With emptiness, the matter is settled

From:
Osho
Date:
Fri, 4 September 1978 00:00:00 GMT
Book Title:
Osho - Tao - The Secret of Secrets, Vol 2
Chapter #:
9
Location:
am in Buddha Hall
Archive Code:
N.A.
Short Title:
N.A.
Audio Available:
N.A.
Video Available:
N.A.
Length:
N.A.

MASTER LU-TSU SAID: WHEN THE SILENCE COMES, NOT A SINGLE THOUGHT ARISES;
HE WHO IS LOOKING INWARD SUDDENLY FORGETS THAT he IS LOOKING. AT THIS TIME,
BODY AND HEART MUST BE LEFT COMPLETELY RELEASED. ALL ENTANGLEMENTS HAVE
DISAPPEARED WITHOUT TRACE. THEN I NO LONGER KNOW AT WHAT PLACE THE HOUSE
OF MY SPIRIT AND MY CRUCIBLE ARE. IF A MAN WANTS TO MAKE CERTAIN OF HIS BODY,
HE CANNOT GET AT IT. THIS CONDITION IS THE PENETRATION OF HEAVEN INTO EARTH,
THE TIME WHEN ALL WONDERS RETURN TO THEIR ROOTS.

WHEN ONE IS SO FAR ADVANCED THAT EVERY SHADOW AND EVERY ECHO HAS
DISAPPEARED, SO THAT ONE IS ENTIRELY QUIET AND FIRM, THIS IS REFUGE WITHIN THE
CAVE OF ENERGY, WHERE ALL THAT IS MIRACULOUS RETURNS TO ITS ROOTS. ONE DOES
NOT ALTER THE PLACE, BUT THE PLACE ALTERS ITSELF: THIS IS INCORPOREAL SPACE
WHERE A THOUSAND AND TEN THOUSAND PLACES ARE ONE PLACE. ONE DOES NOT
ALTER THE TIME, BUT THE TIME ALTERS ITSELF. THIS IS IMMEASURABLE TIME WHEN ALL
THE AEONS ARE LIKE A MOMENT.

AS LONG AS THE HEART HAS NOT ATTAINED ABSOLUTE TRANQUILITY, IT CANNOT MOVE
ITSELF. ONE MOVES THE MOVEMENT AND FORGETS THE MOVEMENT; THIS IS NOT
MOVEMENT IN ITSELF. THEREFORE IT IS SAID: IF, WHEN STIMULATED BY EXTERNAL
THINGS, ONE MOVES, IT IS THE IMPULSE OF THE BEING. IF, WHEN NOT STIMULATED BY
EXTERNAL THINGS, ONE MOVES, IT IS THE MOVEMENT OF HEAVEN. BUT WHEN NO IDEA
ARISES, THE RIGHT IDEAS COME. THAT IS THE TRUE IDEA. WHEN THINGS ARE QUIET
AND ONE IS QUITE FIRM, AND THE RELEASE OF HEAVEN SUDDENLY MOVES, IS THIS
NOT A MOVEMENT WITHOUT PURPOSE? ACTION THROUGH NON-ACTION HAS JUST THIS
MEANING.

THE DEEPEST SECRET CANNOT BE DISPENSED WITH FROM THE BEGINNING TO THE
END. THIS IS THE WASHING OF THE HEART AND THE PURIFICATION OF THE THOUGHTS;
THIS IS THE BATH. ITS BEGINNING IS BEYOND POLARITY AND IT EMPTIES AGAIN BEYOND
POLARITY.

THE BUDDHA SPEAKS OF THE TRANSIENT, THE CREATOR OF CONSCIOUSNESS, AS BEING
THE FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH OF RELIGION. AND THE WHOLE WORK OF COMPLETING LIFE
AND HUMAN NATURE LIES IN THE EXPRESSION 'TO BRING ABOUT EMPTINESS'. ALL
RELIGIONS AGREE IN THE ONE PROPOSITION, THE FINDING OF THE SPIRITUAL ELIXIR IN
ORDER TO PASS FROM DEATH TO LIFE. IN WHAT DOES THIS SPIRITUAL ELIXIR CONSIST?

IT MEANS FOREVER DWELLING IN PURPOSELESSNESS. THE DEEPEST SECRET OF THE
BATH THAT IS TO BE FOUND IN OUR TEACHING IS THUS CONFINED TO THE WORK OF
MAKING THE HEART EMPTY. THEREWITH THE MATTER IS SETTLED.

IT WAS A FULL-MOON NIGHT. The earth was looking like a bride. Light was showering like rain, and there was great delight in the sky, in the ocean, in the wind. The trees were swaying in the wind as if drunk, intoxicated, lost, and the faraway mountains with their snow-covered peaks looked like Buddhas in deep meditation. The wind passing through the ancient pines was pure music, and the quality of a dancing universe was so solid and so tangible that one could have almost touched it.

And on such a night of sheer joy and benediction, something of the beyond descended on the earth.

A rare woman, Chiyono, became enlightened. She regained paradise. She came home. What a moment to die m time, and to time, and be born in eternity, as eternity! What a moment to disappear utterly, and be for the first time.

The nun Chiyono studied for years, but was unable to find enlightenment. One night she was carrying an old pail filled with water. As she was walking along, she was watching the full moon reflected in the pail of water. Suddenly, the bamboo strips that held the pail together broke and the pail fell apart. The water rushed out, the moon's reflection disappeared, and Chiyono became enlightened.

She wrote this verse:

This way and that way I tried to keep the pail together, Hoping the weak bamboo would never break.

Suddenly the bottom fell out....

No more water, No more moon in the water, Emptiness in my hand.

Enlightenment happens when it happens: you cannot order it, you cannot cause it to happen. Still, you can do much for it to happen, but whatsoever you do is not going to function as a cause.

Whatsoever you do is not going to bring enlightenment to you, but it prepares you to receive it. It comes when it comes. Whatsoever you do simply prepares you to receive it, to see it when it comes, to recognize it when it comes.

It happens... but if you are not ready you go on missing it. It is happening every moment. Every breath that goes in and comes out brings enlightenment to you, because enlightenment is the very stuff the existence is made of. But to recognize it is the problem, to see that it is there is the problem.

God is. There is no question of God's being. The question is: we cannot see Him, we don't have eyes. All the meditations and the prayers and the purifications only help you, make you capable of seeing. Once you can see, you will be surprised - it has always been there. Day in, day out, year in, year out, it was showering on you, but you were not sensitive enough to catch hold of it, you were not empty enough to be filled by it. You were too much full of your own ego.

If one comes to fundamentals then this is the most fundamental thing: the moment you are not, enlightenment is. With emptiness, the matter is settled.

If you continue you will remain ignorant and full of darkness. You are darkness. Your presence is the 'dark night of the soul'. When you are, you are separate from existence. That's what darkness consists of: the idea of separation, that there is a gap between me and the whole. Then I am left alone. Then there is misery because fear surrounds me. I am so alone, and I am so tiny, and sooner or later death will come and destroy me. And I have no way to protect myself against death. Hence one lives in trembling and fear.

But we create the trembling and the fear. We cause it by the very idea of being separate from existence. The moment you drop this separation, the moment you see that you are not separate, that you CANNOT be separate, that there is NO WAY to be separate, that you are part of the whole, intrinsic to the whole, that you are in the whole and the whole is in you, the matter is settled and settled forever. Death disappears, fear disappears, anguish disappears. And the whole energy that is involved in fear, in anxiety, in anguish, is released. That same energy becomes the celebration of the soul.

What is enlightenment? - the capacity to see oneself AS ONE REALLY IS. We are utterly empty of the ego. The ego is just a make-believe. We have created it, we have projected it; it is our illusion, our dream. It exists not; in itself it is not there, so the more one becomes aware and looks within, the more one finds oneself not.

The more you become aware, the less you are. And the moment awareness is full, you have disappeared - no more water, no more reflection of the moon in the water, emptiness in your hands.

And it is emptiness... therewith the matter is settled.

This happened to Chiyono. She had studied for years, she had practiced all kinds of meditations, she had cultivated all kinds of techniques but was unable to find enlightenment.

You cannot cause it, it is beyond you. If you could cause it, it would be below you. If you could cause it, then it would be again nothing but a new decoration for your ego. You cannot cause it. You cannot make it happen. You have to disappear for it to be.

So you can study all the scriptures of the world: you will become very learned, knowledgeable, but you will remain unenlightened. In fact you will become more unenlightened than you were before because the more knowledge you have the more ego you have; the more you practice ascetic techniques the more your ego is strengthened: "I am doing this and I am doing that, and I have done so much - so many fasts, so many bows." The more you do, the more you feel that now you are worthy and you can claim enlightenment.

Enlightenment cannot be claimed. One has to utterly disappear for it to be. The mind has to cease for God to be. Call it God or enlightenment - it is the same thing.

"Chiyono studied for years but was unable to find enlightenment."

Enlightenment is not something that you can find by searching; it comes to you when all search proves futile. And remember, I am not saying don't search, because unless you search you will never come to know that search is futile. And I am not saying don't meditate; if you don't meditate you will never come to understand that there is a meditation which you cannot do but which comes to you.

Your meditations will simply cleanse your eyes, will make you more perceptive. Your heart will become more alert, aware, loving, sensitive. Your being will start seeing things you had not seen before. You will start exploring new spaces within your being. Something new will happen every day, every moment. Your meditations are like a bath: they will give you a freshness - but that freshness is not enlightenment. That only prepares the way. You never reach to enlightenment; it is always the other way round - enlightenment reaches to you.

Prepare the way for God so that He can reach you. You cannot find Him; you can only wait, in deep trust, so that He can find you.

That's how Chiyono was missing: she was searching, seeking, she was TOO MUCH involved in this enquiry. But this enquiry will also feed your ego, that "I am a seeker", that "I am no ordinary man", that "I am spiritual", that "I am religious", that "I am holy". And if that attitude of 'holier than thou' arises, you are lost forever. That is the greatest sin you can commit in your life, the greatest fall. If the idea arises in you that you are holier than others, that you are a saint and others are sinners, "Look at my virtuous life"; if you become righteous you are lost, because this righteous ego will be the most subtle ego, and it will be very difficult for you to drop it. It is easier to drop iron chains. But if you can have golden chains studded with diamonds, it will become more and more difficult to drop them because they will not look like chains, they will look like valuable ornaments.

It is easy to get out of a dirty prison cell, but if it is a palace, who wants to get out of it? Really one wants to get into it, not out of it. The sinner is closer to God than the saint, because the sinner wants to get out of his bondage and the saint is enjoying an ego-trip.

Chiyono was a nun. She must have been enjoying subtle, righteous attitudes - knowledgeability, virtue. Her renunciation was great. It is said that she was one of the most beautiful women, so beautiful that when she went to one monastery they refused her, because to have such a beautiful woman in the monastery would create trouble for the monks. Then she had to disfigure her face to enter into another monastery. She must have been a very beautiful woman, but just think...

she disfigured her face, made it ugly, but deep down she must have been thinking, "Look at my renunciation. I was one of the most beautiful women. I have disfigured my face - nobody has done this before, or since. Look at my renunciation, look at my detachment from the body: I don't care a bit about beauty. I am bent upon finding enlightenment, whatsoever the cost." And she continued missing.

But one full-moon night it happened. It happened out of the blue, suddenly. It always happens out of the blue. It always happens suddenly.

But I am not saying that it could have happened to anybody else; it happened to Chiyono. All that she had done had not caused it, but all that she had done had caused one thing in her: the understanding that whatsoever you do, you fail, that man cannot succeed.

She must have come to a state of utter hopelessness. That hopelessness can be felt only when you have done all that you can do. And when that hopelessness comes, hope has arrived - because in that hopelessness the ego is shattered to the ground. One no longer claims.

The ego disappears only from the peak, when it has come to its crescendo. You cannot drop a lukewarm ego. No, that is not possible, because it still hopes. It says, "Who knows?a few efforts more, a few more practices, a little more renunciation... who knows? We have not looked in all the directions yet, there is still a possibility" - and the ego lingers. But when you have explored, searched in all possible directions and you have always failed; when nothing but failure has been your experience, how long can you continue searching, seeking? One day, searching and seeking drop.

So remember this paradox: enlightenment is possible only to those who stop seeking. But who can stop seeking? - only one who has searched deeply enough. This is the paradox. This is one of the great secrets to be understood; let it sink into your heart.

There is every possibility of choosing one. There are people who say, "Seek, and ye shall find." That is only half the truth: just by seeking nobody has ever found. Then there are people who say, "If by seeking, God cannot be found, then why seek at all? Wait. It will happen through His grace." It never happens that way either. You have been waiting for centuries, for lives, and it has not happened: it is enough to prove that it doesn't happen that way.

Then how does it happen? It happens to a seeker when he drops his seeking. It happens to one who has searched with his total potential and has failed, utterly failed. In that failure, the first ray of light, and then it takes you by surprise! When you are completely feeling hopeless, when you are thinking to forget all about enlightenment, when the search has stopped, when even the desire to be enlightened has left you, suddenly it is there... and therewith the matter is settled.

That's how it happened to Chiyono, that's how it happened to Buddha; that's how it always happens.

Buddha worked for six years - hard work. I think nobody else has done such hard work. He did whatsoever he was told, whatsoever he heard could be done, whatsoever he could gather from anywhere. He went to every kind of Master and he did real, arduous work, sincere, serious. But then one day, after six years of wastage, he realized the fact that it was not going to happen that way, that "The more I work for it, the more I am."

That day he relaxed; he dropped the whole search. And that very night.... And again it was a full- moon night. The full moon has something to do with it: the full moon affects your heart as deeply as it affects the ocean. The full moon stirs you towards beauty and beatitude. It creates something in you... an elixir. It makes you so sensitive that you can see things you had never seen before.

It was a full-moon night. Buddha relaxed, utterly relaxed, slept for the first time - because when you are searching for something how can you sleep? Even in sleep the search continues, the desire goes on creating dreams. Now all had failed. He had seen the world, the kingdom, the joys and the miseries of love and relationship, the agony and the ecstasy of the body, of the mind; and then he had been an ascetic, a monk, followed many paths - that too he had seen. He had seen the so- called world and he had seen the so-called other-worldly world, and both had failed. Now there was nowhere to go, not even a single inch to move. All desire disappeared. When one is so hopeless, how can one desire? Desire means hope. Desire means that still something can be done.

That night Buddha came to know that NOTHING can be done, nothing at all. Just see the point, it is of tremendous beauty... nothing can be done, nothing at all. He relaxed. His body must have been in a let-go, his heart in a let-go, no desire, no future. This moment was all.

And it was a full-moon night, and he slept deeply, and in the morning when he woke up he not only woke up from his ordinary sleep, he woke up from the metaphysical sleep we all are living in. He became awakened.

He used to say to his disciples, "I worked hard and could not attain, and when I had dropped the very idea of work, then I attained."

That's why I call my work 'the play'. You have to be in a paradoxical state. That is the meaning of the word 'play'. You work very seriously, as if through work something is going to happen, but it never happens through work. It happens only when work disappears and playfulness arises, relaxation arises; and not a cultivated relaxation either, but a relaxation that comes out of the understanding that: "In all that I can do, my 'I' will go on persisting; all that I can do will go on feeding my ego. And the ego is the barrier, so my doing is really my undoing." Seeing this, doing evaporates. And when there is no doing, how can the doer exist? Doing gone, the doer follows it just like a shadow. And then you are left - total, whole, in the whole, part of this cosmic play. That is enlightenment.

These sutras are of tremendous value. Meditate over them.

Master Lu-tsu said: WHEN THE SILENCE COMES, NOT A SINGLE THOUGHT ARISES; HE WHO IS LOOKING INWARD SUDDENLY FORGETS THAT HE IS LOOKING.

There are two kinds of silences: one is that which you cultivate, the other is that which arrives.

Your cultivated silence is nothing but repressed noise. You can sit silently, and if you sit long and you continue the practice for months and years together, slowly slowly you will become capable of repressing all noise inside. But still you will be sitting on a volcano - it can erupt any moment, any small excuse will do. This is not real silence, this is just imposed silence.

This is what is happening all around the world. The people who try to meditate, the people who try to become silent, are only imposing a silence upon themselves. It can be imposed. You can have a layer of silence around yourself, but that is just deceiving yourself and nothing else. That layer is not going to help.

Unless silence arises from your very being, is not imposed from the without on the within but comes just the other way round - it comes, wells up from the within towards the without, rises from the center towards the circumference... That is a totally different phenomenon.

Lu-tsu said, "When the silence comes" - remember, it is not brought, not forced, but when it comes - "not a single thought arises." Then you are not sitting on a volcano. That's why my whole approach is in catharting your inner noise, throwing it out rather than cultivating silence.

People become very puzzled when they come to me for the first time. If they have been with some Buddhist Master, then they were doing vipassana, sitting, forcing themselves into a certain static posture. Why the static posture? - because when the body is forced to remain in one posture, mind also is forced to remain in one posture.

Body and mind function together. Mind is the inner aspect of the body; it is a material phenomenon.

It has nothing to do with your being. It is as much matter as your body, so if you do something with the body that automatically happens to the mind. Hence down the ages people have been cultivating postures - sit in a lotus posture, force your body to be like a statue, a marble statue. If your body is REALLY still, forced, you will see your mind falls into a kind of silence, which is false, which is not true. He has just been forced to be silent by the body posture. You try it: just make the posture of anger with your fists, your face, your teeth; just go into the posture of anger and you will be surprised, you start feeling angry. That's what the actor does: he moves the body into the posture, and following it, mind comes in.

Two great psychologists, James and Lange, discovered a very strange theory at the beginning of this century. It is known as the James-Lange theory. They said something very uncommon which goes against the old commonsense of the ages. Ordinarily we think that when a man is afraid he runs away; in fear, he starts running. James and Lange said it is not true - because he runs, that's why he feels fear.

It looks absurd, but it has some truth in it - half. The commonsense truth was half; this too is another half of the same whole. If you start laughing, you will find yourself feeling a little less sad than you were before. You just go and sit with a few friends who are laughing and telling jokes, and you forget your sadness, your misery. You start laughing, and once you start laughing you are feeling good.

You start with the body.

Try it! If you are feeling sad, start running, go running around the block seven times, breathing deep breaths, in the sun, in the wind; and after seven rounds, stand and see whether your mind is the same. No, it can't be the same. The bodily change has changed the mind. The body chemistry changes the mind. Hence the yoga postures. They are all postures to force the mind into a certain pattern. That is not real silence.

The real silence has to be a silence that comes on its own. My suggestion is: don't force your body.

Rather, dance, sing, move, run, jog, swim. Let the body have all kinds of movements so your mind also has all kinds of movements, and through all those kinds of inner movements, the mind starts catharting, releasing its poisons.

Shout, be angry, beat a pillow and you will be surprised - after beating a pillow you feel very good.

Something in the mind has been released. It does not matter whether you were beating your wife, your husband, or the pillow. The pillow will do perfectly as well as beating the wife or the husband, because the body does not know whom you are beating. Just the very posture of beating and the mind starts releasing its anger. Mind and body collaborate.

Start with catharsis, so that you become empty of all the rubbish that has been accumulating in you from your very childhood. You were angry but you could not be angry because the mother becomes mad if you become angry - so you repressed it. You were angry, you wanted to shout, but you could not shout; rather, on the contrary, you smiled. ALL that is accumulated in you - it has to be thrown out. And then wait... and a silence starts descending in you. That silence has a beauty of its own. It is totally different; its quality is different, its depth is different.

"When the silence comes, not a single thought arises"not that you force your thinking not to arise, not that you keep watch, not that you become very tight and you won't allow a single thought to pass.

You are not struggling, you are in a let-go, but nothing arises. That is beautiful - when no thought arises, when thoughts disappear of their own accord. Then you are utterly silent, and this silence is positive. The forced silence is negative.

HE WHO IS LOOKING INWARD SUDDENLY FORGETS THAT KE IS LOOKING.

And in this experience this will happen: HE WHO IS LOOKING INWARD SUDDENLY FORGETS THAT HE IS LOOKING.

This is REAL inward looking - when you forget that you are looking inwards. If you remember that you are looking inward, that again is a thought and nothing else. First you were looking outward, now you are looking inward, but the ego is there. First it was extrovert, now it is introvert, but the ego is there. First you were looking at the trees, now you are looking at the thoughts. First you were looking at the objects, now you are looking at the subject, but the whole thing remains the same.

You are still divided in two - the looker and the looked upon, the observer and the observed, the subject and the object. The duality persists.

This is not real silence, because when there are two there is bound to be conflict. Two cannot be silent. When you are one then you are silent because there is no possibility of any conflict.

Allow silence to descend on you rather than forcing it. The forced silence is artificial, arbitrary.

That is one of the great changes that I am trying to make here with you, with my people. All the old methods are basically of enforcing something. My own understanding is: never enforce anything.

Rather, throw out all junk that you have been carrying. Become more and more empty, become more roomy. Create a little more space in you, and in that space the silence comes.

Nature abhors emptiness, and if you can throw all the junk out and you are empty, you will see something from the beyond start descending in you. A dancing energy enters in you, in your every cell. You are full of song - wordless, soundless - a divine music. In this music there is nobody who is looking. In this music there is nobody who is looked at. The observer is the observed. The dancer has become the dance, and all duality has disappeared.

This non-duality is the only real silence.

AT THIS TIME, BODY AND HEART MUST BE LEFT COMPLETELY RELEASED...

And in such moments you should remain in a let-go. Forget all your postures. Forget everything that you try to do; don't try to do anything. Be in a state of non-doing. Just relax, relax utterly, doing nothing, because the more relaxed you are the more silence can penetrate into your being - just open, vulnerable, relaxed.

ALL ENTANGLEMENTS HAVE DISAPPEARED WITHOUT TRACE.

And then you will be surprised - all those desires that you have been trying to drop and were unable to drop have disappeared on their own. All entanglements, all occupations of the mind, all those thoughts, all that traffic of the mind is no more there. You will be surprised - where have all those people gone? You were trying hard, and not even a single thought can be forced out when you try.

You can do it: if you want to throw out a single thought, you will be an utter failure. You will not be able to throw it out. The more you will throw it out, the more it will bump in, rebound in.

Just sit silently and try not to think of a monkey, and you will see; it is a simple experiment. Not one, but many monkeys will start coming, and they will make faces at you, and the more you push them away the more they will knock on your doors, and they will say, "We want to come in." And monkeys are not so polite: they may not even ask, they may simply jump in; you will be surrounded by monkeys and monkeys. The more you try to forget them the more they will be there, because to try to forget something is nothing but remembering it. It is another way of remembering. You cannot forget by making efforts.

When silence descends, then suddenly all entanglements disappear - and without trace! They don't even leave a trace behind. You cannot believe that all that noise... where has it gone? You cannot believe that it ever existed in you. You cannot believe that it still exists in others.

This is one of the basic problems every realized person has to face. When you come to me with all your problems you don't understand my difficulty. My difficulty basically is: how can you manage so many problems, how do you go on managing? You are doing something really incredible, something impossible! - because even if I try to hold to a thought, it slips away. I cannot hold it, it wants to get out. And you say that you want to stop your thoughts and you cannot stop, and you are tired and you are weary and you are fed up and bored. You are really doing something impossible! And the day silence will descend on you, you will understand... not even a trace. You cannot believe that they had ever existed in you; they have simply disappeared. They were just shadows.

Thoughts are not substantial, just shadows. When a shadow disappears it doesn't leave a trace.

You cannot find the footprints of a shadow, because in the first place it was nonsubstantial - so are your thoughts, so is your mind.

THEN I NO LONGER KNOW AT WHAT PLACE THE HOUSE OF MY SPIRIT AND MY CRUCIBLE ARE.

And when this state happens, silence descends in you and you are overwhelmed by it, and you don't know whether you are looking in or out. You don't know who is the looker and who is the looked upon.

THEN I NO LONGER KNOW AT WHAT PLACE THE HOUSE OF MY SPIRIT AND MY CRUCIBLE ARE.

Then you cannot say who you are. You are. In fact for the first time you are - but who? what? No answer will be coming.

When the Emperor Wu asked Bodhidharma, in China... Bodhidharma had annoyed the Emperor very much. Bodhidharma was an outrageous man, blunt, would call a spade a spade and nothing else. The Emperor had asked, "I have done many virtuous deeds. What will be my reward in heaven?" Bodhidharma looked with great contempt at the Emperor and said, "Reward? You will fall into hell! What heaven are you talking about?" The Emperor said, "For my virtuous deeds I will fall into hell? And I have made so many temples and thousands of Buddha-statues, and thousands of Buddhist monks are maintained, monasteries are maintained by the treasury, and I am doing so much service to Buddha's DHARMA, his message. The whole country is becoming Buddhist.

People are meditating, worshipping. Scriptures are being translated, thousands of scholars are working on the translations, and you think there will be no reward? Are not my acts holy?"

And Bodhidharma said, "Holy? There is nothing holy in the world. There is nothing holy, nothing unholy. But mind you," he said, "drop this idea of being a virtuous man. Drop this idea of doing great things, otherwise you will fall into the seventh hell."

Naturally the Emperor was annoyed, irritated... must have been a very polished and cultured man. Otherwise he would have been violent with Bodhidharma. But even he could not resist the temptation: annoyed, angry, he asked, "Then who are you standing before me? Nothing holy, nothing unholy, no virtue? Who are you standing before me?"

Bodhidharma laughed and said, "I don't know, sir."

But the Emperor could not understand. You also would have missed.

Ordinarily people think that a man who has arrived knows who he is; we call him the man of self- knowledge. And Bodhidharma says, "I don't know." This is the highest peak of self-knowledge, this is REAL self-knowledge. One has disappeared; who is there to know? Knowing means the knower and the known. There is no duality anymore. Who is there to know? There is just silence, TREMENDOUS silence, no division, indivisibility. How could Bodhidharma say "I know"? If he had said, "Yes, I know that I am an eternal soul," that would have been very ordinary. Maybe Wu would have been more convinced, but Bodhidharma would have lost face. He was true. He said, "I don't know."

Who follows a man who says "I don't know who I am"? Wu dropped the idea of following this man.

And when Emperor Wu could not understand Bodhidharma, Bodhidharma said, "If even the Emperor cannot understand me, then what about others?"

So he went into the mountains and sat for nine years, facing a wall. When people would come and ask, "Why do you go on facing a wall?" he would say, "Because if I face people they also look like walls. It is better to face the wall. I will face a person only when I see that he is not a wall, that he can respond, that he can understand."

His statement that "I don't know" is of immense beauty, grandeur.

THEN I NO LONGER KNOW AT WHAT PLACE THE HOUSE OF MY SPIRIT AND MY CRUCIBLE ARE. IF A MAN WANTS TO MAKE CERTAIN OF HIS BODY, HE CANNOT GET AT IT.

In this moment, when silence overwhelms you, encompasses you, if you want to make sure about your body you will not be able to get at it. There is no body anymore, or, the whole existence is your body because you are not separated anymore. You cannot define, you cannot draw a line that "This is my body." The whole existence is your body, or there is no body at all.

This sometimes can drive you crazy. Beware. Don't be worried if sometimes it happens that you open your eyes and you cannot find your body, you cannot see it.

Just the other night a sannyasin was asking me, "When I stand before a mirror I feel very puzzled, because I cannot see that this reflection is mine." Now it is puzzling. He avoids the mirror because whenever he looks into the mirror this problem arises: "Who is this fellow?" He cannot feel that "This is me." Now it can drive you crazy, and he was very disturbed because of it.

But this is a beneficial sign, a confirmatory sign. Something really good is happening: he is becoming de-identified with the body. It is good; he is on the right way. I told him to look into the mirror as much as possible, whenever he had time to just sit before the mirror, see the body reflected in the mirror and go on feeling that "This is not me." There is no need to repeat "This is not me" because that would be false. Just feel! And it is happening to him of its own accord, so there is no problem. This will be his natural meditation. This is enough. Slowly slowly, one day, the moment will arrive when he will not be able to see the reflection in the mirror. That is even more disorienting.

It happened to Swabhava. I had given this meditation to him. For months he did it, and then one day he was standing before the mirror and the reflection disappeared. He rubbed his eyes... "What is happening?" Had he gone mad? The mirror was there, he was standing before the mirror, and the reflection had disappeared. And that day became a great day of transformation for his being.

Now Swabhava is a totally different person, utterly different. When he had come to me for the first time, he was just ego and nothing else - and a Punjabi ego, which is the most dangerous in India.

In fact he was trapped because of his Punjabi ego. He wanted to know about truth, and I asked him "Are you ready to risk?" Now that was a challenge to his ego: "Are you courageous enough to risk all?" He could not say no, he could not withdraw. He said, "Yes." He looked a little frightened - "Who knows what will be expected of me?" but he took the jump. And the day it happened in the mirror - that his reflection disappeared - something very deep inside him changed, moved.

Now you can see Swabhava in a totally different way. He has become so simple, so humble, goes on working in the Vipassana godown. He is a rich man, a millionaire. He was a boss in a big factory, his own factory; hundreds of people were working under him. Now he is working like a laborer in the Ashram but has never been so happy as he is now, has never been so blissful as he is now.

This moment may come to you one day: that meditating, silence descends and you cannot find your body. If you want to look in the mirror, you cannot see your face. Don't be worried, take it as a very confirmatory sign. Something beautiful is on the way: your old identity is eroding, your old idea of yourself is disappearing. And you have to disappear totally before God can take possession of you.

IF A MAN WANTS TO MAKE CERTAIN OF HIS BODY, HE CANNOT GET AT IT. THIS CONDITION IS THE PENETRATION OF HEAVEN INTO EARTH....

When you cannot see your body, when you cannot feel your body, you cannot touch your body - this is the penetration of heaven into earth. Paradise is descending, God is coming to you. God has reached. His heart is with your heart, His hand is in your hand. That's why you have disappeared.

The part has become the whole.

... THE TIME WHEN ALL WONDERS RETURN TO THEIR ROOTS.

And now your whole life will be nothing but wonder. Each moment will be a unique moment. Each experience will be incredible, just far out. Your life from then onwards will be sheer poetry. From then onwards you will never be bored; because each moment life is so new, how can one be bored?

People are bored because they go on carrying their old, dead, dull ego; that's why they are bored.

When there is no ego there is no boredom. Then life is delight! Then each single thing that happens is a gift from God. One feels constantly like bowing down, one feels constantly in gratitude...

... THE TIME WHEN ALL WONDERS RETURN TO THEIR ROOTS.

WHEN ONE IS SO FAR ADVANCED THAT EVERY SHADOW AND EVERY ECHO HAS DISAPPEARED...

You must remember that first Lu-tsu says: A moment comes when gods are in the valley. You feel yourself sitting on a hilltop and the whole world is in the valley. You can hear the sounds, and very clearly, and very distinctly, but they are faraway, distant, like echoes in the valley. Now even those echoes disappear. All shadows are gone.

Remember Chiyono? She wrote these words in celebration of her enlightenment:

This way and that way I tried to keep the pail together, Hoping the weak bamboo would never break.

Suddenly the bottom fell out....

No more water, No more moon in the water, Emptiness in my hand.

All reflections, shadows, echoes are gone. Only that which is remains, and the utter beauty of it.

... SO THAT ONE IS ENTIRELY QUIET AND FIRM, THIS IS REFUGE WITHIN THE CAVE OF ENERGY, WHERE ALL THAT IS MIRACULOUS RETURNS TO ITS ROOTS.

The whole life outside becomes a constant wonder. You are again a child on the seabeach, running in the wind and in the sun, and collecting seashells and colored stones as if you have found a mine of diamonds. The whole existence outside takes the quality of wonder. And what happens inside?

... THAT IS MIRACULOUS RETURNS TO ITS ROOTS.

And in the deep insight, parallel to the outside wonder, the miraculous returns to its roots.

What is the miracle? To BE is the greatest miracle, just to be. You need not be rich to feel it; you need not be educated to feel it; you need not be famous to feel it. Just to be... That you are is the greatest miracle there is, the greatest mystery. Why are you? There is no reason. You have not earned it, you had not even asked for it. It has simply happened.

So outside there is wonder, inside the world of miracles - this is how the enlightened person lives.

And now these things start happening.

ONE DOES NOT ALTER THE PLACE, BUT THE PLACE ALTERS ITSELF.

Now you need not go to the Himalayas, you need not renounce the marketplace. You can be in the marketplace, but the place is no more the same - the place alters itself Even the marketplace becomes so beautiful that the Himalayas are nothing compared to it. The ordinary reality becomes suffused with EXTRAORDINARY beauty. The same trees that you had been passing every day and had never looked at, were always oblivious to, suddenly burst forth in bloom, suddenly burst forth on your consciousness with all their flowers and fragrance. Life becomes very colorful, psychedelic, and things change themselves - just because you have come to this inner silence, this egolessness.

ONE DOES NOT ALTER THE PLACE, BUT THE PLACE ALTERS ITSELF.

That's why I insist again and again that my sannyasins are not to leave the world. Let this be the criterion for your enlightenment: that the world has to change itself when you are enlightened; it HAS to change. And by escaping from the world you will not be going anywhere. Wherever you go you will create the same world again, because the blueprint for creating it is within you. You can leave one woman thinking that because of this woman the problems arise - the children are there, and the house, and the responsibilities. You can leave this woman and these poor children and you can escape - many have done that down the ages - but you had fallen in love with this woman; that possibility to fall in love again is within you. You will fall in love again with some other woman.

And sooner or later - and it is going to be sooner than later - another family will arise, another man, another woman, children, responsibilities.

You cannot change life so easily, so cheaply. You only change the context, but deep down you carry the blueprint. The context was created by the blueprint; the blueprint will again create it. It is like a seed: you destroy the tree but you carry the seed. Wherever the seed will fall into the soil again, the tree will be back. The seed has to be burned.

Then wherever you are this miracle will be felt.

ONE DOES NOT ALTER THE PLACE, BUT THE PLACE ALTERS ITSELF.

This very world becomes paradise, this very world NIRVANA, this very body the body of Buddha.

THIS IS INCORPOREAL SPACE WHERE A THOUSAND AND TEN THOUSAND PLACES ARE ONE PLACE. ONE DOES NOT ALTER THE TIME, BUT THE TIME ALTERS ITSELF. THIS IS IMMEASURABLE TIME WHEN ALL THE AEONS ARE LIKE A MOMENT.

You don't alter anything. And these two are the constituents of the world. Just see, what Lu-tsu is saying is now perfectly collaborated by modern physics. Albert Einstein says that the world consists only of two things, time and space. And in fact they are not two, but one, so he has to coin a new word. He does not call it time and space, he calls it 'spatiotime', one word with not even a hyphen needed between the two, because time is the fourth dimension of space. You need not change space, you need not change time. They change of their own accord. JUST CHANGE YOURSELF.

With the change in the heart, the whole existence changes.

Heaven is not somewhere else, neither is hell somewhere else. It is within you, both are within you; you create them. But people go on doing stupid things.

Just a few days ago a man wrote me a letter: "What is happening?" He has changed wives four times. This is now the fourth time he has got married, this is the fourth woman he is living with. And now he says, "What always happens? In the beginning everything seems to be beautiful, and within six months it is the same all over again." It will happen the same all over again, because you are the same.

And there are complexities. For example, you are fed up with your wife - mind is always hankering for the new, something new, sensational. You have seen the woman, you are acquainted with her whole topography. Now you know her geography, nothing more is left to explore; you become interested in some other woman. When you become interested in some other woman, your woman will start creating more trouble for you. Seeing that you are not interested in her but in somebody else, jealousy will arise. She will create much trouble: she will nag you, she will become nasty, and the more she will nag the more you will be repelled by her.

Now see the vicious circle: she wants you to be with her, but whatsoever she is doing is repelling you away. She will become more and more possessive and more and more jealous, and life in the home will become impossible to live. It will be hell. You will avoid her as much as you can. You will work late in the office; even if there is no work you will go on sitting in the office, because to go home means to face your woman, and again the same misery. And what does she actually want?she wants you to be with her. But whatsoever she is doing is just the opposite: she is driving you away.

And the more she will drive you away, the more the other woman will look beautiful, fantastic. The more the other woman will look fantastic and beautiful, the more you would like to be with her and she would like to be with you. And soon she will start saying, "Leave the other woman if you want to be with me."

Now she does not know that the beauty that the man is finding in her will disappear the moment he leaves the other woman, because ninety percent of the beauty that he is seeing in this woman depends on the other woman: She thinks the other woman is her enemy; she is not. In fact it is because of the other woman that this man has fallen in love with her. These are unconscious ways.

See it! You don't see, and they go on working. And she will feel very happy. And the more she will feel happy and the more you would like to be with her, the more your woman will look ugly in comparison. Soon you would like to live with this woman forever. You leave the other woman, you start living with this woman. The day you leave the other woman the whole context has changed:

now you will be with this new woman but she will not look so beautiful, so alluring. The hypnosis will start disappearing because there is nobody else to repel you.

Within six months the hypnosis has disappeared: this woman is as the other was. Now, the geography explored, you are finished. And the woman cannot believe what has happened"This man was so much in love. What happened?" She destroyed it herself. And this man cannot believe what happened - "This woman was so incredible, and has proved so ordinary." Again the movement, the same movement, the same vicious circle with the same seed deep in the unconscious: he will start falling in love with somebody else. People fall in love and fall out of love unconsciously. They go on changing partners but they don't change themselves. They go on changing the outside but they remain the same.

You can go on changing - that's what you have been doing for many many lives, the same repetition.

It is a vicious circle that goes on moving; it is a wheel. The same spokes come on the top and go down, and again come on the top and go down. It is the wheel that goes on moving, and you are caught in the wheel.

Become aware. You need not change the place, you need not change time, you need not change anything on the outside. The outside is as perfect as it can be. There is just one thing you have to do - you have to become more conscious, more alert, more aware, more empty, so there is nothing to project on the outside. You have to burn all the seeds inside, you have to bum the whole blueprint inside. Once that blueprint is burnt, seeds are burnt, and you have thrown all that was inside and you are just empty, something from the beyond enters in you. Paradise penetrates into the earth.

And that is the moment of transformation.

With this change, the whole existence is totally different. The same woman, the same children, the same people, the same office, the same marketplace, but it is no more the same because you are no more the same. This is the right way of transformation: never start from the without, start from the within.

AS LONG AS THE HEART HAS NOT ATTAINED ABSOLUTE TRANQUILITY, IT CANNOT MOVE ITSELF. ONE MOVES THE MOVEMENT AND FORGETS THE MOVEMENT; THIS IS NOT MOVEMENT IN ITSELF. THEREFORE IT IS SAID: IF, WHEN STIMULATED BY EXTERNAL THINGS, ONE MOVES, IT IS THE IMPULSE OF THE BEING. IF, WHEN NOT STIMULATED BY EXTERNAL THINGS, ONE MOVES, IT IS THE MOVEMENT OF HEAVEN.

Remember, let heaven move you, allow God to move you. Surrender to the total. Otherwise you will go on reacting to situations, and the situations will go on functioning on you, on your unconscious, and you will remain the same. You can change women, you can change men, you can change jobs, you can change houses; you can go on changing things but nothing will really ever change. Unless the whole takes possession of you and your heart is no more moved by outer things, but is moved by the innermost core of your being - call it God, heaven, Tao - when you are not moving it, when you are just an instrument in the hands of the total, this is what Jesus means when he says, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done." That is his way of saying it, a Jewish way of saying the same truth.

This is a Chinese way of saying it: Let heaven move your heart.

BUT WHEN NO IDEA ARISES, THE RIGHT IDEAS COME.

And this is the miracle: when NO ideas arise then whatsoever you do is the right thing. There is no question of deciding what is right and what is wrong. When the mind is silent and the heart is moved by God, whatsoever happens is right.

It is not that if you do right things you will become a saint; if you are a saint, then whatsoever you do is right. If you are trying to become a saint by doing right you will simply become repressed and nothing else. You will go on repressing the wrong and you will go on pretending the right. You will be a hypocrite.

Don't try to become a saint. Let God take possession of you. You just be empty, surrendered, in a state of let-go. Let Him move your heart, and then all is beautiful. Then whatsoever happens is virtuous, then wrong is not possible. In short, whatsoever comes out of the ego is wrong. That's why Bodhidharma said, "You will go into hell. Although you have been doing things which look APPARENTLY virtuous, religious, deep down you are feeling very deep gratification in the ego."

Whatsoever comes out of the ego is going to take you into hell, into misery.

Drop the ego, and then let things happen - just as when the wind comes and the trees sway and the sun rises and the birds sing. Let the whole possess you. You don't live a private life on your own.

Let God live through you, then all is good. All that is out of God is good.

THAT IS THE TRUE IDEA. WHEN THINGS ARE QUIET AND ONE IS QUITE FIRM, AND THE RELEASE OF HEAVEN SUDDENLY MOVES, IS THIS NOT A MOVEMENT WITHOUT PURPOSE?

Now there is no purpose in your life because there is no private goal.

ACTION THROUGH NON-ACTION HAS JUST THIS MEANING.

One lives because God wants to live through one. One does because God wants to do something through one; but one is not interested this way or that. Whatsoever role is given to you, you go on playing it. It is His drama; He is the author of it and the director of it - you do your act as perfectly as you can. Whatsoever act is given to you, you perform it.

If you are a householder then be a householder; if you are a businessman then remain a businessman. There is no need to change these things. All that is needed is to drop the idea that you are the doer, drop the idea that you have to attain to some goal, drop the idea that you have to reach somewhere. Let Him take you wherever He wants. You be just a dry leaf in the wind - and then all is good, and then life is blissful.

There can't be any tension now, can't be any anxiety. You cannot fail. You can never feel frustrated, because in the first place you were not expecting anything. This is living a purposeless life.

ACTION THROUGH NON-ACTION HAS JUST THIS MEANING.

THE DEEPEST SECRET CANNOT BE DISPENSED WITH FROM THE BEGINNING TO THE END.

THIS IS THE WASHING OF THE HEART AND THE PURIFICATION OF THE THOUGHTS; THIS IS THE BATH.

Lu-tsu says: This we call 'the bath' - God showers on you and you are cleansed, utterly cleansed.

God floods you, and you are not left anywhere, not even in a corner somewhere in the unconscious.

No nook or corner is Left without God; He fills you totally. God is light, and when HE FILLS YOU totally this is called enlightenment. You are full of light.

ITS BEGINNING IS BEYOND POLARITY AND IT EMPTIES AGAIN BEYOND POLARITY.

And now you have come home. Now again you are one as you were before you were born, as you were before the beginning. Zen people call it 'the original face'. The original face is one, single, neither man nor woman, neither positive nor negative. The moment you are born, the moment you enter into the manifested world, you become two.

When you enter meditation again deep silence descends. Suddenly the two have disappeared; you have become one again. In the beginning you are beyond polarity, in the end you are again beyond polarity. Only in between the two are you divided. In the middle is the world; in the beginning is God, in the end is God. The source is the goal. Either fall back into the source or disappear in the goal; it is saying the same thing in different ways.

THE BUDDHA SPEAKS OF THE TRANSIENT, THE CREATOR OF CONSCIOUSNESS, AS BEING THE FUNDAMENTAL TRUTH OF RELIGION. AND THE WHOLE WORK OF COMPLETING LIFE AND HUMAN NATURE LIES IN THE EXPRESSION 'TO BRING ABOUT EMPTINESS'.

The whole of religion can be reduced to a simple phenomenon, 'to bring about emptiness'. Be empty and you will be full. Remain full and you will remain empty. Be utterly absent and the presence of the beyond will penetrate you. Go on holding yourself, clinging to yourself, and you will remain just an emptiness, a shadow, a reflection, not a reality.

ALL THE RELIGIONS AGREE IN THE ONE PROPOSITION, THE FINDING OF THE SPIRITUAL ELIXIR IN ORDER TO PASS FROM DEATH TO LIFE.

And this is the Elixir all the religions have been searching for: the secret of being utterly empty.

Then you cannot die because there is nobody to die; you have already disappeared. Now there is no possibility of death, you have already died! The man who has died as an ego has attained eternal life.

IN WHAT DOES THIS SPIRITUAL ELIXIR CONSIST? IT MEANS FOREVER DWELLING IN PURPOSELESSNESS.

Now when the ego is no more there and you are empty, and the silence has descended in you, how will you live? You will live eternally in purposelessness.

Is there any purpose when a rosebush blooms? Is there any purpose when a bird starts singing in the morning? Is there any purpose when the sun rises? Is there any purpose in this existence at all?

This existence is not a business, hence there is no purpose. It is sheer joy, playfulness, what the Hindus call LEELA. It is just delight in energy. Energy is there and energy is dancing and delighting.

When you have energy you delight in it. You run, you sing, you dance, you swim, you play.

Energy delights in expression. You become creative - you paint, you write poetry, you compose music - out of sheer energy. Existence is energy and the energy wants to dance, for no purpose at all. Dance for dance's sake, art for art's sake, love for love's sake... existence for existence's sake.

IT MEANS FOREVER DWELLING IN PURPOSELESSNESS. THE DEEPEST SECRET OF THE BATH THAT IS TO BE FOUND IN OUR TEACHING IS THUS CONFINED TO THE WORK OF MAKING THE HEART EMPTY.

Do only one thing: pour out all that you are carrying in the heart, throw it out - and you have done the only fundamental thing that is needed to be done.

THEREWITH THE MATTER IS SETTLED.

A tremendously beautiful statement: "Therewith the matter is settled." Nothing else is needed. No scriptures are needed, no temples are needed, no priests are needed - therewith the matter is settled. Only one thing is needed - become empty so God can flow in you. Make space for Him. Be a hollow bamboo so He can make a flute out of you. And when He sings there is beauty. When He sings there is ecstasy, when He sings there is laughter.

When you sing there is only misery, and tears, and agony, because the ego is a very small thing.

It cannot contain esctasy, it can only contain agony. To contain ecstasy you will have to become infinite because ecstasy is infinite. If you want to contain the ocean you will have to become vast.

By being empty one becomes vast, by being empty one becomes spacious, by being empty you become ready. You can become a host. God can become a guest if the host is ready. By being empty you become the host.

Become a host; God has been waiting at your door for long, knocking, but you don't listen. There is so much noise within you - how can you listen to the knock? You are so preoccupied with your own foolish things, how can you see the sheer beauty of purposelessness? You are worried about how to have a bigger bank balance, you are worried about how to succeed in politics, you are worried about how to become a little more famous, and God goes on knocking on your door. He is ready to pour Himself into you but you are not ready to receive Him.

Yes, Lu-tsu is right: the most fundamental thing of all the religions is to bring about emptiness. The whole work of all the yogas, tantras, of all the alchemical systems - Tao, Sufi, Hassidic - consists in only one thing: making the heart empty...

... THEREWITH THE MATTER IS SETTLED.

I will repeat this beautiful story:

The nun Chiyono studied for years but was unable to find enlightenment. One night, carrying an old pail of water, as she was walking along, she was watching the full moon reflected in the pail of water. Suddenly the bamboo strips that held the pail together broke and the pail fell apart. The water rushed out, the moon's reflection disappeared, and Chiyono became enlightened.

She wrote this verse:

This way and that way I tried to keep the pail together, Hoping the weak bamboo would never break.

Suddenly the bottom fell out.

No more water, No more moon in the water, Emptiness in my hand.

And therewith, the matter is settled....

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The Golden Rule of the Talmud is "milk the goyim, but do not get caught."