STILLNESS has many dimensions. One is silence: it is the polar opposite of sound; it is soundlessness. The second dimension is no-movement: it is the polar opposite of movement.
Mind is movement just as mind is sound. Sound travels and mind also. Mind is on a constant move, never standing still. You cannot conceive of a still mind. There exists no such thing, because when stillness is, mind is no more; when mind is, there is movement. So what is the movement of mind?
Through it we can conceive of the second dimension of stillness - no-movement.
Outwardly we know what movement means - moving from one spot to another, from one place to another, from A to B. If you are at A and you then move to B, movement has taken place. So outside of the mind, movement means changing places in space. If there is no space, you cannot move.
You need space to move outwardly.
Inward movement is not in space but in time. If there is no time, you cannot move inside. Time is inner space: from one second you move to another second, from this day to another day, from here to somewhere else, from now to then, in time. Time is inner space. Analyze your mind and you will see that you are always moving from past to future or from future to past. Either you are moving in past memories or you are moving in desires for the future.
When you move from the past to the future or from the future to the past, only then do you use the present moment - but just as a passage. The present is nothing but the dividing line between past and future for the mind. For the mind, the present is not really existential. It is just a dividing line from where you can move to the past or to the future. Mind is never in the present because you are unable to move in the present. Understand this: you are unable to move in the present. In the present there is no time. The present is always a single moment. You are never in two moments together; only the moment is given to you. You cannot move from A to B because only A exists; there is no B.
Understand this quality of time in the present: you are always given only a single moment. Whether you are a beggar on the street or an emperor, it makes no difference. Your time wealth is the same - only one moment at a time - and you cannot move in it. There is no place to move to, and mind exists only in movement. So mind never uses the present; it cannot use it. It goes back to the past.
There it has many points to move to. There is a long memory: your whole past is there.
Or else it goes to the future. Again you can imagine because future also is basically only the past projected. You have lived. you have experienced many things. You desire them again or you desire to avoid them: that is your future. You loved someone; it was beautiful, blissful. Then you desire it again, so you project into the future your wish to repeat it. You were ill, you suffered, and you want to avoid it in the future. so you project not to be ill again. So your future is just a projected past, and you can move in the future.
But the mind is not satisfied with the future that belongs to this life. It projects heaven, it projects future lives. It is not satisfied with a small future, so beyond death also mind creates time. The past and future are vast territories; you can move easily in them. With the present you cannot move.
No-movement means to be in the present. That is the second dimension of stillness. If you can be in the moment, just here and now, you will be still. You cannot be anything else. Then no other possibility exists but to be still.
Live in the now, and movement will stop because the mind will stop. Do not think of the past and do not project into the future. That which is given to you is all and all. Stick to it, remain in it, be content with it. This very moment is the only real existential time; there is nowhere else. The past is just a memory. It is just in your mind, just accumulated dust, accumulated experience. There is no past in the Existence, there is no future in the Existence. Existence is the present.
If man were not on this earth, there would be no past and no future. Flowers would flower, of course, but in the present. The sun would rise, but in the present. The earth would not know anything of the past, would not dream anything of the future. There would be no past, no future. The past is in the mind, in the memory, and because of that memory it is projected into the future. So ordinarily we divide time into three parts - past, present and future. But, really, the past and future are not a part of time at all. They are parts of the mind, not parts of time. Time has only one division, if you can call it a division: that is the present.
Time is always the present. These three divisions are not divisions of time. Past and future belong to the mind, not to time at all. To time, only the present belongs. But then it is difficult to call it the Present because to us, linguistically, present means something between the past and the future. It refers to the past, it refers to the future. If there were no past and no future, then the word "present" would lose all meaning.
Eckhart is reported to have said that there is no time - only the eternal now. There is an eternal now and an infinite here. When we say "there", it is only in reference to where we are; otherwise there is only here. If I am not here, then what point will be here and what point will be there? In reference to myself, I call the nearer place here, and that which is not near I call there. Where does the here end and where does the there begin? We cannot demarcate the line. Really, it is all one "hereness" - an infinite here.
Because of the mind we divide time. Then that which we have experienced becomes the past, that which we expect to experience becomes the future, and that which we are passing through becomes the present. But if there is no mind, then it is again an infinite now, an eternal now. Here, just now, is the reality. There and then are parts of mind, not parts of reality.
To conceive of stillness from the second dimension means making an effort to live moment to moment. Then you will be still; you will be silent. Then there will be no trembling inside, no wavering inside, no movement. Everything will have become a pool of deep silence.
Why does this mind move into the past and the future? Buddha has given the name tanha to trishna - desire. Buddha says that because you have experienced something, you desire it again. Because you desire, you move into the future. Do not desire, and there is no future. It is difficult because when mind experiences pleasure it wants to repeat it, and when mind feels displeasure it doesn't want to repeat it: it wants to avoid it. Because of this it is a very natural thing that the future is created, and because of this future we go on missing the present.
You are listening to me: you can just listen; then you will not have any mind at all. It will be a mindless listening. But if you are listening and trying to understand also, then you have moved into the future.
If you are thinking of what is being said to you, you have missed what is being said to you: you have moved to the future. And the present is such a subtle and delicate thing and such a minute, atomic thing that you can miss it in a single moment of the mind. Just a jerk, and you have missed it.
If you are listening, then just listen. Do not think about what is being said, do not try to find out the meaning - because you cannot do two things in the present: listening is enough. And if you are simply listening, then you are in the present, and even listening becomes a meditation.
Mahavir has said that if you can just listen rightly you need not practise anything else. Just by being a shravak, a right listener, you will achieve everything that can be achieved - just by being a shravak, a right listener - because just listening is not just listening: it is a great phenomenon. And once you know the secret, you can apply it anywhere. Then just eating will be meditation, just walking will be meditation, just sleeping will be meditation. Then anything with which you are in the moment, without any movement into the future, will be meditation.
But we do not know any activity in which we are in the present. Either we begin to think of the past or of the future. The present is continuously missed. That means the Existence is continuously missed. And then it becomes a chain process; then it becomes a habit.
One evening Mulla Nasrudin was walking down a street. The street was lonely and suddenly he became aware of some horsemen, some troops coming toward him. His mind began to work. Ho thought that they may be robbers, that they may kill him. Or, they may be soldiers of the King and he may be pressed into military service or something. He made himself frightened. And when the horses and their sounds came nearer, he bolted, ran away and jumped into a cemetery, and just to hide from them he lay down in an open grave.
Seeing this man suddenly moving away, the horsemen, who were just innocent travellers, became aware of what had happened. They ran after Mulla Nasrudin and came near his grave. He was Lying there with closed eyes as if dead. "What has happened?" they asked. "Why have you suddenly become so frightened? What is the matter?"
Then Mulla Nasrudin realized that he had unnecessarily frightened himself. He opened his eyes and said, "It is a very complicated thing, very complex. If you insist on asking why I am here, I will tell you. I am here because of you, and you are here because of me."
This is a vicious circle. If you desire, then you have moved into the future, and this will create the vicious circle. When that future becomes the present, you will again move into the future. Today I will think c f tomorrow: this will become a habit. And tomorrow never comes. It cannot come; that is impossible. When it comes it is again today, and I have created a habit of always moving from today to tomorrow. So when tomorrow comes it comes as today, then I again move toward tomorrow.
This is a chain! And the more you do it, the more you become efficient in doing it. And the tomorrow never comes. Always that which comes is today, and with today you have no relationship. You have a mechanism: because it is today, you move. This is a very great habit - not only of this life, but of lives together. One has to break it, one has to come out of it. Whatsoever you are doing, remember only one thing: remain in the present while you are doing it. It is difficult, arduous, and you cannot succeed immediately. A long habit has to be broken. It is going to be a tough struggle, but try.
The very effort will create a gap, and the very effort will sometimes give you some moments of the present. And once you know the taste, you are on the path.
But you do not even know the taste of the present. You have never tasted it, you have never lived in it - never, I say. And it is always here. It is the very life; it is all that is in life.
Jesus says that we are just dead - not alive! One day, he was passing by a fisherman just as the morning sun was going to rise. The fisherman had thrown his net into the lake, and Jesus put his hand on the fisherman's shoulder and said, "Are you going to destroy your whole life just catching fish? I can show you something better to catch. I can make you a fisherman of life." The fisherman looked at Jesus as if some magnet was working on him. Then he threw away his net and followed Jesus.
When they were just going out of the village, someone came running and told the fisherman, "Your father is dead. He has just died, so come home. Where are you going?"
The fisherman asked permission. He said to Jesus, "Allow me to go home. Soon I will come back. I have to bury my dead father."
Jesus said, "Let the dead bury the dead. You need not go; you follow me. There are many dead men in the village. They will bury the dead."
For Jesus, we are dead men because we have never tasted life. never tasted the present, the existential. We live in the dead past, and we go on projecting the dead past into the future. This is what Shankara says is MAYA - illusion. Shankara has been very much misunderstood. When Shankara says that the whole world is an illusion, he means man's world is an illusion, not the world.
We do not know anything about the world. We have created our own mental world. Everyone has his own world - this world of past and future, this world of memories and desires. This world is false, illusory. So when Shankara says that this world is false, it means your world, not the world. And when your world is no more, you will come to know the real world. And Shankara says that that is the Brahman, that is the Truth - the absolute Truth.
It is as if we are living in a dreamworld, everyone surrounded by his own dreams, the cloudy mist of dreams. Everyone is moving surrounded by his own dreams. And because of these dreams we cannot see what is true, what is real. The real is hidden behind our dreams. This dreaming mind is the unstill mind; the nondreaming mind is the still mind. But desires create dreams. You dream in the night because you desire in the day. If you do not desire in the day you cannot dream in the night.
A Buddha cannot dream, because dreams are desires and desires are dreams. When they are in the day you call them desires; when they are in the night you call them dreams: But every desire is a dream. Why? Because every desire is in the future which is not: every desire is a future desire which is not. The future is not!
We go on dreaming. This dreaming must be broken. This dreaming is a movement, a continuous movement. You are filled with dreams - dreams that are broken, burned, newly created. Every day we have to throw out old ones and create new ones.
Any moment, in any activity, try to be here and now. Even the effort is a barrier, but one has to begin.
At the beginning you will have to make an effort. Even the effort is a barrier because effort again moves you into the future. But in the beginning one has to make an effort; then in the second stage one has to make an effortless effort; and then in the third stage effort disappears and you are in the present.
You are walking on a street: try just to walk; do not do anything else. It looks simple: it is not! It looks as if we are all doing it; it is not so! When you are walking, your mind is doing a thousand other things. Move with every step. Just walk.
Buddha has said, "When you are walking, just walk; when you are eating, just eat; when you are listening, just listen." Be in the act totally; do not allow your mind to move somewhere else. And this is a wonderful experience because suddenly the present will break in. Into your world of dreams, the world of reality will penetrate. And if you have this glimpse, even for a single moment, you will be a different person. Then you will know something which is just here and now, around you, and you are missing it. You are missing it only because of a mechanical habit, and one cannot do anything other than to try to be non-mechanical.
Sometimes, with awareness, miracles happen. I was reading that in Russia, in the old days before the revolution, in a small provincial town, a drama was enacted. Suddenly the manager became aware that one person was missing who was essential in the last act. One man was needed in a particular role in which he had to stutter. The man was missing, so they tried to find someone to replace him. Then someone suggested that it would be difficult to catch him just at that time; but in that village there was one boy who was just perfect. He did not need to undergo any training because he stuttered naturally. So the boy was brought. Many doctors had tried to cure him, many medicines were tried. but the stuttering had continued.
So the boy was called and given the role. There was no need for him to practise. Just when the boy entered on the stage, he tried to stutter and he could not. He began to speak as faultlessly as anyone. The more he tried, the more impossible it was. What had happened? For the first time the mechanical habit of stuttering was broken by awareness. Now he was doing it with full alertness.
He was trying to do it. He was conscious, and the disease disappeared. It had been a mechanical habit, but the very effort to do it consciously made it impossible.
I was in a town. A professor was brought to me. He was a professor in a college - a very learned, sensible, rational man. But he was suffering - suffering much because he had imbibed the habit of walking like a woman. And that was a problem for him, particularly in a college. Everyone would laugh. He was psychoanalyzed, treated, hospitalized, but nothing would result from any effort. And the more he tried, the more he willed not to do it, then the more the thing would happen, so he became confused.
He was brought to me. I told him, "Do not fight with the habit. Rather, do it consciously. When you walk on the street, walk like a woman. Try to walk like a woman."
He said, "What are you telling me? I am already in so much trouble. And if I myself try to walk that way, then it will be even worse."
So I told him, "You have tried continuously for twenty years not to walk like a woman. Now try the contrary. You stand here. Just walk in this room before me."
He was very shy about it. Still, he tried, but he couldn't walk. He said, "What has happened? What are you doing? Have you done something? It is a miracle! I am trying, and I cannot walk like a woman."
I told him, "Go, and continue doing it. Go to your college. Try in every way to walk like a woman."
In the evening he came. He was just ecstatic. He said, "How can I thank you? It seems impossible, but it is miraculous. The trick has worked. I cannot walk. If I try to walk, I cannot. What has happened!"
The moment you bring your alertness to any mechanical habit, it stops, because a mechanical habit feeds on your unconsciousness. So willpower won't do. Awareness will do! And remember the difference: in willpower you begin to fight with the habit, and if you try to fight with the habit, you have accepted it. When I say to do it consciously, I mean not to fight with it. Give it your full support; do not be "anti" to it.
You are walking on the street: give your full support to your walking. Be one with it; be aware of what is going on. Now the left leg, now the right, is moving. Feel every moment consciously. Remain with the moment; do not allow your mind to move anywhere else. If the mind moves because of old habits, bring it back again. Do not become frustrated. If the mind moves, then do not say, "It is impossible. I cannot do it" - no! Bring your mind back again. Try again, and sooner or later you will begin to feel some moments, howsoever rare they are, when you will taste the feeling of the present.
What it is to feel the present! And once you feel the present, you are just near the door of Existence.
You can enter it.
Stillness in this dimension means no movement of the mind in the past or the future. No movement!
Just remain in the present. You can understand it intellectually; you may even feel that it is okay. But intellectual understanding will not help. Rather, it may be a deception; it may prove a deception. You will have to DO IT! Thinking is of no help.
You are lying on your bed; you are just going to sleep: feel this state of lying on the bed. Feel the touch of the bed, the touch of the bedsheets and the sounds all around, the traffic sounds or whatsoever is going on there. Feel it! Be there; do not think, just feel. Be in the present. And in that feeling state, fall into sleep. You will have less dreams that night; you will have a deeper sleep. In the morning, you will have a fresher awakening.
When in the morning you feel for the first time that sleep has broken, do not just jump out of the bed. Remain there for five minutes. Feel again the sheets, the warmth, the coldness, or the rain falling on the roof, or the traffic that has begun again, or the world that is awakening, the noise, the birds singing - feel them for five minutes. Do not rush into the day just now. Be with the morning.
Otherwise your sleep will be broken, and you will have rushed and moved into the future.
You have gone to the market or to your office, but you have rushed, you have moved. For five minutes just be there. Do not move so fast: there is no hurry. These five minutes will become meditative. These moments in the morning and in the night are the best moments. At that time it is very easy to get the feeling of the present.
The moment of just falling into sleep is a very vulnerable moment. Be sensitive to everything around.
Do not think. Feel! Feeling is always in the present and thinking is never in the present. So in the morning, when the mind is fresh after a night's sleep and the body is relaxed and you have no energy to work with, feel for five minutes and then come out of your bed. But be alert that you are coming out of the bed. Take every step with full awareness. And in the morning it is very easy. In the afternoon it will not be so easy; in the evening it will become more difficult.
Go to your bath and take a shower: FEEL! Feel the water of the shower falling on you, feel every drop falling on you. Forget everything else. Just remain under this shower and feel the present.
Even the morning bath can become a deep meditation. When the water is falling on you, you can have a deep communion with nature. Remain there for a few minutes, and then try to continue this feeling. You are taking your breakfast or you are eating your food: try to continue it. It will be more and more difficult, but go on trying. A time soon will come when you can move throughout the day in the present, when you can remain in the present. And once this happens, you will know what stillness is.
This is the second dimension. There is a third dimension also, and it will be good to know about it.
One is silence as against sound. That is one dimension: soundlessness. The second is stillness as against movement; that is non-movement, no-movement. And the third is non-being as against ego - egolessness. The third is the deepest.
Buddha has said, "Unless you cease to be, you cannot be still. You are the problem, you are the noise, you are the movement. So unless you cease completely you cannot attain perfect stillness.
Because of this, Buddha is known as anatmawadi - one who believes in no-self.
We go on thinking that we are, that "I am". This "I" is a very false thing. And because of this I, many diseases are created; because of this I, you go on accumulating the past; because of this I, you go on thinking about repeating past pleasures. Everything else hangs on this I - the past, the future, the desires.
Buddha came to know through deep meditation that we can leave the desires of the world, but if the I remains then it begins to desire MOKSHA - Ultimate Liberation, freedom to be one with God, to be one with the Brahman. If this I remains, desires will be there, whatsoever their direction and whatsoever their object.
Buddha says, "Drop this I-centered existence." But how to drop it? Who will drop it? If there is no I, who will drop it? Who will think to drop it? By "dropping" is meant to go inside and find it, to search for it, to see where it is, whether it is or not - because those who have gone in and those who have searched for it have never found it. It is only those who have never gone in, never searched for it, who believe in it, that it is there. No one has ever found that anything like "I" exists.
When I say "I am", the "am" is the reality, not the "I". When you go in you feel a certain "am-ness": a certain existential feeling is there. You know something is there, but it is not you. There is no feeling of I. Only a diffused am-ness is felt, the Existence is felt with no I.
So another thing for entering into the third dimension: whenever you have time, whenever, try to find out where this I is. You need not go to a temple. If you go, it is good, but you need not. You are just travelling in the train: close your eyes; try to find out where this I is. In the body In the mind? Where is it? Go with an open mind. Just find out where it is. Just sitting in your car or just Lying in your bed, whenever you have a few moments to close your eyes, then close them - and with just one question: "Where does this I exist? Where is it? Where is I?"
Raman Maharshi has given a meditation. He calls it the "Who am I?" meditation. Buddha would say that this will not do, because when you ask "Who am I?" you have already supposed that you are.
Then that is not questioned. If the only question is "Who am I?" then "I am" is settled already. You have presupposed it. Now you are just asking, "Who am I?" The I is not really questioned. Buddhist meditation says ask, "Where am I?" not "Who?"
Go to every nook and corner inside, search with an open mind, and you will not find yourself anywhere. You will find a silent Existence. but with no I. And do not think that this is very difficult.
This is not! Even if you just close your eyes here and try to find out "Where am I?" you will not find out. You will find many other things. Your heart will be beating, your breathing will be there, you will find many thoughts floating in the mind. You may find many things. but you will not find any I, any ego there.
Buddha says ego is just a collective notion - just like "society", just like "nation", just like "humanity".
You cannot find them anywhere. We are sitting here. We can call this a "class", but we cannot find it. If we go to search for it, we will find individuals, not any class. No group will be found - only individuals. "Group" is just a name for a collectivity. We call many trees a forest. There exists no forest - only trees and trees and trees. If you go in, then you will find trees, and the forest will disappear. This I is just a collective name. You are a group. The Buddhist word is sangha - just a compound, a collective thing. You are many things, but not I. Go in and find out. Buddha says, "Do not believe me. Go in and find out; peep in and find out." Then it is never found.
So in this third dimension there is non-beingness or egolessness. When one finds that one is not, one is still: stillness has happened. You cannot be tense, you cannot be non-still, you cannot be in a deep inner noise if there is no ego. The whole show is withdrawn.
But what are we doing? Every moment we are doing things to feed this I - to give it more strength, to give it more energy, to give it more fuel. We are every moment trying to sustain it. It is a false notion, but it can be sustained and maintained. You can go on believing in it and creating situations in which it becomes easier and easier to believe in it. I is a belief. It is not a fact.
Everyone is a believer in the ego. People will ask, "Where is God? Unless we find Him we cannot believe in Him." Even those persons will go on believing in their egos without trying to find out whether any such thing exists. This is a miracle. We can doubt God, but we cannot doubt ourselves. And unless We doubt ourselves, we cannot move into stillness. With that doubt everything is shattered.
A religious man is born by doubting his ego and doubting himself.
We have taken I for granted. We never ask about it, whether it is there or not. And if someone makes us aware that it is not there, he is an enemy. Friends are those who help us to be stronger egos.
Our family, our society, our nation, they all help us to be centered in our egos. Religion dethrones you. You are put down from your pedestal: you are not. And if you are not, you will be in a deep abyss of stillness - bottomless, infinite - because this I is the disturber, this I is the disease, this I is the nuisance. That is the problem.
Tanka was staying in a village. Someone comes and asks, "Help me! Teach me! Initiate me! I want to be free! I want to attain moksha!"
Tanka says to him, "I Cannot make you free. I can dissolve your 'you' but I cannot make you free."
There is no freedom for the I. There is only one freedom and that is freedom from the I. There is no moksha for the I, no Liberation for I. There is only one Liberation and that is from the I, not for the I.
So what can you do? You Can ponder over it without any preconceptions. Whenever you have time, just close your eyes, go in, and find out where you are. And soon you will stumble upon the fact that you exist as part of the infinite Existence, not as a separate island. No man is an island. We are parts of an infinite continent. The I gives you the false notion of being an island, and then every trouble is created. I is the troublemaker. Every violence, war, crime, every madness, is created by this I. We go on clinging to it and clinging to it. This clinging must be stopped.
You must be uprooted from your own I. No one else can do this and no yoga practice will help, because if you go on practising without searching for this I, then whatsoever the practice, the I will be strengthened by it. If you meditate, this I will say, "I am meditating." If you renounce the world, this I will say, "I have renounced this world." If you become a sannyasin this I will say, "I have become a sannyasin, I have attained this, I have attained that." In this world or in that world this I will go on becoming strengthened by your efforts.
So it happens that a person who has practised much austerity becomes an egoist in a more subtle way. He becomes more of an I rather than becoming part of the great mainland, the great continent.
He becomes a peak of ego. This is possible for everyone. So it is not only wealth or prestige or worldly things and possessions that will become food for the I. I can convert everything into its food.
So before entering on the spiritual path, Buddha's advice has to be always remembered. He has said, "Before you enter any path, first find out whether this I exists or not. Only then will your path be spiritual. Otherwise, whatsoever the path may be, it will ultimately prove worldly, because this I will exploit it."
Once Mulla Nasrudin came back from the capital to his village. The whole village gathered around him to ask the news about the capital, about what was happening there. And in those days of no newspapers, it was a big event for the village: A man has been to the capital and has come back!
And no ordinary man at that, but Mulla Nasrudin himself, the only literate man in the town! When everyone was gathered, Mulla was just silent, very serious. He had just come back from the capital.
The whole village was just mad, crazy to know what had happened. Then Mulla said, "At this time I will not tell you much, only one thing - I met the Emperor. And not only that: he has spoken to me.
But I will give you the details later on."
The village dispersed. The whole village became enthusiastic over only one thing: Mulla Nasrudin has met the Emperor. And not only that: the Emperor has spoken to him! But one man still remained there, and he persisted to ask, "What has he spoken? Tell me Mulla. Otherwise I am not going to leave. I cannot sleep now because I am so excited. What has he spoken? Just tell a little. Do not go into details, but just tell the essence."
So Mulla said, "There are not many details. When he saw me standing, he shouted,'Get out of my way!' This was the only thing he spoke to me."
But the villager was satisfied because these were no ordinary words. They were spoken by the Emperor! The very same words spoken by the Emperor he has heard! The man who asked was.
satisfied, and he said, "It is so fortunate to be born in your village, Mulla. Imagine! I have heard the very same words that were spoken by the Emperor! He himself said to you,'Get out of my way!' "
Nasrudin said, "He himself! He came near me and spoke not in a whisper, but in such a loud voice that everyone heard: 'Get out of my way.' He cried it, really. He screamed."
Mind is such, the ego is such, that it tries to fulfill itself in each and every way. Subtle are its ways, even foolish, but subtle. If you try to do something toward spirituality, the ego may poison it. Before going into that dimension, remember that you are not an ego. If you find out for once that this ego is not there, then everything becomes spiritual and every path becomes a spiritual path. Then wherever you go, you will go to the Divine. Then every path leads to the Divine. With the ego, no path leads to the Divine. With the ego, even if you go to Mecca or to Jerusalem or to Kashi, you will reach hell.
You cannot go anywhere because the ego is the hell. Without the ego, go anywhere, even to hell, and you will find heaven there - because without the ego, anywhere is heaven. The ego is the root cause of all misery.
These are the three dimensions of stillness - silence as soundlessness, silence as a no-movement of the mind, silence as egolessness. Start with any one, and the other two will follow by and by.
Or, you can start working on all the three. Then the whole work will be speedy. But do not go on thinking, because thinking is a movement, thinking is a noise, and thinking is a process of the ego.
Stop thinking and start doing. Only doing helps, only doing can make you existential. Only through doing is there the jump and the explosion.
The situation appears so. It is not. Rather, the situation is quite the vice versa. You are not exhausted because of this industrialized age and the work and the tensions. You are exhausted because you have lost contact with your inner stillness. The work is not the problem: you are the problem. Neither is the age the problem: you are the problem.
Do not go on thinking that modern man is more burdened with work. He is less burdened. A primitive man is more burdened. Mechanization, industrialization, they all help to save time. They are for saving time and they have saved much.
But because you now have time and no stillness, because you now have time and no use for it, it creates problems. A primitive man has less problems, not because he is silent and still, but because he has no time, no time, to create troubles for himself. You have more time and you do not know what to do.
This time can be used for an inner journey. And if man cannot use it for that inwardness, he is done for. Then there is no hope because now more and more time will be saved. Soon the whole world will be under automatic mechanization. You will have time and you won't know what to do, and for the first time in history man will have achieved the utopia he has always longed for, desired. Then he will be at a loss as to what to do with it.
You have more time than any age, and you are not exhausted because of the work. You are exhausted because you have lost the inner contact - because you do not know how to go deep in yourself and be revitalized. You have even lost the ability to sleep. That used to be the natural method to go in. Then one would be fresh in the morning, recharged, revitalized. But now we have lost the ability to sleep, and we have lost it because of the mechanical revolution, because now your bodies are not forced to work. Because of less work you are less exhausted, and because of less exertion you cannot sleep.
A villager still sleeps deeply; because his body is so exhausted, he falls deep into sleep. Your body is not exhausted; that is why you go on turning in your bed. Machines have replaced labour and you are less exhausted - remember this. And then you cannot sleep, and even the natural source of inner revitalization is lost. In the morning you are more exhausted than in the evening, and then the whole day begins again and you feel again exhausted.
You are living an exhausted life. It is not only that you are exhausted in the evening: in the morning you are also exhausted. What has happened? Man needs continuous contact with the inner source.
So do not ask me how an exhausted man can meditate. It is like asking me how a diseased man, an ill man, can take medicine. He needs it, and only he needs it.
You are exhausted, so meditation will be a medicine to you. And do nOt say that you have no time.
You have much time, much that you can use. Everyone is wasting time in so many ways. People are playing cards. If you ask them they will say, "We are killing time." The cinema houses are packed.
What are people doing there? Killing time! They go to hotels, clubs. What are they doing there?
But you cannot kill time. Time only can kill you. So no one is now without time. And do not think that time is a limited quantity. Do not think that every day consists of twenty-four hours - no! It is up to you. It depends on you how many hours you put into it. It depends on that.
Someone asked Emerson, "What is your age?" He said, "Three hundred and sixty years."
It was unbelievable, so that man said, "Pardon me! It seems I have not heard you rightly. Tell it again. How many years are you saying?"
Emerson repeated loudly, "Three hundred and sixty years!"
But the man said. "I cannot believe it. This is impossible. You are not more than sixty."
Emerson said, "That is right, you are right. My actual age is sixty, but I have lived six times more than you. I have used my sixty years in such a way that they have proved to be three hundred and sixty years."
This man was about fifty and Emerson said, "If you say you are fifty, the same will be the problem for me. I cannot believe it because you look to me not more than thirty. You have simply wasted life.
You have not lived."
The wasting of time is one thing, living is another. So every day is not a fixed thing. A Buddha can use it in such a way that it becomes a life. It is not "how much" - it ultimately depends on how much you put into it.
You are a creator. We create our time, we create our space, we create our milieu, through living. So whatsoever your position in life and whatsoever your work and whatsoever your outward situation, do not make it an excuse. You can meditate all the same, and meditation doesn't need time. It needs a deep understanding, not time.
And it is not in conflict with other things. For example, if you are eating, eat with awareness. No extra time is needed. Rather, on the contrary, you will save time because you will eat less. With awareness you will eat less; with awareness you will become more efficient. You will save time. With awareness you will lose less energy, you will dissipate less energy. And even after a whole day's work, you will be as fresh as in the morning - because it is not work that exhausts you: it is the attitude.
You walk to your office on a two-mile walk. You go to your office, and that exhausts you. But if it is Sunday and you are just walking for pleasure, and you walk to your office and come back, then it is just a play and it is not going to exhaust you. Rather, it will refresh you. If you are doing a certain thing as work, it will exhaust you. If you are doing the same thing as play, it will refresh you. It is not the work: it is the attitude. The mind which lives in meditation transforms all work into a play, and the mind which is not meditative will transform even a play into a work.
Look at people who are playing cards. They are tense. They are not "playing" cards - it has become a work. Now there is a problem of life and death. It is not a play. If they are defeated they won't be able to sleep in the night,, and even if they win they will not be able to sleep in the night. Either way they are going to be exhausted. It is not a play; it will not refresh them. It will only exhaust them.
Look at children. They are doing more work than you, but they are never exhausted. They are always bubbling with energy. Why? Because everything is a play. And because of industrialization, and sooner or later because of total automatic processes coming in, man will have only one dimension - that is the dimension of play. Work will be useless then, and all the old teachings that "work is Divine" - that "work is duty and work is Divine and one must do work" - they all will become nonsense.
Leisure, pleasure, fun, festivity, play, will be the key terms for the future. Seriousness will be taken as a disease; playfulness will become the symbol of sanity. Time will be saved more and more, and even old men will have to be like children playing. Only then will they be able to exist; otherwise they will commit suicide.
The whole human history up until now has been work-oriented. From now on it will be play-oriented.
And meditation gives you a new childhood, a new innocence, a new festivity. Then the whole life becomes a ceremony. It is not work.
So do not make excuses. They may look valid, but they are dangerous. And meditation is not in conflict with anything. If you are going to your office, go meditatively. If you are doing work in your office, do it meditatively, do it relaxedly. Then you will not be exhausted. Take everything as a play, and you will not be exhausted. Rather, the work will become a pleasure.
Meditation gives you a new quality of mind, so it is not a question whether you have time or not. I am not saying that you have to meditate for three hours daily, that you should take three hours out of your life, out of your work-life - no! If you can take it, it is good. If you cannot take it, do not make an excuse. Then try to turn and change and transform your work into a meditative act.
You are writing something: write with full awareness. You are digging a hole in the earth: dig it with full awareness. Whether you are working in the street or in the office or in the market, do it with full awareness.
Remain in the present and then see: you will not be exhausted. You will have more time, more energy, less dissipation, and ultimately your life will become just a play.