Maneesha, all the religions of the world are concerned with something objective, a God who is somewhere above the clouds, a heaven, a hell. But they are all outside of you, they are all objective. Zen's basic difference from all religions is, its inquiry is absolutely subjective. It does not bother about whether there is a God or not, whether there is a heaven and a hell or not. These are all fictitious questions, and all the answers given for or against are going to be fictitious.
To the Zen seeker, the only reality is inwards. He does not deny the outside reality, but he does not concern himself with it. That is the work of science, to inquire into the objective reality. The authentic religions should be confined to the inquiry into the subjectivity of your consciousness: from where arises your life, your love, your dance; from where this whole existence arises, and to where you disappear.
Now we know even existence does not allow anything to be stable; even the greatest stars, which may have lived millions of years or trillions of years, one day have to die. Every day great stars die, and every day new stars are born -- but from where? What is the source of all life? Whether it exists in the poor grass leaves or in the richest and greatest star, it does not matter, the source of life is the same.
And the only right inquiry is to go withinwards, to find your roots, to find your center, to go deep into your center as much as possible. Finally you will be surprised to know that as you go deeper you start disappearing. A moment comes when you disappear and the whole universe opens all its mysteries.
The individual is a fiction -- the whole cosmos is a reality. We are just dewdrops on lotus leaves, very beautiful in the early morning sun. But a small breeze comes and the dewdrop slips into the ocean. It does not die, it simply becomes infinite, eternal. As a dewdrop it was going to die sooner or later. As an individual we are all going to disappear into the universe.
Before we disappear, the only way to live a life of joy and blissfulness, a life of gratitude and prayer, is to find your eternal roots. And they are so close within your grasp, you don't have to go anywhere, neither in time nor in space.
This very moment you are breathing the universe, your heartbeat is in tune with the universe; this very moment your roots are being nourished by the universe, just you have never looked within. And you have been unnecessarily begging for small things, while inside you are an emperor. The splendor that you have inside you is unimaginable, the treasure is incalculable. Just a single look inside and a new dimension of existence opens up. And this is your reality, authentic reality. It is so blissful and ecstatic that once you have tasted it you will carry this taste around the clock.
In terms of Zen this is called the experience of the buddha. Everybody is a buddha. A few buddhas are looking outward; hence they are not aware of their inner treasure and majesty.
And a few buddhas have looked inward and are amazed: what you are seeking outside is trivial, the real treasure is inside. And you were born with it -- it is not something to be achieved, it is something to be recognized, to be remembered. It is a forgotten language.
Zen can be reduced into a simple definition: it teaches you the forgotten language. It teaches you the language of the inner world. Simple are the steps; there is no complication.
You don't need to have a great intelligence, all that you need is a little courage ... a little courage to forget all the desires that lead you outwards; a little courage to look inwards, which is an unknown territory, untraveled. In the beginning it will look very dark and you will be very alone.
Most people in life have tried to look inwards, then immediately came back to the outside world. They have become too much accustomed to being a sheep in a crowd. They don't have the guts to be a lion, and to be alone. They don't know the beauty of aloneness; they don't even know the distinction between loneliness and aloneness.
Loneliness is always begging for somebody, loneliness is missing somebody. Loneliness is a miserable state. But aloneness is finding yourself in such glory, in such beauty and benediction, that no desire remains. Even clouds are below your feet, even faraway stars suddenly come close to you, because you are getting more and more intimate with the existence.
The only richness is to know oneself.
By knowing oneself one comes to know that he was only a door to the vast and the infinite, to the eternal and the deathless. It is a very strange paradox that the moment you know yourself, you are not, the whole is. The dewdrop has disappeared, and all around is the ocean.
One of the Indian mystics, Kabir, in his youth wrote a small poem, the beginning of which means, "I have been searching my self, my friend. But on the contrary, finding myself, I found no 'myself.' The dewdrop disappeared in the ocean, now where to find it? I am no more."
At the time of his death he called his son, Kamal, and said to him, "Correct those lines. As I have become more intimate with reality I see that a correction is urgently needed, and I am going to die. After me nobody will have the courage to correct me." And in fact those lines are so beautiful, there is no need to correct them.
Kamal said, "Those lines are so beautiful -- the dewdrop disappearing into the ocean -- what more do you want?"
Kabir said, "Change it, make it the other way around -- the ocean disappearing into the dewdrop. My first experience was that the dewdrop is disappearing; my last experience is that the ocean has disappeared into me. Now I am the whole."
What people like al-Hillaj Mansoor say -- "ANA'L-HAQ!" I am the truth -- is not bragging, they are simply stating an ordinary fact of everybody's life. You either know or you don't know -- it is up to you. You can delay as long as possible; you have the whole eternity to postpone. But by postponing the truth you are living in utter misery, suffering, anguish, anxiety. Your whole life is just a tragedy -- tragedy upon tragedy, failure upon failure.
Everybody is trying to hide his tears and failures. Your love is unfulfilled, your desire is incomplete, whatever you have longed for has disappeared as a mirage ...
You know the ordinary proverb of the ancients: man proposes and God disposes. There is no God, and what purpose will be served by God disposing your desires? He will be getting mad by disposing everybody's propositions. Everybody is proposing a thousand and one things, and God goes on disposing! He seems to be a head clerk or something, who simply disposes of files without even looking in them.
But the proverb carries meaning. God may not exist, but in the very fact of proposing you have disposed yourself. In the very fact of proposing you have asked existence to be according to you, and this vast existence cannot be according to you. If you want it to be according to you, you will have to be according to it.
Don't try to swim upstream, just let the river take you to the ocean. Why make unnecessary effort and get tired? That is one of the essentials of Zen: no effort, total relaxation into the hands of totality; no seeking, but just looking in. Because it is already there, you don't have to seek.
Zen will not agree with Jesus -- neither do I agree. The words are very beautiful; one is tempted to agree with Jesus when he says, "Seek and ye shall find" -- it is poetry -- "Knock and the doors shall be opened unto you. Ask and the answer will be given to you."
It hurts to object, but one is helpless. Jesus has to be criticized on those points, because Zen says, if you seek you will go far away. Don't seek, just be. In seeking you have to go somewhere, you have to do something, you have to follow some guide. Don't seek, just be; or don't seek and find. On whose doors are you going to knock? It is beautiful when you read Jesus, "Knock and the doors shall be opened unto you." We can forgive him for his poetry, but on whose doors are you going to knock?
There are no doors to existence. Don't waste your time knocking on doors. Just close your eyes and the whole sky of the inner is open; there are no doors, no windows, no locks, no keys. And Jesus says the answer will be given to you if you question. Zen says you are the answer, just drop the question. It is the question that is hindering your finding the answer.
Don't question, just enter inside yourself with grandeur, an essence of birthright. Without any question, you are the answer. Your consciousness, your awareness, your being, reveals all the truths and all the mysteries of existence.
Bukko is an important master. He says:
IT MAY BE ASKED, HOW IS THE SELF TO BE APPROACHED? BY LOOKING INTO IT THROUGH THIS SORT OF INQUIRY: FORTY YEARS AGO, WHERE DID IT COME FROM; AND A HUNDRED YEARS HENCE, WHERE WILL IT HAVE GONE TO? AND RIGHT NOW, WHO IS THE PERSON WHO IS MAKING THE INQUIRY?
That is the most significant point. You are asking a question, but are you aware who the person is behind the question, who is asking the question? The question cannot arise from nowhere, there must be someone hidden inside you who is asking the question. Drop the question and find the questioner. And in finding the questioner, you will find the answer. It is a very strange and paradoxical world. Howsoever difficult it may seem in the beginning, if you just take a single step inwards, everything goes on becoming more and more simple.
Gertrude Stein, one of the most significant women poets, was on her deathbed. Her friends had gathered, knowing that her death was close. Suddenly, she opened her eyes and asked, "What is the answer?" Everybody looked at each other, thinking, "It seems she has gone senile ... We don't know the question, how can we say what the answer is?" Somebody gathered courage and asked, "You are being very illogical. You are asking us, 'What is the answer?' but we don't know the question."
Gertrude Stein laughed and said, "Okay, then tell me what the question is!" And she died with a smile.
To me, in the West very few people have attained to the state Gertrude Stein attained. In her last moment she certainly became a buddha. She is saying, there is no question and there is no answer. Life is so simple, so beautiful, so honest. There is no place for any question or for any answer. Life can be sung, life can be danced, life can be loved; but there is no question and there is no answer.
Bukko is saying:
WHO IS THE PERSON WHO IS MAKING THE INQUIRY? THAT TRUE FACE WHICH WAS BEFORE FATHER AND MOTHER WERE BORN, WHERE IS IT RIGHT NOW?
You must have had a face before you were born. Or were you faceless? And you will have a face when you are dead. Or do you think you won't have any face?
Zen's most significant inquiry is to find the original face. This face that you have right now is not your original face, it is changing every moment. Every moment you are becoming older; every moment death is coming closer. Just a few years before you were a child, and just a few years afterwards you were an old man. A few more years and not even a trace of you will be found anywhere. How many millions of people have lived before you?
Some crackpot has inquired -- because only crackpots inquire into such things -- and found that wherever you are sitting, there have been at least eight graves in the past. You are sitting on eight ghosts! And just think of the implication -- you will be the ninth. And the tenth ghost will be sitting on your head. Where have all those people disappeared?
No. This face, this body, this mind which comes and goes, is not your true being, your original face. You have to find something in you which never changes. In Zen language, that which never changes in you is your original face. All others are masks.
Only one thing never changes in you and that is witnessing, watchfulness, awareness.
Everything changes. You are aware of the anger, anger will change. How long can you be angry? The hottest person is going to be cool sooner or later, and the coolest person can be driven to be hot. You love, but the moment you say, "I love," you should remember that love has started dying. Soon you will be carrying the corpse of love, still saying the old words, repeated dialogues. But deep inside you know the love that was a romance, a poetry, a song, is no more there; your heart no more sings, no more dances.
But awareness remains the same. At one time it was aware that you loved, now it is aware that love is gone. Seasons come and go, flowers blossom and disappear in the dust, but at the deepest core of your being is the greatest mystery of awareness, which is eternal, which is your original face.
WHEN SUDDENLY ONE DAY THE LIGHT OF LIFE, NOW SO BRILLIANT, WILL BE WITHDRAWN, WHERE DOES IT GO TO?
IN THIS SORT OF WAY, CONTINUED BUKKO, LOOK INTO THE SELF. LOOK WHEN YOU SLEEP, LOOK WHEN YOU SIT, LOOK WHEN YOU WALK.
And you will be surprised that the awareness remains the same. When you are sitting, it does not mean that the awareness is sitting also. When you are walking, it does not mean that the awareness is walking also. When you are going to your bed, it does not mean the awareness is also going to sleep. Who watches the dreams? Asleep or awake, sitting or standing, walking or not walking -- one thing in you is absolutely the same. And to find this is the whole of religion; everything else is non-essential.
WHEN YOU FIND YOU CANNOT LOOK ANYMORE, THEN YOU MUST LOOK AND SEE HOW THAT INABILITY TO LOOK APPEARS AND DISAPPEARS.
It is the experience of all meditators that sometimes you are aware, and then you forget and you are not aware, and then again you remember. But behind this awareness, forgetfulness, awareness, forgetfulness, there is a deeper awareness, which always remains. What changes is your mental recognition of awareness. Sometimes it is there, sometimes it is not there.
Mind cannot continue remembering a thing forever. It is a flux. Every moment new thoughts are coming, every moment new desires are arising, every moment new longings are knocking on your doors. There is so much busyness without business in the mind that remembering you are a buddha is only a momentary thing. Soon you will forget and you will start behaving in the ordinary way. And suddenly, at some moment you will again remember, what are you doing? You are a buddha and you are smoking a cigarette? It does not look good -- a buddha and smoking cigarettes? You may drop the cigarette -- nobody can drop buddhahood for a cigarette.
But these are mind recognitions which change; otherwise, underneath there is an awareness which knows when you remember and when you forget. That is your original face.
AS YOU ARE LOOKING AT HOW THE SIGHT COMES AND THE SIGHT GOES, SATORI REALIZATION WILL ARISE OF ITSELF.
Satori is the Japanese name for SAMADHI. Samadhi is the ultimate experience; its very meaning is, everything is solved. Samadhi means everything is solved -- no question, no answer. One is at peace with existence, one has come home ... a tremendous relaxation which is never disturbed again. Just following awareness, going deeper and deeper from the mental to the non-mental awareness, you end up in realization of satori, or samadhi.
ON ANOTHER OCCASION, BUKKO SAID: THE DHARMA IS DIFFERENT FROM SEEING, HEARING, PERCEIVING, KNOWING.
But he does not include awareness.
SEEING, HEARING, PERCEIVING, KNOWING ARE ALL DHARMA.
But none of them is comprehensive enough to make dharma-nature its monopoly.
But he has not mentioned awareness. Perhaps he is talking to people who are not yet meditators; otherwise awareness is dharma. Awareness includes everything, and something more that cannot be said.
THIS MOUNTAIN PRIEST, says Bukko, MAKES A HOME FOR THE PEOPLE OF THE WIDE EARTH. WITHOUT THE DUST BEING RAISED THEY ENTER THE REALM OF PARADISE.
There is no need to make much fuss about your religion. It has to be utterly silent; even your neighbor should not know what you are doing inside yourself. But the people of the earth have been behaving differently. Everybody is proclaiming who he is -- a Hindu, a Mohammedan, a Christian, a Jew, a Jaina, a Buddhist. A dharma should be such a secret phenomenon, so intimate that you would not like to talk about it.
I have not, in my whole life, voted in any election, for the simple reason that the form that has to be filled in to become a voter has a question in it: to what religion do you belong? That I cannot say. That is my secret, that is my privacy. No government is allowed to enter into my privacy.
And when I refused, saying, "I will not fill in this question," the poor man who was collecting the forms said, "But you are a strange fellow -- everybody fills it in. If you don't have any religion you can say you are an atheist."
I said, "I am not an atheist, but I am not a theist either. I am just myself. And finding myself, I have found the beauty of being natural. It need not be given an adjective -- Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian. To give an adjective to nature is to defile a great experience."
But everybody is making so much fuss about religion. Religion should be an absolutely silent phenomenon. In the deepest night, sitting on your bed, you should enter into yourself.
Your own wife, or your husband, or your children will not know about it. It is not something which can be done as a crowd, or as a family. It is something which is absolutely individual.
Your awareness is only your awareness.
Yes, at the ultimate peak, when you will be disappearing into the universal energies, your individuality will also be lost. Then nothing is private, then everything is universal; but there is nobody to declare it.
I have just mentioned al-Hillaj Mansoor, a Sufi mystic who was killed just like Jesus Christ -- of course in a more primitive and ugly way. He was cut part by part -- legs, hands, head ... And his only crime was that he had declared "ANA'L-HAQ" -- I am the truth. His own master, Junnaid, used to calm him down: "Yes, we all know you are the truth, but there is no need to say it."
I have been deeply inquiring into Junnaid, because al-Hillaj Mansoor has become world famous. Junnaid also knew, "I am God, I am truth," but he was a more understanding, more sane person.
He used to tell Mansoor, "If you know it, you need not say it. Your saying simply means that you want a confirmation. But who can confirm it? Only you know." There is something in the inner experience that nobody can confirm and nobody can certify. No government can give a certificate to you that, yes, you are enlightened. No committee can confirm it, no university can offer a degree in enlightenment -- it is absolutely private.
I agree very much with Junnaid; he understands the psychology of enlightenment far more deeply than al-Hillaj Mansoor. He is saying, "Your statement means you want others to recognize you, but this very desire for recognition is poor. This desire for recognition simply means you are not certain, there is still some doubt lurking inside you about whether you are enlightened or not."
But Mansoor did not listen to him -- he was too young. He was right, but to declare that you are the truth in a crowd means that you are going to offend people. And he did not complete the sentence. If he had said, "Just as I am the truth, you are also the truth," things would have been different.
Jesus was crucified for his proclamation that he is the son of God; Mansoor was crucified for his declaration that he is the ultimate truth. In India thousands of buddhas have expressed this, but they have always expressed it in a way which includes you, which does not exclude you from their experience. They say that they are the buddha, but they also say that you are also the buddha, and the difference between them and you is very slight, not even worth calling a difference. They have opened their eyes to their own reality; you are still a little sleepy -- maybe last night's hangover ... Just a little more -- another turn in the bed, pulling the blanket over your face. But how long are you going to do this? I don't think you will be able to do it for eternity. One day you are going to jump out of the bed: "Enough is enough, Ana'l-haq!"
LIFTING HIGH HIS STAFF, BUKKO SAID: OM, OM, OM!
Om is the silent sound, when the mind stops all chattering and you enter into the world of no-mind. The music of no-mind is something closer to Om. It is not exactly Om, but Om comes very close to that subtle sound.
BUKKO SAID: HASTE, HASTE, HASTE!
All the buddhas are saying that. Why are you postponing your own blissfulness, your own divinity? Why are you postponing?
QUICK, QUICK, QUICK!
This is not only Bukko. All the buddhas down the ages have been concerned about your continuous snoring. They make every effort, they throw cold water into your eyes, but rather than getting up, you simply freak out. You become angry rather than becoming a buddha.
They have been pulling your legs, they have been pulling your blankets, and you become angry: "In the early morning it is too cold, and this old guy has nothing else to do -- he is pulling my blanket."
You become angry, you shout, but you don't understand that all these buddhas are calling for you to be quick out of compassion.
Bukko says: BOW, BOW, BOW!
Existence is calling for your gratitude, for your prayer, for your gratefulness. But how can you be grateful if you have not experienced it? You have been sleeping for centuries, for hundreds of lives. You cannot be grateful to existence. It has given you only misery up to now, only suffering. It was not existence's responsibility, you were creating it yourself.
You are a great genius in creating misery! If someday you find yourself untroubled, unworried, unconcerned, you will jump on your rented cycle to go somewhere, to do something. This is not natural, sitting silently; it looks a little weird. Just sit silently like a buddha and the neighbors will start looking at you -- "Something has gone wrong; what has happened to this poor fellow? He was running here and there on his rented bicycle, and now he does not even care who is taking his bicycle! He is sitting with closed eyes, undisturbed.
Something must have gone wrong."
And you will also think, "Something seems to be wrong. Somebody is taking notes from my pocket and I am saying nothing. Have I gone mad?"
All your miseries are your own creations; you cannot live without them. You hug them, you sleep with them. They are very familiar, friendly, well known to you. And you brag about them: how many migraines you have. As if it is something great that you have a migraine, that your stomach ... People are talking about amoebas, stomachs, headaches, migraines, and they call it great conversation! It seems the whole world is a big hospital.
THROWING HIGH, NOT REACHING THE SKY; LAYING DOWN, NOT REACHING THE EARTH. ALL THE BUDDHAS AND PATRIARCHS FIND NO HOLD AT ALL.
HOLD, NO HOLD. OM!
He is saying, there is nothing to hold, but don't be worried -- existence will take care of you. It has always taken care.
If it was left for you to remember to breathe, do you think you would have been alive? If it was left up to you to remember to keep your heart beating, do you think you would be here today? Long ago you would have been in your grave, or on a funeral pyre. You would have forgotten very easily.
If somebody insults you, at that time do you think you will remember to breathe? If somebody is taking away your rented bicycle, do you think at that time you will remember that the heart should continue to beat? There are a thousand and one opportunities in a day to forget.
Existence has not left essential functions up to you, it has kept essential functions in its own care. So you can sleep and breathing will continue, you can be angry and breathing will continue, you can fight and still your heart will not stop. You can do everything; the essential things of life are not dependent on you. They are connected, rooted in the universe.
The universe is already taking care of you, but you have not been grateful. The only prayer I know of is the prayer of gratitude -- "I am nobody and still the whole existence takes care of me."
ALL THE BUDDHAS AND PATRIARCHS FIND NO HOLD AT ALL. HOLD, NO HOLD. OM! -- DIVINE STREAMS RUSHING, RUSHING!
You don't be worried. HOLD, NO HOLD, whether you have any possessions or no possessions, whether you are or you are not, the divine stream is rushing continuously. You are part of it, or you are the whole of it -- it all depends on you: to remain a part or to become the whole.
I mentioned Kabir. First he was just a dewdrop disappearing into the ocean, but at the last moment of his life he recognized, from the other side, that the ocean had disappeared into the dewdrop. The truth became complete.
THE CLOUDS ARE THIN, THE RIVER ENDLESS.
THE UNIVERSAL DOOR APPEARS WITHOUT DECEPTION.
QUESTIONING THE BOY, HE DOES NOT YET KNOW IT EXISTS.
HE WENT USELESSLY SEARCHING IN THE COLD OF THE MIST AND WAVES IN A HUNDRED CITIES.
There are people who are searching in the mountains, in the cities, in the forest, and they don't know that it is their own consciousness that they are searching. They cannot find it anywhere -- until they fall, tired of the search, as Gautam Buddha fell one night. It was a full-moon night and he dropped the very desire of searching; he was tired and fed up. That very night he became enlightened.
When you give up, the universe takes you in its millions of hands. Let-go is the only way to find yourself, and to find yourself dissolving into the ultimate.
Question 1 Maneesha has asked:
LATELY I HAVE FELT AWARE THAT WE ARE JUST BIG VACUUMS, EMPTINESSES, WALKING AROUND WITH A FACADE OF PERSONALITY THAT DOES THINGS AND THINKS THOUGHTS. BUT BUKKO TALKS OF "APPROACHING THE SELF." IS THE SELF ANYTHING OTHER THAN THAT SENSE OF EMPTINESS?
ARE THE QUESTIONS JUST A MEANS TO DISCOVER THERE IS NO SELF?
Yes, Maneesha. All inquiry in the beginning is to find the self. But when you find it, it is not the self. When you find it, it is no-self. But to tell somebody, "Go on a search for no-self," he will say, "Are you mad? I am already puzzled and in trouble, and I should go in search for no-self, no-mind, emptiness, nothingness? I am already troubled and you are encouraging me to go into more troubled waters. Why should I search for no-self?"
Hence the buddhas say to you, "Go to search the self." Because they know you will find no-self, so there is no problem. They say, "Go and search inside and you will find everything."
But you will find only a pure nothingness.
But that cannot be said. That can be said only to the adepts, to those who are on the path and are able to listen and understand that the ultimate search can only be a dissolution into the whole cosmos, just like a wave disappearing into the ocean, or a stream running fast -- according to Bukko -- with haste, reaching to the ocean just to disappear.
People's minds are oriented to achieve something. If you say to them, "Search for God," it is understandable, because finding God will be a great joy, and he will give you all that you had always desired. He will give you a right place to live in heaven, a beautiful palace, where rivers are full of wine, and where young women who never grow old ... at least up to now it has never been heard that they ever grow old -- they have been at the age of sixteen, fixed, for centuries.
My own understanding is that they are not real women but plastic, pumped with air. They don't perspire -- that is significant to understand. The scriptures make it clear that they don't perspire. Only plastic does not perspire, and only plastic never grows old. And it is very good and transportable. Just take the air out, fold up the woman, put her in your suitcase, and wherever you are going, go. You can even have two or three women in one suitcase.
I have heard ... Two scientists were going to explore in Siberia. They were in the last village post, and they were collecting everything that they would need in the cold, in the eternal snows. And they were going to live there for almost a year, so they were collecting all the things that they would need .
The shop owner said, "Listen, I have been here selling things to scientists, explorers, and I always suggest to them ... first they feel shocked, but then finally they agree with me." Those two scientists said, "What do you mean?"
He said, "You take a plastic woman with you -- I have very beautiful models."
They said, "What nonsense! Plastic women? What will we do with plastic women?"
The old shopkeeper said, "You will miss ... don't take the chance, be on the safer side. And it will not take much space in your suitcase." And he brought a folded woman, pumped air into it -- and it was really a good model, a Sophia Loren. They both thought, "It looks a little weird, but what is the harm?" But one said, "No, I don't want to be so stupid. Carrying a plastic woman ... and I am a great Nobel Prize winner!"
The other said, "You remain a Nobel Prize winner, but remember, it is my woman. I am purchasing it, and if I ever find you fiddling with her, you know my temper -- then I will not remember whether you are my friend or not. My gun is always loaded."
The friend said, "You are getting unnecessarily hot; let the time come. Let us go -- you put the woman in your suitcase."
The man who had the woman enjoyed the woman very much, and the other fellow forgot all about Nobel Prizes; he felt very lonely. One day when the friend had gone out, he pumped up the woman ... When the other fellow came back he saw the woman flying out of the window. He came inside and he said, "What happened? Why has the woman flown out of the window?"
He said, "I forgot, and I bit on her breast too hard; the air leaked out and the woman simply jumped!" True to his word, the man simply shot his friend immediately.
After a year when he came back to the village to collect things again, the old man said, "How are things going with the woman?"
He said, "It is a very sad story. You will have to supply me with another woman -- but that one was a very rare model."
The shopkeeper asked, "And what happened to your friend?"
He said, "I told him from the very beginning, 'Don't fiddle with my woman!' And that idiot bit on her breast so deeply that she flew out of the window. And she flew out just when I was coming back, so I shot the man. Now you can give me another woman and we will live in peace. And I have discovered a great truth: it is better than a real woman, because there is no harassment, no nagging. And whenever you want to fold it you can; it is so convenient. It never says, 'I have a headache.' It is always available ..."
My feeling is that if there is a God and there is a paradise, then those saints must have been playing with plastic women for centuries. Real women anyway are not allowed to go to heaven. No religion allows women to go to heaven, so naturally that is the only alternative, a plastic woman. And the poor saints, they can't afford a real woman; they could not manage here -- how can they manage there?
They escaped from the world -- in fact they escaped from the woman. 'The world' is just the name. When they say somebody has renounced the world, they mean he has renounced the woman. The world? Where are you going? Wherever you go it is the world; nobody can renounce the world.
But people call it 'renouncing the world' to hide the fact that it is simply renouncing the woman. And without renouncing the woman you cannot be a saint. It is a tragedy that you renounce a real woman, and in paradise you get a plastic woman with a pump.
I don't believe that you should think of any positive achievement through meditation. You won't get any God, because what will you do with God? You both will feel very awkward.
After saying, "Hi!" what are you going to say to God? All the miseries of the world that he has created ... This is the worst kind of world that anybody could have created.
I had an old Mohammedan tailor. I used to go to different cities, lecturing in different universities. I told the old man -- he was a very nice guy -- I told him, "I am going in six days, so you have to prepare my clothes; give the priority to my clothes, put everything else away."
He said, "Listen. Do you know that God created the world in six days?"
I said, "What has that to do with my clothes?"
He said, "It has something to do with it. Look at the world -- it is in a mess! If you want your clothes to be made in six days, then don't complain -- they will be a mess."
What are you going to say to God? Perhaps you have never thought about it, that it will be a very awkward encounter. And what are you going to do with your paradise? It is a question of eternity; forever and forever the same plastic women, and the same dirty wine flowing in the rivers. And I know perfectly well that Indians must have reached there, and they will be doing all kinds of nasty things -- that wine is no more of any use.
So please, settle for no-self.
Enough of seriousness. This is not a serious place, it is a temple of laughter.
Ace pilot, Captain Cliffski, and his faithful co-pilot, Captain Kurtski, borrow a small airplane from the main runway of Bombay airport to go for a joy-ride.
They are flying around and having a great time, and everything is going fine, when suddenly Kurtski remembers he has a hot date with Gertie, the Polack Airlines stewardess.
"Hey, Cliffski," shouts Kurtski, over the buzzing of the engines, "it is time to land. I've gotta pee and I've got a date."
"Roger-dodger," shouts Cliffski, taking the plane into a nose-dive towards the earth.
Kurtski is clutching the controls while Cliffski is frantically working the foot pedals, and shouting out readings from all the instruments.
They finally get the plane onto the ground, but have to screech to a stop.
"Wow!" screams Cliffski, mopping his forehead. "That was a short runway."
"Yes," pants Kurtski, collapsing in his seat, "but look how wide it is!"
Mrs. Benzini, the big Italian Catholic mama, herds her large family into the cinema, and explains to the cashier which of them is entitled to half-price admission.
"These-a two," points out Mrs. Benzini, "are under five. These-a two are under seven.
These-a two are under eight, and the older twins will be-a ten next week."
"Mama mia!" exclaims the cashier. "Do you and Mr. Benzini have-a twins every time?"
"Not every time," blushes Mrs. Benzini. "Lots and lots of times we don't-a have-a any kids at all."
Olga Kowalski enters an elevator on the forty-second floor of the Polack Salami Emporium.
It is the operator, Mad Melvin, the escaped lunatic's first day on the job.
Suddenly Melvin, giggling hysterically, throws the switch and drops the elevator through space at a dizzy speed. Then he throws on the brake and brings the elevator to a grinding, shuddering halt.
Seeing Olga standing there in the lift with her eyes crossed, Melvin asks, "Did I stop too quick?"
"Oh no, Melvin," replies Olga, wobbling. "I always wear my panties down around my ankles."
Now, Nivedano ...
(Drumbeat) (Gibberish) Nivedano ...
(Drumbeat) Be silent ... close your eyes ...
Feel your body to be completely frozen.
No movement, so that all your energy can gather inside.
Deeper, and deeper ...
The deeper you go, the more you will feel what it is to be aware, what it is to be a buddha.
Don't come back without reaching to the very sources of your life. Be acquainted with this territory, with this space.
Remember this silence, this peace, this bliss, twenty-four hours, just like an undercurrent.
Soon it will become your very breathing, your very heartbeat.
Then there is no difference between you and a buddha. You have reached to the ultimate significance of existence and you have touched the eternity, immortality of your being.
To make it clear, Nivedano ...
(Drumbeat) Relax ... just let the body be there, the mind be there, and you are neither. You are a watcher. Watch the body, watch the mind, and remember: you are simply the watcher.
Bodies come and go, mind changes every moment, only the watcher remains for eternity.
This watcher is your original face.
Let the experience sink deep into every fiber of your being. It is going to transform all your activities. It will radiate in your actions, in your gestures; it will radiate from your eyes, from your words, from your silences.
This moment you are in the very land of the buddhas.
This moment you are a contemporary of all those who have known.
(Drumbeat) Come back, but don't come back as you have gone in.
Bring something new with you; bring the buddha with you.
Sit silently for a few moments, just recollecting and remembering where you have been, to what space.
This has to become your everyday experience.
It has to penetrate all your life around the clock.
Yes, Beloved Master.
Can we celebrate the gathering of the buddhas?
Yes, Beloved Master.