The sunlit peaks of sacredness
I HAVE JUST FINISHED READING THE BOOK ABOUT JESUS AND HIS JOURNEY TO KASHMIR AFTER THE CRUCIFIXION, AND NOW I HAVE A PHOTOGRAPHIC PICTURE IN MY MIND OF THE MAN AND HIS UNQUENCHABLE THIRST FOR TRUTH.
HEARING STORIES ABOUT YOU, OR THE BUDDHA BEFORE ENLIGHTENMENT, THERE WAS THE SAME UNQUENCHABLE THIRST. BUT HERE I AM WITH YOU FEELING LIKE A DRY LEAF, BLOWING IN THE WIND -- SEARCHING FOR TRUTH, BUT BEING DISTRACTED BY EVERY GUST OF WIND THAT TAKES ME WHEREVER IT WISHES TO. WILL BEING IN YOUR PRESENCE MORE AND MORE HELP ME TO INTENSIFY MY SEARCH, AND ENABLE ME TO USE THESE GUSTS OF WIND TO TAKE ME FURTHER ON THE PATH TOWARDS TRUTH?
Vimal, there is a saying of Jesus: "Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and ye shall find, knock and the door shall be opened unto you." These are beautiful words, but only on a very superficial plane. They have poetry in them, and they have a certain truth also; but unfortunately I have to disagree with them.
If I were to write them again, I would say, "Ask not, and it shall be given to you," because asking is desiring, asking is demanding, asking is impatience. Asking is not trust, is not love. Love never asks, but it is given all. It never asks, but it is always understood.
"Seek not; otherwise you will miss it," because every search leads you away from yourself; every path leads you away from yourself. "Seek ye not; just be, and you have found it," because it is something within you. It is not something far away, it has not to be found; it is the finder himself. It has not to be sought, it is the seeker himself. The moment you are silent, neither asking nor seeking, you have it, you are it.
"Knock not, because every knock makes you a beggar," because all knocking is on the doors of others. And it is not a question of finding it in somebody else's house; it is there within you. There are no doors for you to knock on. You have just to be utterly centered, and the doors are always open. This is what Lao Tzu would say, and this is what Chuang Tzu would say. I know if Jesus had been born in the East, he would have said the same thing. It is the Western atmosphere, where all search is for the object and nobody cares about the seeker.
There are great scientists of tremendous intelligence who discover many things in their lives, but go on missing themselves. The reason is that they are always searching for something; but one's own being is already there -- you have just to be in a relaxed state of consciousness, in a let-go.
I am reminded of one of the most important women who has walked on the earth, Rabiya al-Adabiya. She is truly a rebel, and without being a rebel nobody can be religious.
Rebellion is the very foundation of being religious. The orthodox can never be religious, the traditional can never be religious.
She was going to the market, just to fetch some vegetables, and she saw a great Sufi, well known all over the country, Junnaid. He was sitting outside the mosque praying loudly and looking at the sky, crying, "When are you going to hear me? Why don't you open the doors? I have been waiting so long, do you hear me or not? I'm tired of knocking on your doors."
Rabiya stood behind him, heard all this and hit his head. He looked back -- because it is very sacrilegious to disturb someone who is in prayer -- and there stood that strange woman, Rabiya. And she said, "Junnaid, are you going to mature or not? Are you absolutely blind? -- because the doors are open. The doors are always open, twenty-four hours, day and night. What kind of nonsense is this, that you go on asking God `Open the doors'? Even God cannot do anything -- how can he open doors which are always open?
Just look silently; the doors are not outside. Close your eyes and see. And remember, the next time I hear you say all this nonsense I'm going to hit you really hard! By your prayer you are avoiding yourself."
It was a sudden enlightening experience. Junnaid closed his eyes, looked within... the doors are open. What you are seeking is hidden within you, and if you go on seeking it you will go on missing it.
Vimal, don't make the search for truth a serious phenomenon. Take it easy, and remember "easy is right." If strong winds take you hither and thither, don't resist; they appear strong because of your resistance. Relax, go with them. Go with them, with totality.
Lao Tzu became enlightened sitting under a tree, seeing an old dead leaf falling from the tree, slowly. Winds were taking it this way and that way, and it had no resistance. It was totally willing to go anywhere -- because the truth that you are seeking is everywhere. All that is needed is a relaxed consciousness to see it.
Those winds are not against you, they are not distracting you. Your resistance is the problem. You have made your search very serious. Be a little more playful. Dance with the wind; allow the wind to take you to the north, to the south, to the east, to the west, without any resistance.
In your resistance exists your ego. "What is ego?" people ask. It is your resistance to existence. "And what is egolessness?" It is your relaxed state of being, a let-go. Wherever the winds take you, go with totality -- willingly, joyously, dancing, singing.
It is not that you will find the truth where the winds are taking you. You will find the truth in your non-resistance; you will find the truth in your let-go, in your playfulness, in your non-seriousness, in your laughter.
Sick people have dominated humanity for too long -- psychologically sick, spiritually sick -- and they have made everybody serious. My whole approach is that of playfulness, non-seriousness, taking it easy.
Relaxation is prayer.
Non-resistance is egolessness.
And in egolessness all is found.
The serious are tense, the serious are worried. The serious are always concerned whether they are on the right path... and there are no milestones.
All paths are imaginary.
Existence is just like the sky, there are no paths. The birds fly, but they don't leave any footprints; the sky remains pathless. So is your consciousness a far more clean and far more clear space, where there are no footprints, no paths.
You cannot go astray. To go astray you need a path. And finding the truth is not the goal, finding the truth cannot be made an ambition. Finding the truth is finding yourself. And you can find yourself only in a relaxed state. Who can distract you from yourself? The wind may take you to the north, or to the south, but it cannot distract you from yourself; wherever you are you are.
If you start being playful in life you have learned the greatest prayer; you have learned the pathless path.
Most major cities have a dial-a-prayer number for anyone requiring religious reassurance in the form of a brief, pre-recorded sermon. Now there is talk of establishing a similar number for atheists: when you dial it, no one answers.
And I think that will be far closer to reality than a pre-recorded sermon. If you can listen to the silence -- no one is answering, you are left alone -- it can become a meditation.
There is no goal. You are not to go somewhere, and there is not some object to be found.
You have just to relax into such a deep state that you can settle within yourself. In that very settling you have come home.
THE OTHER DAY, OUT OF THE SILENCE OF YOUR NAMASTE CAME THE UNEXPECTED GIFT OF YOUR DANCE. MY HEART BURST OPEN, AND SUDDENLY I WAS LIKE A CHILD, INNOCENT AND UTTERLY IN AWE OF THE MYSTERY OF YOUR PRESENCE. WOULD YOU PLEASE SAY SOMETHING ABOUT HOW IT IS THAT THE SLIGHTEST GESTURE MADE BY YOU AFFECTS US SO DEEPLY?
Puja Melissa, love is the greatest alchemy in the world. It transforms small things into great, into precious experiences. Just a bird singing, received in silence and love, is more valuable than God speaking to Moses, because that is a fiction -- and not a very nice one, either.
When Moses reached the mountain on Sinai to meet God, he saw a miracle; he saw a green bush, lush green, and yet surrounded by flames. As he came closer, a voice from the bush shouted at him, "Moses, take your shoes off! You are on holy ground" -- not a very nice beginning to a conversation. Moses must have been a very obedient person; otherwise he would have asked, "Can you tell me where is the land which is not holy?
Should I carry my shoes on my head?"
The whole existence is holy.
But the poor fellow was so amazed by a voice without any person around, and the bush on fire, and yet green, lush green....
God gave him ten commandments, ten pieces of stone, and on each piece one commandment was written: "Thou shall not commit adultery"... not a great meeting -- in a way insulting and humiliating. And poor Moses carried all those ten stones; they must have been heavy.
But, in the whole thing, the only significant part is the green bush in the flames of fire. As far as I am concerned, I take only that part to be important in the whole encounter. Jews have not bothered much about the bush and the fire; they are much more concerned with the ten commandments and God's declaration of the Holy Land.
If you enter into yourself you will find this very experience: flames of life and the green bush with flowers of ecstasy, of blissfulness, existing together. Those flames represent the revolution, and that green bush represents the coolness and the calmness....
You may have come across calm and cool people, but they are not revolutionaries; they are dull, unintelligent, almost idiots. You may have come across revolutionaries who are fiery, but they don't have the calmness and the quietness and the peace which can make their revolution meaningful. Otherwise, the same fire that cooks your food can burn your house too.
To me, the meeting of Moses with God is simply a myth. Real religion, authentic religion, is concerned with your love, with your trust, with your joy. And when you see through the eyes of love, a small flower becomes so mysterious, the faraway song of a cuckoo becomes far more holy than any scripture.
You love me; that's why my smallest gesture makes an immense impact on you. It is not the gesture, it is your love. There may be somebody else sitting by your side to whom the gesture means nothing, just a movement of the hand. If his heart is not full of love, then just the movement of the hand is meaningless; if his heart is full of love, the hand, its grace, can be indicative of greater mysteries and secrets of life.
This is one of the mysteries of life, that life is how you see it. It depends on your eyes. If you have the eyes of a poet the same trees are greener, livelier; they have a message, they whisper things into the ears of the poet. But if you are not a poet you pass by the same trees without even noticing them. All depends on you.
Your whole life experience goes on growing with your growing consciousness. As your consciousness becomes more and more juicy, life becomes more and more divine.
Because you love me, my words have a meaning to you which they will not have without your loving heart. Your love contributes ninety percent, at least, to the meaning of my words or my gestures.
The day you are capable of contributing one hundred percent, then my gesture becomes your gesture, then my word becomes your word, then my heartbeat becomes your heartbeat. That state I call the state of the devotee: a merger, a melting of two souls into one.
But, unfortunately, in the name of love such pseudo things exist in the world that they have contaminated the greatest word we have. People "love" their cars, people "love" their houses. They don't understand that love is a sacred experience, it is not mundane.
The moment you pull it down to the world of mundane reality you are being terribly destructive. You have to raise the mundane reality to the level of love, the sunlit peaks of sacredness.
But people are doing just the opposite -- and suffering unnecessarily. Life is not meant to be a suffering; it is meant to be a blissfulness. But one has to learn the art.
Brickman and Horowitz were relaxing on the beach in Puerto Rico. "You know," said Brickman, "this Racquel Welch -- what does everyone see in her? Take away her hair, her lips, her eyes and her figure, and what have you got?"
Horowitz said, "My wife."
These are our love relationships. Rather than adding to things, beautifying existence, we are living in such negativity that we take away. Take away the lips of a beautiful woman, take away her hair, take away her eyes, and what is left? And of course, if this is your approach to looking at things, your life is going to be a hell -- worse than hell.
Love contributes tremendously, beautifies things. Where it was prose, love makes it a poetry; where it was just an ordinary flower, love makes it extraordinary. Love has the magic of transforming the whole world around you into a sacred existence.
I call the man materialistic who does not know the art of love; I don't call a man materialistic who does not believe in God. And I don't call a man religious who believes in God. I call a man religious who goes on growing in his love, in his trust, and goes on spreading his ecstasy all around existence.
People are so stupid that they are trying to demystify everything. The whole effort of science is to demystify existence, to know everything. So, of course, the way to know Racquel Welch is to dissect her on the table of the scientist. Take her hair apart, her eyes apart... and then see what is left. There is no beauty, there is no soul, there is no life; science has demystified a beautiful woman.
Religion mystifies existence. It makes the meaningless songs of birds as meaningful as great poetry, as great music. It makes ordinary trees as significant as great paintings.
It is up to you where you want to live, in hell or in heaven, because wherever you want to live you will have to create it. It is not something ready-made, so that you purchase a ticket and catch a train. It is something to be created.
Love can create paradise herenow.
My whole teaching is love more, to the point when you yourself become just a source of love, and nothing else.
"Hey man," one hippie said to another, "turn on the radio."
"Okay," the second hippie answered. And then leaning over very close to the radio he whispered, "I love you." He is turning on the radio.
We have destroyed beautiful words so ignorantly, and by destroying them we have destroyed ourselves -- because what are we except our attitudes?
Melissa, you could see in my movements a beauty, a grace, a significance because your heart is full of love. I want to remind you that the beauty is not in the gestures, the beauty is in the eyes that see it. I want you to be responsible for the hell or heaven in which you live. And once you understand the responsibility, I don't think anybody is going to live in hell.
HOW CAN I TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ONE PART OF THE MIND OBSERVING ANOTHER PART OF THE MIND, AND THE WATCHER? CAN THE WATCHER WATCH ITSELF? ONE TIME I THOUGHT I HAD GOT IT AND THEN THAT SAME DAY I HEARD YOU SAY IN A DISCOURSE, "IF YOU THINK YOU'VE GOT THE WATCHER, YOU'VE MISSED."
SINCE THEN I TRY WATCHING FEELINGS IN THE BODY, THOUGHTS, AND EMOTIONS. MOSTLY, I'M JUST CAUGHT IN THEM. BUT, ONCE IN A WHILE, RARELY, I FEEL TREMENDOUSLY RELAXED AND NOTHING STAYS -- IT JUST KEEPS MOVING. IS THERE ANYTHING TO DO?
Deva Waduda, one has to start watching the body -- walking, sitting, going to bed, eating.
One should start from the most solid, because it is easier, and then one should move to subtler experiences. One should start watching thoughts, and when one becomes an expert in watching thoughts, then one should start watching feelings. After you feel that you can watch your feelings, then you should start watching your moods, which are even more subtle than your feelings, and more vague.
The miracle of watching is that as you are watching the body, your watcher is becoming stronger; as you are watching the thoughts, your watcher is becoming stronger; as you are watching the feelings, the watcher is becoming even more strong. When you are watching your moods the watcher is so strong that it can remain itself -- watching itself -- just as a candle in the dark night not only lights everything around it, it also lights itself.
To find the watcher in its purity is the greatest achievement in spirituality, because the watcher in you is your very soul; the watcher in you is your immortality. But never for a single moment think, "I have got it," because that is the moment when you miss.
Watching is an eternal process; you always go on becoming deeper and deeper, but you never come to the end where you can say "I have got it." In fact, the deeper you go, the more you become aware that you have entered into a process which is eternal-- without any beginning and without any end.
But people are watching only others; they never bother to watch themselves. Everybody is watching -- that is the most superficial watching -- what the other person is doing, what the other person is wearing, how he looks.... Everybody is watching; watching is not something new to be introduced in your life. It has only to be deepened, taken away from others, and arrowed towards your own inner feelings, thoughts, moods -- and finally, the watcher itself.
A Jew is sitting in a train opposite a priest. "Tell me, your worship," the Jew asks, "why do you wear your collar back to front?"
"Because I am a father," answers the priest.
"I am also a father, and I don't wear my collar like that," says the Jew. "Oh," says the priest, "but I am a father to thousands."
"Then maybe," replies the Jew, "it is your trousers you should wear back to front."
People are very watchful about everybody else.
Two Polacks went out for a walk; suddenly it began to rain. "Quick," said one man, "open your umbrella."
"It won't help," said his friend, "my umbrella is full of holes."
"Then why did you bring it in the first place?"
"I did not think it would rain."
You can laugh very easily about the ridiculous acts of other people, but have you ever laughed about yourself? Have you ever caught yourself doing something ridiculous? No, you keep yourself completely unwatched; your whole watching is about others, and that is not of any help.
Use this energy of watchfulness for a transformation of your being. It can bring you so much bliss and so much benediction that you cannot even dream about it. A simple process, but once you start using it on yourself it becomes a meditation.
One can make meditations out of anything.
Anything that leads you to yourself is meditation. And it is immensely significant to find your own meditation, because in the very finding you will find great joy. And because it is your own finding -- not some ritual imposed upon you -- you will love to go deeper into it. The deeper you go into it, the happier you will feel -- peaceful, more silent, more together, more dignified, more graceful.
You all know watching, so there is no question of learning it. It is just a question of changing the object of watching. Bring them closer.
Watch your body, and you will be surprised. I can move my hand without watching, and I can move my hand with watching. You will not see the difference, but I can feel the difference. When I move it with watchfulness, there is a grace and beauty in it, a peacefulness, and a silence. You can walk, watching each step; it will give you all the benefit that walking can give you as an exercise, plus it will give you the benefit of a great simple meditation.
The temple in Bodhgaya where Gautam Buddha became enlightened has been made in memory of two things... one is a Bodhi tree under which he used to sit. Just by the side of the tree there are small stones for a slow walk. He was meditating, sitting, and when he would feel that sitting had been too much -- a little exercise was needed for the body -- he would walk on those stones. That was his walking meditation.
When I was in Bodhgaya, having a meditation camp there, I went to the temple. I saw Buddhist lamas from Tibet, from Japan, from China. They were all paying their respect to the tree, and I saw not a single one paying his respect to those stones on which Buddha had walked miles and miles. I told them, "This is not right. You should not forget those stones. They have been touched by Gautam Buddha's feet millions of times. But I know why you are not paying any attention to them, because you have forgotten completely that Buddha was emphasizing that you should watch every act of your body: walking, sitting, lying down."
You should not let a single moment go by unconsciously. Watchfulness will sharpen your consciousness. This is the essential religion -- all else is simply talk. But Waduda, you ask me, "Is there something more?" No, if you can do only watchfulness, nothing else is needed.
My effort here is to make religion as simple as possible. All the religions have done just the opposite: they have made things very complex -- so complex that people have never tried them. For example, in the Buddhist scriptures there are thirty-three thousand principles to be followed by a Buddhist monk; even to remember them is impossible. Just the very number thirty-three thousand is enough to freak you out: "I am finished! My whole life will be disturbed and destroyed."
I teach you: just find a single principle that suits you, that feels in tune with you, and that is enough.
The Golden Future