- and you can open your wings. It is your home -- you can fly as high as you want. There is no weight dragging you downwards, dragging you backwards. The experience of weightlessness is synonymous with no-mind.

A strange Sufi story is ....

A Sufi mystic was staying in a disciple's home. But he used to pray to God so loudly that the neighbors started complaining. In the middle of the night he would start shouting so loudly -- you have to shout loudly if you want to reach to an invisible God. You don't know where he is. Nobody knows his telephone number, nobody knows his address.

Blindly, you are just raising your hands towards the sky, which never answers because there is nobody to answer.

Looked at scientifically, people who are praying to God are absolutely insane, neurotics, because they are praying to somebody who is not there, and they are talking to somebody who has never been there. No answer ever comes.

That Sufi used to shout loudly. Finally, the disciple decided that it was better to keep him in the basement at night. So they arranged a bed in the basement of the house, so he could pray as loudly as he desired and nobody would be disturbed.

But in the middle of the night the whole neighborhood gathered, and they said, "Why have you put him on the roof of your house?"

He said, "Roof? We have put him in the basement."

But they went up to the roof and he was there praying to God so loudly. And when you are praying from the roof, naturally your sound goes on waking all the neighbors.

The disciple asked, "How did you manage to go to the roof?"

The mystic said, "I had to, because from the basement God will not hear me."

Mohammedans have great pillars around their mosque, high pillars they call minarets.

And the priest goes to the high pillars, because if you pray from the high pillars there is a possibility God may hear you.

Hindus have in their temples -- Tibetans also have them in their temples -- different kinds of bells, gongs. Did you know their purpose is to attract the attention of God? So you give a good beat on the gong and God will listen to you. Then after giving the beat on the gong, or the drums, or the bells, you can pray.

In the Hindu temple the bell is where you enter. And the bigger the temple, the bigger the bell. The richer the temples, the bigger and bigger the bells ... deafening sound. First you have to ring the bell to wake up God for him to listen to you. But you don't know where he is. Your gong, your bells are just resounding in the empty sky. There is nobody to be wakened.

No-mind is a reality that you can experience, but for that no prayer is needed. You don't have to look outside of you. You have to close your eyes, and you have to look inwards without any idea of what you are going to find. If you have any idea that this is what you are going to find, then most probably you will imagine, and you will think you have found it.

Go inwards without any prejudice, because all prejudices are part of the mind. Your Jesus, your Krishna, your Rama -- all are part of your mind. If you carry any prejudice with you, you remain confined to the mind. If you want to transcend the mind and reach to the no-mind, which is the ultimate consciousness, pure consciousness, the very essence of existence ... But for that, prayer is not of help, nor are temples of any help, nor are scriptures of any help.

No philosophy is needed, no system of beliefs is needed, no theology is needed. All that you need is to unload yourself of everything that has been forced upon you.

Unload yourself.

Unburden yourself.

Drop everything that has been given to you by your parents, by your teachers, by your priests, by your leaders.

Drop everything that has come from outside.

Throw it out!

And suddenly you will find your mind is giving way into no-mind. You have only to drop the rubbish -- and God is part of the rubbish, the heaviest part.

So there is no possibility of God and no-mind being synonymous.

Here, we are searching without any belief, without any hypothesis. We are simply going into our subjectivity, into our interiority.

As far as I am concerned, this is the only temple: your body. As far as I am concerned, your subjectivity -- silent, peaceful, just an empty space -- is the very source you have come from, and is the very goal you are going towards.

When the source and the goal meet, you are enlightened -- the whole circle, the whole pilgrimage is complete. You have left the source as ignorant, you have come back to the source again as innocent. You have again become a child.

One birth is given by your parents, another birth you have to manage by yourself. The second birth is the birth which matters. The first birth is going to end up in death. The second birth is the beginning of eternity: no death, no end, no beginning.

No-mind is the whole universe, and it is not possible to find this no-mind by worshipping, by prayer, by believing. This mind needs you to be completely cured from all past-oriented ideologies, from all organized religions, from all scriptures, from all that has been forced upon you. It is phony, it is plastic.

Real roses come on the bush from its interiority. You can hang plastic roses on the bush, but they will not be fragrant, and they will not be alive. And because they are not alive they are not going to die. They will just hang there. They are already dead; they are man- manufactured flowers.

God is a man-manufactured idea.

No-mind is not your idea. No-mind is not manufactured by man. No-mind is a gift of existence. You can only be grateful, you can only be in deep gratitude when you find no- mind. You will not find even a single word to say to existence. Even saying "thank you" will look very superficial.

In the West it is very formal, you even say "thank you" to your mother, you thank your father -- not that you really mean it, it is just part of formality.

In the East it is totally different. I have never thanked my father, I have never thanked my mother. It is so superficial, it is so formal. When you love someone you cannot utter the words 'thank you'. It will destroy the whole beauty of the experience.

So when you come to no-mind, you are utterly dumb.

Kabir has made a statement. He says the experience of no-mind is gunge keri sarkara -- as if the dumb man has tasted the sugar. He cannot speak. He knows taste, but he is dumb; he cannot speak.

The experience of no-mind is inexpressible. You can have it, you can dance in celebration but you cannot say anything about it. Your dance certainly will shine with a new joy, with a new ecstasy, with a new drunkenness. Your dance will show a new radiation, a new aura around you. Your eyes will be shining. For the first time they have seen something worth seeing. Your whole being will be throbbing with joy, because you have come back to the original source.

Let gods die. Don't carry on them. People are carrying dead gods, and when somebody is dead and you go on carrying him, you start stinking. All religious people stink because they are carrying a dead body.

There is a beautiful Hindu mythology ....

Shiva, one of the gods of the Hindus, one of the three gods, the trinity of Hinduism ...

Shiva's wife dies, but he won't accept the death of his wife. His mind was constantly telling him, "If you go around the country there may be somebody who can resurrect her."

He used to live in the Himalayas, so he came down with the dead body of Parvati, his wife. The very word parvati means daughter of the mountains ... a beautiful woman, but dead. He carried the corpse around the country, asking everybody, "Is there any physician, any man of miracles?"

The body was deteriorating, and soon it started falling into pieces. The legs dropped in one place, the hands dropped into another place ... Hindus have twelve holy places. Those twelve holy places in the country are the twelve places where Parvati's parts dropped. But even though parts were dropping, Shiva continued around the country until he found that the last part had dropped. It must have taken him years.

But your carrying a dead God is a longer pilgrimage -- millions of years. And you go on believing that someday, somewhere, God will materialize. Meanwhile you go on carrying the corpse. The corpse is destroying you also, because it is rotten, and it is making a rotten humanity.

God is a sickness; you have simply to drop it. But the only good thing is that you are carrying the sickness, so you can drop it. It is your belief, so you can throw it out! It is not something that is a part of you, it is something that you are holding unnecessarily. It is not holding you! This is the only beautiful thing about it -- that you can drop God.

One day I dropped God, and since then I have felt so weightless, so blissful. I used to carry the dead body myself, but I realized that the body was dead -- no breathing, no heartbeat -- it was up to me whether to carry it or drop it. And as I dropped it, for the first time I felt myself as an individual. The dead body was overwhelming me, it was covering me from all the sides. It had become my personality.

For a moment I felt naked, because the personality had dropped, the masks had dropped.

But soon I knew that this nudity, this nakedness was natural. Everybody is nude behind the clothes. The moment you drop your clothes ... Have you ever felt a certain freedom just on the seabeach as you drop your clothes? You suddenly feel the sun with your body, the wind blowing on your body, and a tremendous sense of freedom -- just by dropping clothes, which are not of much weight.

God is very heavy. It goes on becoming heavier and heavier as time passes. A moment comes when it is heavier than you -- you are crushed under the mountainous load. Unless one is free from God, one knows not what freedom is.

So God cannot be synonymous with no-mind.

No-mind is really the antidote to the disease called God.

No-mind is your freedom.

All chains dropped, all thoughts dropped, all feelings dropped ... suddenly you find only the purest essence has remained. All that was covering it, layer upon layer, has been dropped. This dropping I call meditation.

Finally only a witness, a sakshi, remains -- just a pure awareness. This is ultimate freedom, and the authentic religion is for ultimate freedom and ultimate liberation.

God-oriented religions cannot even give you a sense of freedom, or a direction for freedom. Their whole effort is to direct your mind towards God. Fill your mind with God, repeat his name again and again so it becomes ingrained in your mind. The more ingrained it becomes, the more difficult it will be to leave it. The sooner you leave God, the better. And you will have to leave one day, so why not now! One cannot live a lie forever. Only truth can be lived forever.

You have to believe only in lies, you don't have to believe in the truth. Truth has to be discovered. I teach you purely the attitude of an agnostic -- one who does not believe, who does not disbelieve, but who is a seeker, a searcher, an explorer.

Certainly the first thing to be explored is your own inner being. That is the closest life throbbing, everything else is a little far away. The man of intelligence first will look inside his own house before he goes searching on the moon and on Mars. First he will look inside to see what is there. And those who have gone inside have never come empty handed. They have come with so much bliss, so much ecstasy, with such an abundance that they start sharing, because as they share they come to understand the inner economics.

The more you share the more you have. If you don't share, you won't have even that which you had. Jesus says, "Those who have shall be given more, and those who have not, even whatsoever they have will be taken away." I cannot agree with him. I say unto you, the more you give, the more you will have; the less you give, the less you will have.

If you don't give at all, you won't have anything left.

Sharing is the only compassion.

Sharing is the only service.

Sharing is the only way the awakened one lives. That is real character. That is authentic morality. That is true religiousness.

You don't have a God, but you become godly. Hence I say, the moment you drop God you are moving in the right direction of becoming godly. You will be divine in your ecstasies, in your silent spaces of the being. You will be divine. But you will be divine because you will be participating in the divine existence. Everything is sacred to the man who has come to know himself, who has discovered his hidden secret of life. Everything becomes sacred.

A story is told about the mystic Nanak ....

He went to Kaaba, the holy place of the Mohammedans. It is a beautiful story.

He reached Kaaba by the evening, but his fame had already reached, so people were waiting for him. They received him, welcomed him, but he was very tired. So he said, "I would like to go to sleep, I have been walking miles and miles."

So they prepared a bed under a tree, but he turned the bed. Mohammedans don't sleep with their legs towards Kaaba, but he turned the bed so that his legs were towards Kaaba, and his head was on the opposite side.

When the head priest of Kaaba heard about it, he came running. He said, "We thought you were a great mystic, but you don't even seem to be religious. You don't understand that you are hurting our feelings. You are keeping your feet towards the most divine and the most holy land! You should turn your feet."

Nanak laughed. He said, "As far as I am concerned, wherever I turn my feet I find they are towards the holy land, because to me the whole existence is holy. Now if you think there is some place which is unholy, please turn my legs. I am willing!"

There was a silence. The priest could not say that there was some place that was unholy.

But this could not be tolerated either, that this man continued to keep his feet towards Kaaba.

I think up to this point it is factual. Beyond this point it becomes more and more symbolic. But even that is significant ....

Finally, the priest decided to turn his legs and turn his head towards Kaaba. But they were utterly disappointed, surprised. They could not believe their eyes. Wherever they moved Nanak's legs, Kaaba moved.

This must be symbolic, but it is significant. It is poetry, but it gives you the feeling that if everything is holy and sacred it does not matter where you keep your legs it will always be towards the sacred land. The whole existence is sacred for a mystic. Nanak showed his understanding very clearly. Only a man of no-mind can do that.

A man of no-mind knows that everywhere life is throbbing -- in the trees, in the rivers, in the mountains ... Even the Himalayas are still growing. It is the youngest mountain in the whole world, but really powerful because it has got the highest peaks in the world and they are still growing -- one foot per year. But that means it is alive, it is not a dead mountain. It is reaching towards the stars, perhaps very slowly because it is not a small mountain. And for mountains, even to rise one foot in one year is quite fast. Looking at eternity, if the Himalayas go on growing in this way, soon they will be touching stars; it won't be long.

When you see life everywhere, in the stones -- perhaps fast asleep so that you cannot feel it, perhaps a different dimension -- in the trees, so that you cannot understand it ... But everything is so abundantly alive, all that you need is space and perceptivity of no-mind.

God is your blindness. No-mind is going to give you fresh eyes to look again at the universe.

Question 2:

The second question:



Yes, absolutely yes. God is the invention of the retarded, of the idiots, of the imbeciles, of the people who want a shortcut so they don't have to exert any intelligence. God is the belief of the unintelligent. God is the belief of the unconscious. God is the belief of those who are still asleep and dreaming. The moment you wake up, all dreams disappear, and with the dreams your God will also disappear.

No-mind is waking up from the sleep of the mind.

No-mind is a sunrise.

Mind has been a long long dark night, and no-mind blossoms into tremendous intelligence, not intellect. Intellect is part of the mind, intelligence is part of no-mind. It is a totally different phenomenon. And when that fire of intelligence rises in you in great flames, you don't find any God anywhere, but you certainly find everything is sacred because everything is alive.

So a great reverence for life -- that's what I teach you. But you will know life only when you have touched your own life. Then you will know the criterion for what is alive. Right now you don't know the criterion for what is alive.

Question 3:

The third question:



No, not at all. This experience is authentic. It happens sometimes to people who have almost died -- not completely, but almost. They see a luminous being. It is their own being, it is not God. In meditation you will encounter the same luminous being without dying.

Meditation is a kind of death. You are separated from the body, you are separated from the mind -- that's what death does. You are separated from the body, you are separated from the mind. Suddenly you become aware of a luminous being, which you think is separate from you because you have never seen such an experience before. If you have been a meditator, you would have recognized -- "This is me."

You are a light, luminous body inside this body -- a flame, an eternal flame of light. But those who have almost died and come back to life, because they don't have any experience of meditation, they think they have seen something, a luminous being. They remember it vaguely, faintly, a faraway echo, but they remember it. They have seen something luminous. Naturally they cannot conceive that they have seen themselves.

God is not based on the experience of people who were almost dead and have come back again to life. But meditation knows exactly what has been happening to these people -- they have encountered themselves. But because the encounter was for the first time, and so quick ... just like a flash it came and went away, and they were back to life. Naturally they think they have seen some object, some person standing there with a radiant, luminous body, because they have known only objects in their lives. They have never known the subject.

A meditator will not commit such a mistake. A meditator will recognize immediately -- whether alive or dead -- that he is the luminous eternal light.

The sutra:





Daiten is not yet enlightened, but he must have been a great scholar. He has read in the scriptures that the no-mind is the one from where all that is original comes out. When a buddha speaks, he is not speaking borrowed words. His speaking is coming from no- mind. No-mind is flowing in his words, hence the beauty.

The same ordinary words on the lips of a buddha certainly become magical, alive. Very ordinary words suddenly take a totally different flavor, a new fragrance. They start being poetic. They have around them a certain aura. That's why the words of a buddha start ringing bells in your heart.

He is not speaking strange words. You know those words, you use those words. But when a buddha speaks those same words, because they are coming from no-mind, they carry some space around them that makes the awakened one's words so authoritative. The awakened one is not authoritative. He does not command you, he does not give quotations from the scriptures to support as an evidence. He is his own authority.

I have been telling stories, and people who don't understand me have sometimes written, "Your stories go on changing. Sometimes you say something, sometimes your story completely changes ..." They are only listening to the mere words, not to me. They are blind people, they cannot see that my story is a response to the people to whom I am talking. In the present moment it takes a new shape, a new meaning, a new dimension.

My stories go on changing because life goes on changing. What can I do about it?

Sometimes it is spring and there are flowers all over, and sometimes it is not spring and the trees are standing naked without any leaves. What can I do? Life goes on changing.

My stories are not dead, they are as alive as I am alive. They are coming from a living source.

And they have told me -- great scholars and professors, linguists, those belonging to different religions -- "I like your story but it is not in the scriptures at all." I said, "Then you should put it in. Your scripture is not growing, it is dead. If you like the story, if you felt there was some meaning, then put it in your scripture."

Buddha is not the end of the world. There are going to be buddhas after Gautam Buddha.

There will be buddhas after me, after you, and certainly they are going to continuously improve. It is not an effort, it is a spontaneous phenomenon.

When I start the story I don't know what shape it is going to take. I am as much surprised as you are -- "My God! This story is not the story I have heard before." But what can I do? It is not my mind. Mind has a memory system, so it goes on repeating the same gramophone record, and gets stuck at the same point each time. If it is an ancient gramophone record, the needle goes on stopping at the same place. You start again; again it will stop at the same place.

Once I was participating as a student in an inter-university competition for eloquence. I was the first one to speak, and the second person came from the Sanskrit University of Varanasi. It is devoted completely to Sanskrit scriptures and language. But the student must have been feeling a little inferior to the other students who came from different universities, because in the Sanskrit University they don't teach English. So he must have crammed one statement in English of Bertrand Russell, just to make an impression.

But he was nervous. As he started, after three or four lines, he said, "Bertrand Russell has said ..." -- in English -- and then he stopped. His mind went blank. I was just sitting by his side because he was the second person to speak. The whole auditorium was full of students and professors, and there was a great silence when he stopped. I thought I should help him, so I told him, "Repeat again."

And when you have crammed something, you can repeat it only from the very beginning.

So he said, "Sisters and brothers ..." So the whole audience started laughing. He again repeated those three or four sentences and came to the point, "Bertrand Russell has said ..." -- and a fullpoint.

I said, "Repeat!" Finding no way out, he again started, "Brothers and sisters ..."

And it was such a joy -- for ten minutes it continued. I would say, "Repeat," and finding no way out ... and I was the only help. Everybody was laughing. And he would say, "Sisters and brothers ..." -- and finished! Everybody was waiting for these three sentences, "Bertrand Russell has said ..." -- fullpoint.

After ten minutes, the chairman, the vice-chancellor of the university, himself was laughing, and he told the boy, "Just sit down. Don't be worried, everything is okay. Just sit down" -- he was perspiring. And the chancellor said to me, "You should not have done this."

I said, "I was simply helping him. I never thought that he was a gramophone record. I thought some time he may slip ahead -- 'Bertrand Russell has said ...' But he proved to be a gramophone record, broken. It was not my fault. And anyway, he gave such a joyous evening. Even if you give him the first prize, I am ready, because he has given so much joy, nobody can give."

Now scientists have found that your memory system functions exactly like the gramophone record. They have opened the brain for other reasons, but somehow they found that if they put an electrode on the memory point in your brain, you start saying something. And if they take the electrode away, you stop and your brain automatically reverses. Again when they put the electrode back, you start from "Brothers and sisters" -- again the same. Take the electrode off, and you stop.

They have discovered that the mind has an automatic reverse system -- once you have stopped, it goes back to its original place. You touch that spot again and the person starts saying the same thing. There is no reason why he is speaking -- nobody has asked anything. But he is helpless -- the memory starts repeating like a record.

Daiten must have been a scholar. He has quoted this sentence, not from his own experience but from scriptures.

What is he saying? When Sekito asked him, "WHAT IS YOUR NO-MIND?"

DAITEN REPLIED, "THE ONE WHO SPEAKS IS IT." One who speaks originally. If one speaks only that which is borrowed, it is from the mind. But if one speaks originally, spontaneously, then it is coming from the space called no-mind. But he forgot the word 'originally'. That happens to scholars; it cannot happen to a buddha. Whatever is coming, is coming from the very source. But when you are repeating a scripture which is not your experience, there is going to be some difficulty.

If he had said, "The one who speaks spontaneously -- that is the place of no-mind ..." He has forgotten that one word 'original', and perhaps it was not written in the scripture itself, because no buddha has written a single word. All scriptures have been compiled by their disciples, sometimes after the death. Sometimes hundreds of years have passed and then disciples of disciples ... generations have passed.

The four gospels of Jesus are recorded after his death, and not immediately, three hundred years afterwards. Now nobody was a witness; all the witnesses were dead. And these gospels were recorded by people who had not seen Jesus. They had not even seen Jerusalem. Now biblical research scholars have found that even the geography that they have mentioned in the four gospels is wrong. These people have never been to Israel.

They have heard from others, who have heard from others, who have heard from others.

That's why I have spoken on Thomas's gospel which was written in India. He was a direct disciple of Jesus, but his gospel is not included in the Holy Bible. It was discovered just thirty years ago, but it is the most beautiful because at least Thomas was a witness. And it has tremendous beauty because it is not only that he was a witness to Jesus, here in India he went through a transformation.

He meditated, he practiced yoga, he lived like a sannyasin and moved from monastery to monastery. Buddha's air was still there. Buddha was gone five hundred years before that, but his fragrance was still alive. So in his gospel there is a certain authority which is lacking in the four gospels of the Bible. First he was a witness, he had heard Jesus, and secondly he himself had experienced the truth. The combination of both, gives a greater authority to the fifth gospel of Thomas than The Holy Bible.

Thomas is the only man in the whole world whose body has not deteriorated. His body is still in a church in Goa. Every year at Christmas time, his body is brought out of the church and his coffin is opened for any observer, for any scientist, for any researcher.

Nobody has been able to figure out why it looks so fresh, as if he had died just now.

There seems to have been no device used. It is not kept in a freezing temperature, it is in a hot country, but even the skin does not look as if it is dead. He looks so fresh. I have been to see the body.

Jesus' miracles may have been a myth, but this man really managed a miracle. After two thousand years he is the only person around the world whose body looks as if it has died just now -- or perhaps he is fast asleep. No smell, and if it can remain for two thousand years; there is no problem for it to remain forever. Care has to be taken that nobody disturbs it.

There have been efforts to disturb it by Hindus, by Mohammedans, by people who are not Christians, because it is a great argument in favor of Christianity. But the man Thomas was not a Christian, he never knew about Christianity. He came just after Jesus was crucified. He left Jerusalem for the simple reason that Jesus must have told his close friends -- and Thomas was one of those who was very close to him -- about India, and about the universities of Nalanda and Takshashila, and about meditation.

So now that Jesus was crucified, he saw there was no point in being there, and he left. He came by ship, so he landed in South India. But he traveled all over India, and met all kinds of mystics who were deeply rooted in meditation. His body is a proof that he must have followed a certain method which was known to the Tibetan lamas, to the Ladakh people.

They used to use a certain method of meditation when the meditator was dying ... at the last moment, a certain process called Bardo. It was nothing but a post-hypnotic suggestion. When a man is dying, he is in a very vulnerable state. And if he has been a meditator, then he is perfectly awake. Death is coming, but he is perfectly awake. He can be hypnotized and told, "When you leave your body, the body will remain intact as it is ..." You have to continue repeating so that it enters, not only into his mind, it enters even into his bones, into his marrow, into his blood.

Bardo is a very intensive hypnosis, and it is also possible to give directions for the future to the soul that is leaving the body. Both can be done. The body can be preserved by post- hypnotic suggestion. But you cannot do it if the man has died. Then there is nobody to listen to the post-hypnotic suggestion. The man has to be alive, just on the verge of death.

You give him the post-hypnotic suggestion: "Your body will remain intact, will remain intact ... you go on." And if he is a meditator, even the bones, the blood, the body starts listening. The soul will leave but the body will remain completely as the soul has left it.

This was one way that Bardo was used for the body.

And there was a second way. You can give suggestions to the leaving soul as to what kind of womb will be good -- "Choose rightly. Don't be accidental." Millions of people are making love, and millions of people are dying. So those souls are roaming around, finding a couple who is making love. This is accidental. Because they die unconsciously, they unconsciously grope in the darkness, and whoever comes close by, just by chance they enter into that womb.

Bardo prevents the accidental. It gives the soul a right direction: "You need a certain kind of womb, so don't be in a hurry. You have been a meditator, and you have to find a mother, a father, who will allow you to meditate -- not only allow you to meditate but who will help you to meditate, who are themselves meditators. So don't be in a hurry!

Choose a couple."

Sometimes the man of meditation takes time to find the right womb; ordinary persons immediately enter into the womb. Bardo gives two kinds of possibilities: the body can be kept, and the soul can be given a sense of direction where to go. But this is possible only if the man has been deeply into meditation, has been practicing meditation for a long time, and was capable of remaining conscious when death comes, because death is the greatest operation.

Nature has managed it so that nobody should die consciously, just as a surgeon will not be ready to operate on you if you are conscious. First he will give you chloroform or something that makes you unconscious. Then he can operate on you because you don't know what is happening. You are so deeply asleep that things can be removed from your body, bones can be cut, replaced, anything can be done.

Death is the greatest operation, because the whole seventy years' attachment to the body has to be broken. Nature has managed -- this is the wisdom of nature, the intelligence of nature -- that a person who is not capable of detachment with the body, who does not know that "I am not the body," should be made unconscious. Otherwise he will be passing through tremendous anguish and anxiety.

So it is natural wisdom, but it is not applicable to the meditator. The meditator can afford to die consciously without any pain, without any anguish, without any anxiety.



This shout says to Daiten, "Shut up! It is not you, it is borrowed. I can see the deadness of your statement." Shouting "Kwatz!" is saying "Shut up!" And then he left immediately, because there was no point in wasting time with this man, he was just a dead scholar.


He realized. He was sincere, at least, honest.

First he had tried to deceive Sekito -- you cannot deceive a master, that is impossible. He looks through and through you. He knows from where the answer is coming: from the mind or from the no-mind. It is so clear to a master from where the answer is coming.

Any answer from the mind -- "Kwatz! Shut up!"

He must have thought about it: "Why did the master behave in such a hard way? And I was a stranger, a new person. Certainly there must be some reason why he behaved without any compassion. I must be wrong." And then in ten days' meditation he understood, "What I said was only a repetition of scriptures." So he came back.


Please tell me. I don't know."

An authentic seeker begins with "I don't know, because all that I know is not mine. It does matter. I may have much knowledge, but as far as I am concerned, I don't know."

This acceptance is the beginning of the search. If you know already, there is no need to search, there is no need to seek.


Strange, but masters are strange people. They have their own ways of pushing you into the unknown territory of your own being.


DAITEN SAID, "THERE IS NO NO-MIND TO BE BROUGHT. In the first place, I don't know what no-mind is. In the second place, if it is no-mind how can you bring it? It is not a thing. It is not even a thought, it is pure awareness. It cannot be brought here as an object for your observation."

SEKITO SAID, "BASICALLY, NO-MIND IS." You cannot bring it -- I can understand.

It is not a thing, it is not a thought, it is only pure isness, thisness, suchness.

"BASICALLY, NO-MIND IS. WHY DO YOU SAY NO-MIND IS NOT?" It is the only isness in existence. Because you cannot bring it, you think, "It is not. That's why I cannot bring it." You cannot bring it because no-mind is the whole universe. How can you bring it? It is already here.

This very moment it is here, as it was in front of Sekito.


Just say I don't know. Say no-mind is not a thing, not a thought, hence it cannot be brought. But don't say no-mind is not. No-mind only is -- pure is.

AT THIS, DAITEN WAS GREATLY ENLIGHTENED -- hearing this statement, that all that is, is no-mind. Isness and no-mind are two names of the same thing. This presence of life in the trees, in the stones, in people, in birds ... this vast isness, this presence is no- mind. You don't have to bring it here, it is already here. You cannot take it anywhere else.

As far as time is concerned, it is now.

As far as space is concerned, it is here.

If you are silent, you will immediately become aware of it.

This statement made such a deep penetration into Daiten, he was greatly enlightened.

An authentic seeker, sincere seeker, who does not hide himself behind false knowledge, borrowed knowledge, who does not pretend that he knows without knowing, if he accepts "I don't know" -- he is already very close to the truth. He has accepted his innocence now there is no barrier. No God, no scripture, no knowledge -- he is just as close as one can be to no-mind. A little push by the master, a little statement, and he will be drowned into existence. That drowning into existence is enlightenment. Disappearing into existence is enlightenment.

I have always loved one story from China ....

The emperor of China was a great painter. At his seventy-fifth birthday, he was feeling old, and perhaps the day was not far away when he would have to leave the body. So he arranged a great competition before he would leave the body: a competition for painting throughout China.

First, in every state there would be a competition, and one painting would be chosen.

Then the final would be in the capital, and the emperor would choose which was the greatest painting. He himself was a competitor. He had painted a beautiful painting.

All the painters came from all over China. They all brought their great canvases that they had done. Only one man came without any painting, just paint and a brush -- strange fellow!

The emperor asked, "Where is the painting?"

He said, "I don't like old things. I will paint freshly here and now. You have to give me a room, because I don't paint on canvas, I paint on the walls. Give me the biggest room in your palace and don't disturb me. And keep a guard so that nobody disturbs me. I don't know how long it will take, because it is going to be a spontaneous thing. I don't know what I am going to paint. I am just going to paint out of spontaneity, whatever happens, however long it takes."

The king said, "I am getting old, that's why I have arranged this competition. You have to be quick and fast."

He said, "No. I don't know. It may be quick. Tomorrow morning I may inform you that the painting is complete, or it may take longer. I cannot promise."

No man of understanding can ever promise anybody, because who knows about the next moment? All promising is in ignorance.

The king said, "You are a difficult person, but I can see in your eyes, and I can see in your face -- perhaps you will be the greatest painter." So he gave him the biggest room in the palace -- and there were many big rooms -- with a plain wall so he could paint, and he closed the doors.

The painter said, "Nobody should enter, not even you, until the painting is complete. I will come out for food or anything I need." And he kept a curtain also so that even the guards could not have a look inside at what was happening behind the curtain.

It took three years for him, and the king was saying, "What are you doing? I may never be able to see your painting, I may die!"

The painter said, "It does not matter. If you die you die. If you are alive you will be able to see it. But I cannot do anything in a hurry."

The emperor had to wait.

Four years passed and the painter came out one morning and said to the emperor, "The painting is complete. You are welcome."

Such curiosity had arisen in the emperor's mind. For four years, he was thinking, "What is that guy painting?" He himself was a painter. It did not take four years for one painting.

And when he came the emperor immediately followed him. They went behind the curtain.

The painting was just unbelievable; it looked so real. He had painted a huge forest, so green, lush green, almost three-dimensional. And a small path was going -- you could see the path was going and going ... and then it disappeared into the thickness of the jungle.

And the emperor said, "Where does this path go?"

The painter said, "Let us ... Come with me. We can walk and see where the path goes, because without experience you will not know where it goes."

The story is, both went into the path -- the guards were watching -- and as the path turned around, they both turned around and since then nothing has been heard.

This story -- in a painting you cannot enter -- is a symbolic story. It says you can enter in the isness of things. The painter has made the painting so alive that branches were moving in the wind. The path was no ordinary path, and the symbolic meaning is: if you cannot enter into a painting, the painting is not worth calling a painting. But entering does not mean physical entry. Entering means you get lost completely: you are no more, only the painting is.

That's how you enter into meditation -- you are no more. You come across a tremendous isness; everything disappears, you disappear, yet that isness remains. That experience of isness is enlightenment. This story simply gives a symbolic representation of enlightenment.

A painter is not worth the salt if he himself cannot disappear into his own painting.

Picasso is reported to have said, "When I am painting, I am no more, only the painting is."

Nijinsky has said many times in his life -- because he was asked again and again -- "When I am dancing I am no more. As long as I am, the dance is superficial. When only dancing remains and I am no more, then it has a tremendous quality." It was observed by scientists, and they could see the tremendous quality. Whenever he forgot himself completely in dancing he used to jump higher than gravitation allows. Scientists were simply at a loss how to figure it out, because that much of a jump was not possible.

And even more miraculous was his coming back .... Gravitation pulls everything so fast.

You see every night -- you think stars are falling. All around the earth six thousand stars fall every day on the earth. They are not stars, stars are very big, a thousand times, a million times bigger than the earth. If one star falls, we are finished. Those are not stars, those are small stones which have been left hanging in space.

When the moon separated from the earth -- once it was part of the earth ... You have all these great oceans, the great Indian Ocean, and the Pacific, and the Atlantic. All these oceans are created because the mud and the stones and everything from these places fell out, because the earth was liquid -- in the beginning it was liquid. The moon is just the combination of that whole lot that has fallen out of the earth. But it created great oceans - - the Pacific is five miles deep.

But when such great lumps fell out, many small pieces also fell out. Those small pieces are just floating in space, millions of pieces of stone of different sizes. The earth's gravitation pulls these stones downwards, and at the point where the atmosphere begins, it is two hundred miles deep. Around the earth there is a thickness of two hundred miles of atmosphere, because up to that point there is air. Beyond that there is no air; it is pure space, even air is not existent. Sometimes those small stones -- and there are a few big stones also ...

The stone in the Mohammedans' holy place that they worship, Kaaba, is also one of the stones that has fallen from outer space, but it is a very huge stone. In every museum you can find stones which have reached to the earth.

But what happens when they enter the earth's atmosphere by chance? Gravitation pulls them so fast that the friction with the air makes them turn into a fiery stone, a fire. That is why you can see them up to a point, and then suddenly they disappear. If the stone was small, then it would come to a certain point and it would be burned out. The force of gravitation is such that only very big stones can come up to the earth, otherwise they disappear in the air somewhere.

Nijinsky's coming back was absolutely against gravitation. He came just as a feather comes slowly -- so slow was his movement coming back. Both the things were against gravitation: first his jump, and then his coming like a feather as if he had no weight; gravitation cannot work on it.

And he was asked about it again and again. He said, "I have tried, but whenever I try, it does not happen so I cannot say anything about it. When I am not, when I get completely disappointed and forget all about it, that one day suddenly it happens. When I am not trying to do it, it happens. I am not, only the dance is. When I am not, only the dance is."

Nijinsky perhaps was the greatest dancer in the world.

But this is the misfortune -- that these people were born in the West. They had no idea that they were so close to no-mind. They needed a master just to give them a little push.

Nijinsky would have been a Gautam Buddha, and Picasso would have been a Gautam Buddha. They have come so close. But the West has no idea how to go ahead, how to go into the painting.

Just move on on the road and get lost. That will be your great experience -- when you are lost. When you are no more, only existence is.

And this existence gives you such bliss, such ecstasy, such eternity, that you are bound to feel a tremendous sacredness, a great reverence for life and this vast universe which has given birth to you.

One day it will allow you to disappear again into the oceanic consciousness. This entering into the oceanic consciousness is enlightenment.

Shiki wrote:




He must be sitting under a tree, and it must be the time for fall.

"The moon rises ..." -- he is watching the moon rising.

Zen has many ways of meditation -- watch the moon rising. The emphasis is on watching, not on the moon. Watch the sun rising. The emphasis is on watching, what I am calling witnessing to make it more clear -- witness the sun is rising. And witness "leaf upon leaf upon leaf flutters down" -- and you are just a witness.

On one side the sun is rising, on the other side, "leaf upon leaf upon leaf flutters down."

And between these two you are just a mirror, no judgment.

He is not saying that the sunrise is beautiful, and he is not saying that the leaf upon leaf upon leaf are creating beautiful music in the air. No, he is not making any judgment. He is simply describing what he has been witnessing, just like a mirror, showing you the sun is rising, and leaf upon leaf upon leaf is fluttering down. He is just a watcher.

This is the whole secret of Zen.

Question 4:

Maneesha's question:





Maneesha, you can change the 'he' into 'it', and certainly they will be speaking the language of Zen, but you cannot do that. It is their statement, not yours. They are still saying 'he'. They are not even saying 'she'; 'it' is far away -- although they have come very close to the point. That's why both the saints were in trouble with the orthodox church, particularly Eckhart who was tortured, harassed, threatened to be expelled if he published his books. His books were published after his death because of these statements.

The statement is tremendously good, but still, somehow the faint image of God is present.

"Who is God? I can think of no better answer than: He who is." Using the word 'he' and saying "who is," is very close; only the 'he' is standing in between.

That's what I have been telling you -- even a very thin concept of God as a person is going to create enough of a barrier for you.

St. Bernard has come very close, but to be close is still to be at a distance. Closeness is a kind of distance. What does it mean? You may be one inch away, or one mile away, or one thousand miles away -- you are away. Even one inch away -- you are away. That one inch is as thick as the China Wall, solid rock.

When St. Bernard says, "He who is," using the word 'he', he accepts a personality, and not only a personality but a male personality. Both are wrong. Existence is neither male nor female. It expresses in the both -- as female, as male, but it itself is simply pure isness. Its expression will be manifold, but its essence is the same. A woman in her interiority is as pure a consciousness as a man in his interiority.

If St. Bernard had really experienced isness, he would not have used the word 'God' or 'he'. He seems he must have been a great giant, but only intellectual. Many times philosophers have come very close, but then they go on in a round and go far away. Just coming close is not enough, but even this was condemned by the church, by the pope.

Certainly St. Bernard has some conception of a male God, and you cannot change his statement. If you change his statement, then it comes exactly to what Zen is. But then it will not be the statement of St. Bernard, it will be your statement.

So I would say that he came very close, but because of the 'God', and because the programming in his mind of the Christian God was still there, that prevented him from the quantum leap from mind to no-mind. His idea is still within the mind. He has logically and rationally worked out that if God is there he can only be described as "He who is." But this is not the exact experience.

The exact experience will not use the word 'God', will not use the word 'he'. It is male- chauvinistic, and it gives a personality to existence which it has not. It is infinite, so it cannot have a personality. It cannot be called who, and it cannot be called he.

So St. Bernard is still not enlightened -- intellectually great, logically great, but existentially still a little far away from the truth.

Eckhart comes even more close, maybe just a fragment of an inch away, when he says, "Thou must love God as not-God, not-spirit, not-person, not-image, but as he is -- a sheer, pure, absolute One, sundered from all twoness and in whom we must eternally sink from nothingness to nothingness." He has come very much closer than St. Bernard, and hence he was more condemned than St. Bernard, because he was destroying the whole Christian theology.

But still I say he is within the framework of the Christian God, although he seems to be a far more refined intellect than St. Bernard -- a very thin barrier, a Japanese rice-paper barrier. But that is enough to keep your eyes closed.

His statement is beautiful: "Thou must love God as not-God." But why use the word 'God' at all if it is to be loved as not-God? Why not say, "Thou must love not-God, not- Spirit, not-person, not-image, but just the sheer existence, pure, absolute One, sundered from all twoness, and in it we must eternally sink from nothingness to nothingness"? But his beginning, "Thou must love God," is a Christian programming.

Zen has dropped all programming. It has dared as much as human consciousness is capable of. Now making this statement has a certain compromise with the church. "Thou must love God" -- so the Christian church is satisfied that he is still talking about God, although a little crazy, because he says, you must love God as not-God. Then who is he?

a woman? a man? a tree? the ocean ...? What do you mean by "not-God"?

So Christianity condemned him, but because he was saying, "Thou must love God," they told him not to publish such writings while he was alive, because they would create doubt in people's minds. And they have been doing that even today.

They prevented one great French scientist, Chardin, from publishing his papers about the Peking man -- he discovered the Peking man -- "because your papers will go against Christianity." And because he was an ordained priest, he had to follow the orders from the Vatican. They destroyed a great man. He could have contributed much. But if you don't have any feedback, if other scientists don't know what you are writing, what you are discovering, and you don't know their opinions ... It needs constant feedback.

Science grows, not by one scientist, it grows amongst all the scientists. There is a constant dialogue going on through papers, through conferences, through books, through periodicals ... a constant dialogue is happening all around the world. That's how science tries to figure out the best hypothesis about anything.

Now preventing Chardin from publishing any paper, from attending any conference, from writing any book while he was alive -- and of course when you are dead somebody else will write it, you will not ... Somebody else does not have the same scientific background, nor the same discovery. And after your death what happens to your ideas will not be a feedback; you will not be able to improve upon it. They destroyed a great scientist of the same caliber as Albert Einstein.

But I am also angry at Chardin. Rather than stopping his writings and researches, why did he not resign from being a Christian priest? He resigned from science in favor of Christian superstition. Nobody has raised the question that he is also part of the whole slavery game; everybody has condemned the Vatican.

I condemn the Vatican, but I also condemn Chardin -- Chardin more than the Vatican.

The Vatican has been doing that for centuries -- that is not new. But why was Chardin such a sheep? Why could he not gather the courage? A man of such tremendous intelligence should have left the priesthood. What was in it? A religion that prevents you from declaring truth is not worth being part of.

But he proved a coward -- he stopped writing. And now a Chardin society exists in France which publishes his works and papers and his researches -- but it is too late. If somebody raises a question, Chardin is not there to answer. And by the time Chardin died, other scientists had come to better hypotheses. If he had been allowed, or if he had had the guts to come out of the church, he would have managed to refine. It is a continuous growth and evolution. Science is not something static.

When Albert Einstein was asked, "If you had not discovered the theory of relativity, do you think it would ever have been discovered?" Albert Einstein said, "It would not have taken more than three weeks." And finally it was found that somebody in Germany had already discovered it before Albert Einstein, but he was a lazy guy and did not publish the paper. So not after three weeks, but three weeks before, it had been found.

Einstein was right -- that when something is there, sooner or later it has to be discovered.

You cannot go on missing it if there is a truth in it.

Eckhart also proved to be a little cowardly, just like Chardin. He came very close, but he continuously maintained that he loved God. Of course he has those conditions "as not- God ..." Then as what? And if you are loving only the isness of existence, then why go on calling it God? Why continue that old superstition, that old lie? Just a compromise with the Vatican, just a fear that if you don't do that much you are taking a risk with your life.

I was born into Jainism, and when I started speaking against their ideologies -- and when I say anything I say it with my total being -- they were unable to answer me. Their highest command decided to expel me from Jainism. But I wrote to them: "You need not expel me, I expel your whole Jainism and your whole Jaina society. You need not expel me, I have already expelled you." So they were shocked, they could not figure out what to do. They could not expel me, I was already outside -- what does it matter? And I don't think it has done any harm to me.

Compromise is always cowardly.

Truth never compromises.

Maneesha, both these people were very close to Zen, but both were cowards. God makes people cowards. Religion makes people cowards. Otherwise, what was the risk? Eckhart should have left Christianity, St. Bernard should have left Christianity, and then they would have been the very first Zen masters in the West. But they missed that great opportunity, that great dignity. They remained slaves of the Christian church.

I want you to be lions and not like sheep as Jesus wanted you to be. He has insulted humanity very badly.

It is time for Sardar Gurudayal Singh -- a really great time. Put on the light, because I want to see the faces of my people laughing!

Three women -- Betty Boobs, Lucy Legs, and Nellie Knickers -- meet at an old high- school reunion. They soon start gossiping about the men they have married, and what they are like in bed.

"My husband, Bob," says Betty Boobs, "is like a 1989 Rolls Royce -- comfortable, sizeable, powerful, and very satisfying!"

"My husband, Larry," says Lucy Legs, "is like a 1970 Cadillac -- still fairly comfortable and satisfying, but lacks performance sometimes. Generally, quite a good ride."

"Hmm, my husband, Norbert," says Nellie Knickers, "is like a vintage Model-T Ford.

"Really?" say the other two, staring at Nellie in amazement. "Why do you say that?"

"Well," continues Nellie, "what I mean is -- he manages to rally twice a year, but he has to be started by hand!"

On the forty-second floor of the Fast Buck Brokers building, executive vice-president, Bilbo Ballbag, is interviewing girls for a secretarial job.

After examining many talented and capable applicants, Bilbo finally hires Gorgeous Gloria for the job.

After two days, Gloria is bending down to get something from the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet, and Bilbo Ballbag gets an eyeful. He immediately calls her into his office.

"Look, Gloria," he says, his eyes playing with her tits, "I wonder if you would mind working with me over the weekend?"

"Sure," says Gloria, giving Bilbo a wink, "that would be great."

"Good," replies Bilbo, "we can get all this extra work done aboard my luxury sailboat!"

"Ah, dear," says Gloria, "but I get terribly seasick."

"Don't worry!" says Bilbo, perspiring as he loosens his tie. "I will take care of everything."

That evening, on his way home from work, Bilbo stops in at the drugstore. He goes up to the counter and approaches Victor Vaseline, the clerk.

"Give me a pack of Trojan condoms," says Bilbo, "and a bottle of seasickness pills."

"Yes, sir," says Victor, fumbling around under the counter, and discreetly handing Bilbo the two items. "It is none of my business, sir," continues Victor, "but if it affects you like that, why do you bother?"

Amongst the early Christians, it was rumored that the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, was blessed with enormous sexual machinery, which used to terrorize all his followers, men and women alike.

As the story goes: On that fateful day on Calvary Hill, Jesus had been hanging on his cross for a couple of hours, staring up at the sky, waiting for Godot.

He looks down and sees his favorite girl, Mary Magdalena, weeping in the crowd, and feels a stirring of the spirit in his loincloth.

"Mary! Mary!" Jesus calls out. "Come closer!"

Hesitantly, Mary walks out of the crowd towards the cross. She comes closer, but stops in her tracks when she sees the huge growing lump in Christ's knickers.

"Mary! Mary!" moans Jesus. "Closer, come closer!"

Mary shuffles forward nervously eyeing the ever-growing mountain in his underpants -- then she stops, again.

"Mary! Mary!" gasps Jesus. "I have something from the Holy Ghost to impart to you -- come closer!"

"Ah! Christ, No!" cries Mary, her eyes popping out. "Don't give me anymore of that Holy Ghost shit! I can see your resurrection from here!"

Nivedano ...



Nivedano ...


Be silent ...

Close your eyes, and feel your body to be completely frozen.

This is the right moment to enter inwards. Gather all your energy, your total consciousness, and rush towards the center of your being, which is just below your navel, inside -- two inches below, exactly -- with an urgency, as if this is the last moment of your life. Only those people have ever reached to their center who had this urgency, this intensity.

Faster and faster ...

Deeper and deeper ...

As you come closer to your inner center, a great silence descends over you just like soft rain with all its coolness. And inside you, a great peace arises, a peace that passeth understanding.

A little more close -- and you feel so blessed.

A little more close, and you are getting drunk with the divine. Just one step and you are at the center of your being, utterly ecstatic.

As you get centered, you are no more, just a pure isness. This isness we have called symbolically, the buddha. This is your original being.

Centered, silent, no more your old being -- utterly naked, just a pillar of light ... you are the buddha.

Everybody is born with a hidden buddha in him.

The word buddha means the awakened one.

It is everybody's eternal birthright.

The buddha has only one quality: watching, witnessing.

Witness that you are not the body.

Witness that you are not the mind.

And finally, witness that you are only a witness -- just a mirror reflecting everything.

At this moment you are the most fortunate people on the earth. Everybody is concerned with trivia; you are entering into the essential and the eternal.

You can feel a tremendous reverence for existence, a great joy in the sacredness of everything. The whole universe becomes your home; you are not an outsider.

To make your witnessing deeper, Nivedano ...

(Drumbeat) Relax ... but go on remembering that you are only a witness.

As your witnessing deepens, you start melting into an ocean of consciousness. Ten thousand buddhas disappear into one consciousness, into one ocean of consciousness.

Gautama the Buddha Auditorium has turned into an ocean of consciousness without any waves and without any ripples -- utterly silent and quiet.

This is your real space, this is your no-mind. From this no-mind you can enter into the cosmos. This is the door, the opening.

Collect the peace, the silence, the blissfulness, the ecstasy, the divine drunkenness, before Nivedano calls you back.

And also persuade the buddha to come behind you -- he is your dhamma. He is your nature; you have just never requested him. And he has been waiting and waiting, hidden deep inside you. A sincere request, a welcoming heart, and he is bound to come behind you.

This is the first step of enlightenment: Gautam Buddha behind you as a shadow. But the shadow is miraculous, the shadow is not dark; the shadow is pure light, pure presence.

You can feel the warmth of it, you can almost feel the touch of it. It surrounds you with a new fragrance, and it gives you a totally new dimension to live.

Your everyday acts start changing their color, their approach. Your very life becomes meditative.

At the second stage, the buddha comes in front of you, and you become the shadow. To be a shadow of the buddha is a beautiful experience. And the experience goes on becoming deeper and deeper as the shadow disappears.

At the third and final stage, there is no more of you -- not even a shadow, only the buddha is.

This isness is the master key to open all the doors of the mysterious existence that surrounds you. Once you have the key, you are the master of your own being. There is nobody above you, there is nobody below you. For the first time you experience a tremendous communion with the whole existence.

I call this the only authentic spirituality, the only authentic religiousness.

Now don't forget to request the buddha to come behind you ...

Nivedano ...


Come back ... but come as a buddha, with great grace, peace, silence.

Sit down for a few moments just to remember the golden path that you have traveled, the center that you have found within you, the opening into the cosmos, and all those fragrances from the beyond; the silence showering on you, and the warmth of the buddha who has come behind you.

You can feel him. It is your very nature. It is you in your truthfulness, in your existential experience.

If the first step is complete, the second will follow automatically. When the second is complete, the third will follow automatically.

The day you will complete the third step will be the most fortunate day in your life. That day you will be awakened from a long, long sleep, a spiritual sleep. That day you will become enlightened.

Then there is no more birth, no more death. You have become one with the whole.

This is the only holiness I know of. There is no other.

Okay, Maneesha?

Yes, Beloved Master.

I Celebrate Myself: God Is No Where, Life Is Now Here

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"Whenever an American or a Filipino fell at Bataan or Corregidor
or at any other of the now historic spots where MacArthur's men
put up their remarkable fight, their survivors could have said
with truth:

'The real reason that boy went to his death, was because Hitler's
anti-semitic movement succeeded in Germany.'"

(The American Hebrew, July 24, 1942).