You don't have to become a mountain climber
SITTING WITH YOU IN DISCOURSE AND HEARING YOU TALK ABOUT ENLIGHTENMENT AND SILENCE, I FEEL IMMENSELY BLESSED, SOMETIMES ALMOST TOUCHING THIS SPACE OF COMING HOME, AND SILENCE COMES TO MY MIND.
BUT AS SOON AS YOU LEAVE THROUGH THE DOOR AND THE MUSIC STOPS, IMMEDIATELY THE CHATTERING INSIDE STARTS AGAIN. FOR ME IT IS MUCH MORE DIFFICULT TO BECOME SILENT WHEN I AM MEDITATING ALONE, BUT SO EASY IN YOUR PRESENCE.
IS THIS NATURAL IN THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN A MASTER AND A DISCIPLE?
Deva Anuragini, it is very natural. Being in the presence of a master, silence happens on its own accord. Just as in the deep Himalayas, where the snow is eternal and the silence almost ancient... just sitting there under a tree, you start feeling, falling in tune with the immensity that surrounds you.
To be in the presence of the master is even more deep-going. Because what is the meaning of being in the presence of the master? It is being with someone you love, someone you trust; someone with whom you are ready to go into the unknown. Being in this climate, you forget your trivial matters; and forgetting comes easy, not by your effort.
The master is silent and silence is contagious.
His heart slowly slowly brings you also into a synchronicity. You start beating with his heart, in the same rhythm.
This is a beautiful experience in itself, but it is only a lesson on the path; it simply gives you a glimpse. Silence has to come to you in your aloneness, then it is your own.
Otherwise, silence in the Himalayas belongs to the Himalayas; you are simply overwhelmed. And the silence in the presence of the master belongs to the master; you are simply touched. That's why, as soon as you are left alone to yourself, your old mind is back; it has just been waiting by the side. It comes with a vengeance.
You have to understand one thing: that the presence of the master simply gives you an indication that you are capable of silence, that mind is not your master. That it is not an impossibility; that you can have a little taste of it. Whilst being alone, remember it: that the mind is just a servant mechanism.
Watch it; it is very ancient, and your silence is very new. Your silence is almost like a roseflower and your chattering mind is like a rock, very ancient, very old. It can crush the roseflower at any moment unless you are aware, unless you learn one lesson -- that mind may go on, yakkety-yak, chattering, but you should not become part of it.
Certainly you are not the mind, just as you are not the body. You are within the body, within the mind, but your center is separate from the cyclone. It has a totally different quality to it. Silence, stillness is just natural to it; it is its flowering.
We have got mixed up. Being too close to the mind, working twenty-four hours with the mechanism, you have forgotten the distinction.
Just this much has happened, that you have forgotten something which is very essential.
The original root from which the word 'sin' comes, means forgetfulness. To me this is the only sin. All else are just mistakes which can be corrected. And once this sin is dropped, many other mistakes, fallacies, will disappear on their own accord.
A simple strategy is needed; I call it meditation. You can call it anything -- awareness, alertness, remembering, watchfulness; the names don't matter. What matters is that you should be able not to get into the chattering of the mind. Just be a watcher. Don't participate. Just stand aside and see. Don't even try to stop its chattering, because even in stopping it you have lost your watchfulness. You have become a participant -- unfriendly, but still you have become a participant in the process.
This is a very simple phenomenon once you see the point that you can stand aside and let the mind go. Don't judge what is going on in the mind as right or wrong. Don't evaluate, just remain an indifferent watcher. The mind is almost like the traffic on the road. It is none of your concern to think about everybody who is passing on the road; it is just a habit.
You may have heard about a great English linguist, Dr. Johnson, whose dictionary is still used. He had got into the habit, while going for a walk, of touching every electric pole. If by some chance, he would forget to touch and then remember, he would go back. He could not go ahead without touching it because he would feel something is missing. He became so identified with the habit that no friend liked to go with him, even for a morning walk, because it looked so stupid...
"I am standing in the middle of the road and you have gone back to touch an electric pole? Why do you do that?"
And he said, "That's the question: Why do I do it? But if I don't do it, it seems something is missing."
Your mind and your getting involved with it, are not very different. You have to learn to disidentify yourself.
See the mind working.
But don't make any judgment, either to stop it, or to help it, or to prevent it. In no other sense should you move from your indifference.
You will be surprised: a miracle is waiting for you. The moment you are completely indifferent, standing by the side, the traffic on the road slows down. Less thoughts are coming; bigger gaps between thoughts are happening. And those bigger gaps will give you such a beautiful peace, such silence.
So two things are happening: the mind is slowing down and gaps of silence are enriching you, nourishing you, making you stronger to become disidentified. You have learnt the secret; now the key is in your hand. Watching, finally one comes to a point when one thought leaves and another thought does not come for hours. One is simply watching and the road is empty.
This silence is yours.
The silence in my presence, or in the Himalayas, or in a silent deep forest is not yours.
You are simply overwhelmed by something so great that your small mind simply stops.
But it is not much of a gain, you should not become habituated to it; otherwise, whenever you want to be silent you have to come close to me. That has become a dependence.
No real master would like his disciples to be dependent on him. The whole effort of an authentic master is to make you independent, to make you a master. How long are you going to remain a disciple?
But it is all in your hands. I can give you the glimpses at the most. But those glimpses are keys; you should learn something from them. One thing is certain, you are capable of being silent. A second thing is certain, that your mind stops. Now the only thing to get hold of is how to do it on your own so that wherever you are, you are surrounded by silence and all its beauties and blessings.
There is a rule called Finagle's Eighth Rule: Teamwork is essential; it allows you to blame someone else.
Don't blame me for your silence -- take responsibility. Even when you are here, I may be the triggering point but the silence is yours. I may have been a catalytic agent, but the silence is yours.
After acquiring enough money from handouts, an inhabitant of the Bowery decided to take his refreshment at one of Wall Street's better drinking establishments.
A financial tycoon seated next to him was visibly appalled at the appearance and odor of the down-and-outer -- so much so, that he turned to the man and pointedly said, " 'Cleanliness is next to godliness' -- John Wesley."
His words were ignored by the bum.
A few minutes later, the financier again intoned loudly, " 'Cleanliness is next to godliness' -- John Wesley!" Still he was ignored.
Finally, the visibly irritated financier shouted in the man's face, " 'Cleanliness is next to godliness' -- John Wesley!"
To which the skid row bum calmly replied, "'Screw you' -- Tennessee Williams."
The poor fellow must have been holding himself as much as he could. But an old habit...
finally, he could not manage; it was too much. He forgot completely where he was and that he had to behave in a mannerly way.
Your mind has collected all kinds of rubbish -- it is a bum. And whenever you are sitting alone, you don't have anything to do, the mind has every opportunity to exhibit all its accumulations. And it is because you become interested in it, remember: being DISinterested in it is also a kind of interest; being against it is also a kind of friendship. It is a love-hate relationship. You wanted to be silent, but just your wanting won't help.
Even if you shout to it, "Stop! Don't go on chattering," it is not going to listen.
In fact, the only way mind has ever become silent is whenever you are utterly indifferent -- as if it is not your mind and it does not matter whether it chatters or not. When your indifference is so deep that it does not matter if it chatters... Let him chatter.
If the mind stops chattering, don't start patting your back. Just remain calm and quiet, alert and watchful... and mind has always stopped. Meditation has never failed if you have followed the right rule.
WHEN I HEARD YOU TELLING THE STORY OF BUDDHA SENDING SARIPUTTA BACK TO HIS KINGDOM, THIS SUDDEN FEAR AROSE: IF I GOT ENLIGHTENED, YOU WOULDN'T SEND ME BACK TO TEXAS, WOULD YOU?
Sarito, it seems you are from Texas. Nobody has ever heard that any Texan has become enlightened, so it is a very faraway possibility. Texan and enlightened? -- it has never been heard!
Moreover, if by being a sannyasin you have dropped the idea of these stupid divisions of nations, states, races, religions, and you have become simply a human being, an inhabitant of this whole beautiful planet, you may become enlightened. But certainly I will not send you to Texas, because there is a famous rule of Mars: An expert is anyone from out of town. In Texas nobody is going to hear you. I will send you somewhere else.
But I will send you, certainly, so beware of enlightenment. If you don't want to go, don't become enlightened!
But I think it is worth going. It is worth going anywhere, because once you are enlightened, you need to share it. You have to go to those who are still groping in the dark. With enlightenment necessarily comes a deep feeling of compassion. The people may not listen to you; the people may even feel irritated and annoyed by you; the people may even be condemnatory of you, but still you will have a deep compassion.
Whatever they are doing is bound to be -- they are ignorant. You have also been ignorant and you have also behaved in the same patterns. Now you are out of darkness, you can understand: those who are in darkness are going to behave accordingly. But they need help -- in spite of themselves they need help.
And by giving help to those who are living in unawareness, in unconsciousness, your own enlightenment will become richer. It will grow new dimensions to it. So it is not only helping them; you are also being helped immensely. Sharing what you have, you will have more of it.
Existence is never in favor of hoarders, of misers.
Existence believes in abundance.
Otherwise what is the need of so many flowers? -- just a few chosen flowers, lotuses, roses, would have been enough. What is the need of millions of flowers? There are hundreds of scientists, continually discovering new species of flowers... and there are still places where man has not reached.
I know a place in the Himalayas where there is a flower valley. I have looked down into it, but it seems nobody has ever descended there. The mountain is so steep that it seems almost impossible to get down to the valley; it is thousands of feet deep. And the flowers look so rare, with such rare colors; I have not seen those flowers anywhere else.
I have inquired of experts, but they say nobody wants to get into trouble. If somehow one could reach down there, then coming back is out of the question. People have looked, they have photographed. They have enlarged the photographs, and they were amazed that these flowers don't belong to any species that we know. And this may not be the only place like this.
We have thought up to now that Everest is the highest peak of the Himalayas. But just a few days ago the Chinese discovered a new peak which is higher than Everest. It is a Himalayan peak, but in the whole past nobody had even thought that there was anything higher than Everest. And there are thousands of places in the Himalayas which have never been reached by human beings. They all grow strange flowers, with a strange perfume.
Existence is very abundant. And if you want to be part of existence -- and that's what enlightenment is, becoming part of the whole -- you cannot be a miser. You will have to reach people. They will prevent you, because the blind person does not want to hear about light. It hurts him because it makes him feel again that he is blind. He would love to know that there is no light, that it is only a fiction and there are no people who have eyes; these are just very cunning people. The blind man will be very respectful to the person who declares, "There is no light and there are no eyes and you are a perfect being.
You need not feel humiliated that you are lacking something."
But this is the trouble. If you talk to the blind man about light, he is going to be angry with you because you are hurting him. But without hurting him you cannot help him. You cannot take him to a physician; you cannot help him to be cured. You cannot give him the world of light and colors and beauties.
Eighty percent of life consists of eyes; a blind man lives only twenty percent. This is the ordinary blindness. The unenlightened perhaps does not see at all in the spiritual sense.
Enlightenment brings one hundred percent a new light, a new life, and a new laughter to your being.
Sarito, you yourself would like to go to Texas, although Texas is not the right place. But if you become enlightened, don't be worried -- you can find people here who are unenlightened; help them. Why be concerned about Texas? And in Texas nobody is going to listen to you. You have heard the rule: An expert is anyone from out of town.
In Hindustani there is a similar proverb: The drums which are very distant -- it seems almost an echo -- they are the most beautiful drums.
In ancient Hebrew there is a proverb; Jesus has quoted it: A prophet is never respected by his own people.
In fact, instead of respecting, they crucify their own prophet. It is always good to reach to strangers because they will be able, at least just out of courtesy, to listen to you. If you go to your own people who have known you as blind, they cannot believe that now you have become enlightened.
I will not send you anywhere -- you will ask to be sent somewhere, to help someone. I am saying it out of my own experience. After enlightenment, I could have rested and not bothered unnecessarily about people from whom I can get only condemnation. They are not crucifying me because it is a little out of date. They are not assassinating me because they have learned one thing: once you assassinate an enlightened man, the assassination becomes the cause of a tremendous tradition. The people who were never interested in the man become immediately interested -- "Why have you assassinated him?" If Jesus had not been crucified there would have been no Christianity, no possibility at all.
So the fools have also learned something: condemn, say all kinds of lies against people you would like to crucify, but don't crucify. You have done it once, and you are still suffering. Two thousand years have passed, and Christianity goes on growing. Jews can never forgive themselves that they did such a stupid act as crucifying Jesus; otherwise, how many followers had he? -- twelve uneducated apostles, villagers, fishermen... not a single rabbi, not a single learned professor, not a single man belonging to the higher society.
And these twelve beggars who had gathered around Jesus had nothing to do with religion.
Their whole interest was, "He is the only begotten son of God"; if they go on clinging to him, there is a possibility for them to enter into paradise!
On the last night when Jesus is about to be caught, you can see their desire. They are not worried about his being caught; they are not worried about the rumors that he will be crucified, they are worried: "Lord, in paradise of course you will have the second place to God, but what will be the order for us? Who will be the third? Who will be the fourth?" -- a poor lot, greedy, not concerned with religion at all. Their concern is that in this life they have suffered much; they have been poor, uneducated. At least now there is a chance to hang around the only begotten son of God. And when on the last judgment day he chooses the people who are to be taken into heaven, of course those twelve apostles will be the first; they are making it guaranteed. At the last moment they are asking such nonsense.
Gautam Buddha also asked his disciples, "Do you have something to ask?" And he had ten thousand disciples, but they all simply remained silent.
They said, "You have said so much, and we have not practiced even that. Don't make us feel ashamed. In this last moment of your life we would like you to relax and be silent.
We don't have any question; we don't want to disturb you at all." This was a totally different kind of assembly; they were concerned for their master that his death should be silent and peaceful. He had done so much.
But Jesus had a different kind of gang. They were all interested in how to enter into paradise; Jesus was just the right person to hang around. If somebody had proved that he was not the only begotten son of God they would have been the first to escape. Then why unnecessarily waste your time? Just go back and catch fish, or farm your fields, or go to your orchards. Don't waste time unnecessarily -- you are poor already.
The moment you become enlightened, a tremendous desire will arise in you to share it with all and sundry.
A wealthy, ninety-five-year-old multimillionaire is meeting with his financial adviser.
The adviser is very excited and tells the old man, "I just found out about an investment I can make for you which will double your money in just five years!"
"Five years? Are you kidding?" exclaims the old man. "At my age, I don't even buy green bananas."
Who knows? By the time they are ripe, you may not be here. Experience teaches a few things. My experience is that once you are enlightened, you are so full, just like a rain cloud, you want to shower. Yes, even in Texas!
TO SIT WITH YOU IS LIKE DRINKING FROM A MOUNTAIN STREAM. MY OWN ATTEMPTS AT MEDITATION AND MOMENTS OF LOVE BRING, AT THE MOST, CITY WATER. HOW CAN I FIND YOUR CLARITY AND SILENCE IN ME?
About silence and clarity, Shantamo, we will discuss later. First be sure that the city water is not from Poona -- it is polluted!
It is true; you have given a good comparison. You say, "To sit with you is like drinking from a mountain stream. My own attempts at meditation and moments of love bring, at the most, city water.
"How can I find your clarity and silence in me?"
There is no qualitative difference between the water in a mountain stream and the unpolluted water coming from your tap -- there is no qualitative difference. If you have tasted, the difference will be in richness. The stream water is cool, fresh, always new. It is coming from melted snows from the high mountain.
All that you have to know is that even if you have started to taste the ordinary city water, you are on the right way. To reach the mountain stream, you will have to raise your consciousness to that height. You don't have to become a mountain climber, you have to become a consciousness climber.
There are schools in the world where mountain climbing is taught; in this school, we teach you how to climb higher in your consciousness, because that is the only real height.
And you have it within you -- the highest possibility of consciousness. It is just that you have not worked, or not even seen upwards to your own height. You are involved in so much trivia that you don't have time, just a little time for clarifying your own consciousness. You go on postponing. Small and ordinary things you don't postpone, but all that is higher, all that is really valuable, you go on postponing.
In Hindu scriptures they have divided life into four parts. And at the time they divided life into four parts, the highest age of man was not more than forty. Their division in the scriptures is that up to twenty-five years you should be a celibate and a student; up to fifty, which was very rare, you should be a householder, raise children, run businesses, earn money, fulfill desires, ambitions -- be worldly, in a single word. Up to seventy-five years, you start by and by, slowly slowly, to get out of your trivial, ordinary life; after seventy-five you become a sannyasin. Great strategy! Neither will you live nor will you ever become a sannyasin.
This is a way of postponement, very cleverly done -- a good division, to postpone any effort of raising your consciousness.
It is not strange that the VEDAS, which define this way of how life should be... Those VEDAS are written by hundreds of learned people -- not a single one was an enlightened soul. Even the so-called seers of the VEDAS not only have their married wives, but also have purchased women from the marketplace -- because women were still sold.
Now what kind of seers were these people, who could purchase a woman like a commodity? And what respect could they have towards a commodity? Women were auctioned; hence, in Sanskrit, for 'wife' there are two words -- people have forgotten the distinction. One is patni; patni means your married wife. Another is vadhu; vadhu means your purchased woman. You can use her as a wife, but her children will not be able to inherit anything from you because she is not your legal wife.
Even the so-called seers living in the forests were doing all such things. I don't think any of them... I have looked very closely into each sentence in the VEDAS. I could not see that any one of them had reached to the heights of Gautam Buddha. In fact, ninety-eight percent seem to be very stupid people, very ordinary.
Artie Finkelstein was advised by his doctor that he had a very rare disease, and the only remedy was a daily glass of fresh mother's milk. Artie finally found a young lady who was willing to sell her milk, and Artie sat down and nursed on her breast.
After about five minutes, the woman looked at him and breathlessly asked, "Is there anything else you would like?"
"Well," said Artie, "Er... maybe a cookie?"
Idiots are idiots! And the more aged they become, the more idiotic they become. Even small children seem to be more clear, more crystal clear than your so-called old idiots.
"I had tea in a Jewish house yesterday," said little Sadie.
"How did you know it was a Jewish house?" asked her mother.
"Well, because they had a fork in the sugar bowl!" replied Sadie. Even small children...
Murphy has his Sixth Rule: It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.
And they are all around....
Raising your consciousness is not something that you have to plan, that you have to carefully work out; it is a simple phenomenon.
The Fourth Workshop Principle says: The more carefully you plan a project, the more confusion there is when something goes wrong.
It is always better to remain simple, and my teaching is very simple. In just one word I have summed up the whole of religiousness: Be alert of your thoughts, and they will die of their own accord. And as less and less thoughts are there, you become more and more weightless; you start rising high, without any effort.
Soon you will be able to taste the fresh mountain stream. It is your own consciousness at its best.
Shantamo, you are asking, "How can I find your clarity and silence in me?" Just drop all that is rubbish; just look at the whole furniture of your mind. Perhaps you are carrying unnecessary things -- how many of your thoughts are really of any use? Just sit down one day and write. Close your door and lock it, so there is no fear and you can be authentic.
Just write down exactly whatever arises in the mind. Don't edit; don't add anything to make it look beautiful. Don't be worried that it looks as if some madman is writing it; nobody is looking at you. Just a ten minute exercise of writing exactly everything that is within you -- neither adding anything nor taking anything out -- and then read it aloud so that you can hear also that this is your mind. It is a madhouse. So many voices: irrelevant, relevant, meaningless, not at all related to anything, and they are all running around. But you have allowed them, you have nourished them, just by being not alert.
There is a small anecdote in Gautam Buddha's life...
A great king, Prasenjita, has come to listen to his discourse. Of course, it is his capital, his kingdom; he is sitting in front and while Gautam Buddha is speaking, he is continuously moving his big toe.
Finally, Buddha stopped and asked Prasenjita, "Do you know that your big toe is moving constantly?" He immediately stopped. Buddha said, "Don't stop. Let it move, but be aware that it is moving."
But he said, "There is no need."
"Then why was it moving? It is your toe, and you are not aware of it."
This is our state of unawareness. You are doing all kinds of things, most of them without being conscious. Why are you doing them? Smoking a cigarette -- have you ever bothered about why you are doing it? When fresh air is available you are making your breathing dirty with nicotine, poison, smelly, destroying your lungs -- and paying for it!
Many governments have decided that on every packet of cigarettes there should be some statement saying that it is harmful to your health. The manufacturers were very angry, and they tried to prevent this from being done, because this would destroy their business - - and it is a big business. But medical science was absolutely insistent that it should be written. Then it is the individual's responsibility. He has read it, and still he is smoking; then he is taking his own responsibility.
It was thought that the cigarette business would fall down, that very few people will be so stupid as to read it and still smoke. This is the state of humanity; the business has not disappeared. There are more factories, and there are more cigarettes, and there are more smokers. And it is not that they don't know how to read. The doctor goes on saying, the wife goes on saying, the friends go on saying, "Stop, it is destroying your lungs. It is cutting your life; it is dangerous; even cancer is possible through it." But it makes no difference.
That's why I say humanity is living in a deeply unconscious state. If you are conscious, just a little bit conscious, your life pattern will start changing. You will drop many things which you were doing, and you will start many things which you were postponing.
The day you start being alert and aware, you have taken a great step towards the heights of your own being. And it will not be long, if you persist, to reach to the fresh mountain stream water. Otherwise your whole life remains polluted, remains without any adventure, without any song, without any music, without any clarity.
It is your birthright to have clarity and silence. And if you don't have them, it simply means you have not tried to find what are your hidden qualities, what is your hidden splendor. You have been living outside the house, just in the porch. You never enter into the house; you don't know the treasures that are in the house.
People don't feel that they are lost, because they don't care at all about themselves. Rune's Rule is: If you don't care where you are, you aren't lost! Obviously, if you don't care then wherever you are it is perfectly good.
Create a little care about yourself.
Life is very precious; don't waste it carelessly.
Just a little care, and tremendous is the benefit. Because as you start being careful, alertness will come automatically. Consciousness will start growing in you; your actions will reflect your clarity, your silence, your beauty, your grace.
And I am not asking of you something superhuman; it is just your human right. But nobody else can give it to you, you will have to claim it. It is not in the hands of governments to declare it in their constitutions -- that won't help.
You have to do a little work upon yourself. Every man has to be a little artistic in finding and creating his own being, giving it beauty and grace, intelligence.
But people go on living so stupidly... the only reason seems to be that they find everybody else is also living the same way, so perhaps that is the right way; the majority cannot be wrong!
A man had gone to picnic with his wife, and the wife stopped at a place near a pond with beautiful trees, and said, "This seems to be the right spot."
The man said, "Certainly. Fifty million mosquitoes cannot be wrong!"
Truth is not a question of majority; truth has always been a finding of the individual. The majority has always lived in lies, in fictions, in fabricated ideas, which are consoling.
Truth needs a little effort on your part to drop all that is false, fictitious, superstitious, given to you by your parents and by your society. And immediately you will find your intelligence is becoming sharper.
Just rely on your own intelligence and you will find clarity. And just to have intelligence is to have such a treasure -- just to look at things without any prejudice, without any preconceived idea. Slowly, slowly clarity grows... but give it an opportunity.
It was the first day of the new term at Princeton, and a black freshman was learning his way around the campus. Stopping a distinguished looking upperclassman he inquired, "Say, can you tell me where the library is at?"
"My good fellow," came the reply, "at Princeton we do not end our sentences with a preposition."
"All right," said the freshman, "can you tell me where the library is at, asshole?"