The Eye of Zen
QUESTION: I HAVE HEARD THAT ALL BUDDHAS IN THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE PREACHED THE SAME DHARMA AND COUNTLESS BEINGS WERE SAVED FROM SUFFERING. IS THIS NOT TRUE?
ANSWER: YOU HAVE HEARD SOMEONE SPEAK OF DREAMS, AND YOU YOURSELF ARE ACTUALLY DREAMING. WHATEVER YOU FIGURE WITH YOUR DUALISTIC MIND NEVER MAKES A TRUE ACCOUNT OF MIND ESSENCE, THEREFORE, I CALL YOU A DREAMER.
DREAM IS ONE THING AND REALIZATION ANOTHER. DO NOT MIX THEM TOGETHER.
WISDOM IN THE DREAM IS NOT THE REAL WISDOM. ONE WHO HAS TRUE WISDOM DOES NOT HOLD SELF-RECOGNITION. BUDDHAS IN THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE ARE IN THE REALM BEYOND COGNITION. IF YOU SHUT OFF YOUR THINKING FACULTY, BLOCKING OFF THE ROAD OF YOUR MIND, YOU WILL ENTER A DIFFERENT SPHERE. UNTIL THAT TIME, WHATEVER YOU THINK, WHATEVER YOU SAY, WHATEVER YOU DO IS NOTHING BUT FOOLISHNESS IN DREAMLAND.
QUESTION: WHAT KIND OF WISDOM SHOULD ONE USE TO CUT OFF DELUSIONS?
ANSWER: WHEN YOU OBSERVE YOUR DELUSIONS, YOU WILL KNOW THAT THEY ARE BASELESS AND NOT DEPENDABLE. IN THIS WAY YOU CAN CUT CONFUSION AND DOUBT.
THIS IS WHAT I CALL WISDOM.
QUESTION: WHAT SORT OF DELUSIONS WILL BE CLEARED BY ZEN?
ANSWER: ANY DELUSIONS OF MEDIOCRITY, OF A PHILOSOPHER, OF A SHRAVAKA, OF A PRATYEKA-BUDDHA, OR OF A BODHISATTVA.
QUESTION: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SAGE'S MOST EXCELLENT LIFE AND THE COMMON PEOPLE'S EVERYDAY LIFE?
ANSWER: IT IS LIKE GOSSAMER. SOME MISTAKE IT FOR VAPOR, BUT IT IS IN FACT A SPIDER'S SILK THAT FLOATS IN THE AIR. A MEDIOCRE PERSON SEES THE SAGE'S LIFE, AND BELIEVES IT TO BE THE SAME AS HIS OWN EVERYDAY LIFE; WHEREAS THE ENLIGHTENED MAN SEES THE HOLY PATH IN A LIFE OF MEDIOCRITY. IF YOU WILL OBSERVE IN THE SUTRAS THAT ALL BUDDHAS PREACH FOR TWO GROUPS, THE MEDIOCRE AND THE WISE, BUT IN THE EYES OF ZEN, A SAGE'S LIFE IS ONE OF MEDIOCRITY AND THE MEDIOCRE PERSON'S AS THE SAGE'S. THIS ONE LIFE HAS NO FORM AND IS EMPTY BY NATURE. IF YOU BECOME ATTACHED TO ANY FORM, YOU SHOULD REJECT IT. IF YOU SEE AN EGO, A SOUL, A BIRTH OR A DEATH, REJECT THEM ALL.
QUESTION: WHY AND HOW DO WE REJECT THEM?
ANSWER: IF YOU HAVE ZEN, YOU SHOULD NOT SEE A THING. "THE MOST FIRMLY ESTABLISHED IN THE PATH APPEARS THE MOST REMISS."
The path to reality is full of paradoxes, hence the logical mind cannot comprehend it. Logic is incapable of understanding a paradox. Logic tries to dissolve all paradoxes, to make things straight, clear. But paradox is intrinsic to nature. Nature exists through contradictions. Contradictions are not really contradictions but complementaries.
The person who thinks about truth is bound to think wrongly. All thinking is wrong about truth, because the moment you start thinking you follow the path of logic - and reality is paradoxical; they never crisscross. They run parallel, but they never meet.
Another name for this paradoxicality of existence is mystery. Mystery is not a riddle, mystery is not a problem, because it cannot be solved. There is simply no way to solve it. It is to be lived, experienced. Yet you will not be able to answer what it is, because the moment you try to answer it you have to bring language in - and language is logical. Language is created by the logical mind, hence language is inadequate, absolutely inadequate to express truth. Truth can be expressed only through silence, but then silence again is a mystery.
The first paradox that you will come across on the path is: the mind cannot ask a right question. It is not within its powers to ask the right question, because to ask the right question is to find the answer immediately. In fact, the right question is the answer. In the world of the mind there is a duality: the question and the answer; they are separate. In the world of reality, the right question is the answer.
If you can ask the right question, there is no need even to ask; the very understanding of the right question is enough to understand the answer. But the right question cannot be asked by the mind; it can be asked only by the no-mind. But the no-mind never asks anything.
This is the first paradox one comes across: the mind asks questions, but all questions raised by the mind are bound to be wrong, because mind itself is wrong. Anything that arises out of that state is going to be wrong, and a wrong question cannot lead you to the right answer. The mind can ask millions of questions, but there is no answer anywhere for those questions. The no-mind knows the answer, but the no-mind never asks the question. It is so at ease, so at home with reality, that the question does not arise. The nonarising of the question is the answer.
So the whole effort of Bodhidharma is to change the gestalt of your being, your focus. You are focused on the dualistic mind. The dualistic mind always thinks in terms of either/or: "Either God is light or God is darkness. How can God be both?" It becomes impossible for the mind to conceive that God is both simultaneously: light and darkness, life and death; that God is and is not, and he is both together simultaneously. The mind starts feeling crazy if you force it to think upon such matters.
The mind simply recoils, it says, "This is nonsense!"
One of the very keenest minds of the modern West is Arthur Koestler. He came to study Zen. Now, Zen cannot be studied in the first place; it is not a question of studying. You cannot approach it through the mind, through the intellect - but that is the only approach available to the contemporary man. Contemporary man is far poorer than man has ever been before - rich in things but poor in understanding.
Arthur Koestler came to India, to Japan, traveling in search of what Zen is - studying scriptures, questioning masters, collecting notes of their answers. And then he wrote a book against Zen. I can understand why he wrote against it - because he felt the whole thing was nonsense: the whole thing appeared to him so illogical. I cannot condemn him. He represents the modern mind, he represents intellect.
If you approach through the intellect then Zen is illogical, but so is life, so is this whole existence.
Here, day and night are one; here, summer and winter are one; here, life and death are one.
Koestler should think a little bit more about life, too. Life is more like Zen than like anything else; Zen may be illogical because life is illogical. Logic is a manmade phenomenon. Logic is a frame imposed by us on existence. We try to sort things out, and existence is a beautiful chaos. We want to figure things out, what is what, and in existence everything is turning and changing into everything else.
The mud becomes the lotus, and one day the lotus falls back into the mud again. The mud becomes the body of a human being, a beautiful body, and one day it goes back to the earth. The earth rises into a tree, becomes green, red roses flower, great fragrance is released, and one day all disappears like a dream. Again the earth is back.
Existence has no trouble with contradictions. It is the Aristotelian logic that is creating trouble for us.
The first paradox is that the mind that can ask the question is not capable of understanding the answer, and the mind, or no-mind, or buddha-mind, that is capable of asking the right question need not ask it. Before you ask, the answer is there. Let us say it in other words: the head only has questions and the heart only has answers.
Unless you reach to the depth of the heart you will not have any real answers. Yes, answers you will have, because mind is very clever at supplying false answers. It raises false questions, it supplies false answers. That's what philosophy is all about, that's what doing philosophy means. Each false question is followed by many false answers; you can choose any, but they are all false. They are false because they are just guesswork.
Reality has to be encountered, embraced, tasted. One has not to be separate from it to know it, one has to dissolve oneself into it to know it.
The first question: I HAVE HEARD THAT ALL BUDDHAS IN THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE PREACHED THE SAME DHARMA AND COUNTLESS BEINGS WERE SAVED FROM SUFFERING. IS IT NOT TRUE?
The question starts with I HAVE HEARD, and from the very beginning it is wrong, because it is not even your question. The question is also borrowed; it is based on other people's experience. It is just an opinion that you have gathered from somewhere and now you are making a question out of it. It has no roots in you. It is like a plastic flower you have purchased from the market: it will not have any fragrance, it is not alive.
The real question cannot arise out of others' opinions. You have to be in a meditative mood to find the real question. You have to learn how to commune with existence.
The question starts: I HAVE HEARD - it goes wrong from the very beginning - THAT ALL BUDDHAS IN THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE.... Now, for a buddha there is no past, no present, no future. The buddha exists only in the eternal. That's why he is called the buddha: because he has transcended time.
To be in time is to be asleep. Time is our sleep, time is our mind, time is our dreaming. To go beyond dreaming, thinking, mind, means to go beyond time. Time does not consist of the present, remember; it consists only of the past and the future. Have you ever encountered the present? The moment you say, "Yes, this is the present," it is no more the present, it is already the past. The moment you recognize through the mind that this is the present, it has already slipped by. Mind cannot grasp it, it is so fast. The moment mind becomes aware of it, the bird has already flown out of the cage.
The mind can think of the past because it is a dead phenomenon. The mind can accumulate dead things very easily - it is an antique collector. Or, the mind can think of the future. The past is no more, the future not yet; in one sense both are the same, because both are nonexistential. And mind is clever with the nonexistential. It can go on into the future because it can dream, project, imagine, and there is no hindrance. But when the question of the present arises, mind is absolutely impotent, because the present is so alive and mind is clever only with the dead. The present is present, and mind is clever only at dreaming, desiring, projecting, imagining. You cannot dream in the present, you cannot desire in the present. If you desire, it is in the future. Desire brings the tomorrow in.
Jesus says to his disciples: Look at the lilies in the field. How beautiful they are! And what is the secret of their beauty? Why are they so beautiful? - more beautiful, Jesus says, than Solomon had ever been in all his grandeur. The poor lilies are far more beautiful than the great Solomon. Why?
- for the simple reason that they think not of the morrow, for the simple reason that they are in the present.
That is the beauty of the trees, of the roses, of the lotuses, of the stars, of the earth, of the sky, of the animals. Look into the eyes of a cat or a dog, look into the eyes of a small child. What depth and what innocence and what clarity! What is the secret of it all? A simple phenomenon: they live in the present, they are not yet corrupted by the past and the future. The mind has not yet appeared.
Time has not yet appeared.
You have been told and taught that time has three tenses: past, present, future. That is utterly wrong. Time has only two tenses, past and future; the present is part of eternity, not part of time.
So when you are in the present, you are in the eternal.
The question is wrong at every step. It is going to be so, because the question is from the mind.
First the questioner says: I HAVE HEARD.... That must have been enough for Bodhidharma to start laughing, or he must have taken his staff in his hand to hit and beat this man.
It happens many times that you enter the room of the Zen master and before you have even uttered a single word he says, "Wrong, wrong!" You have not uttered a single word, but the way you enter, the body language, is enough. You are entering hesitant, doubtful, suspicious, or you are trying to prove yourself, trying to be very courageous, formulating a certain question or some experience - how to say it - and the master has seen it all and has heard it before you have even uttered a single word.
One disciple of Rinzai told him one day, "When I come with an answer - because you have given me a koan...."
A koan is a mystery; it represents existence. A koan is a riddle which is not soluble. A koan is something absurd. "The sound of one hand clapping," that is a koan. "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"
Now, the disciple has been meditating on it. Every day he comes, he has to come to answer the master's question: "What have you found? What is the outcome of your meditations?" He brings all kinds of answers - and whatsoever answer he brings is wrong - and he is beaten and thrown out.
One day the disciple could not bear it anymore. It was too much, because he had not said anything and the master started beating him. He said, "But wait! I have not even said anything!"
The master said, "There is no need to say it, I have heard it. I have seen it in your eyes, I have seen it in your walk. I recognize it immediately. When you have found the answer you will not need to say it, I will know it."
And, yes, it happened exactly like that. When the disciple found the answer.... There is no answer; that's what he found. One day he found that "I am just being foolish. There is no answer."
You can say it from the very beginning, that "this is foolish!" but that won't do. You have to pass through all that fire of tackling an absurd question, knowing deep down that there is no answer to it and yet still searching for the answer. That's how you dig deep within yourself.
One day, when he had reached his core, there was no question, no answer. He started laughing.
That day he didn't come to report - there was nothing to report - but that day the master appeared in his room and he said, "Now you have found. No need even to come to me; when you have found, I will come to you. Now the whole commune is affected by your finding," the master said. "Your vibe is pulsating so loudly all around that those who understand the language of vibes know that somebody has attained, that somebody has arrived home, that a traveler has reached."
Bodhidharma must have started laughing from the very beginning. It is not reported, because this is the notebook of a disciple. Many things are not reported in it, because the disciple cannot report them - he can't understand the inner reflections that happen on the mirror of the master; all that he can report are the words that the master utters. Hence nothing is said about Bodhidharma. The disciple goes on asking questions and he goes on noting down the answers. The report seems to be a little dull, it has no touch of aliveness, because it consists of the disciple's notes. Hence many things are missing, many things that the master must have done are not reported because the disciple cannot understand them.
For example, if Bodhidharma starts laughing, listening to the question, the disciple will not report it; it will look too humiliating. He simply reports the words - words that he feels can fit with his answer, although what Bodhidharma says is totally different from what he is asking.
I HAVE HEARD, he asked, THAT ALL BUDDHAS IN THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE PREACHED THE SAME DHARMA....
Remember, for buddhas there is no past, no present, no future. A buddha is one who has become awakened. Time is a dream phenomenon.
Have you ever observed how time changes as you change? If you are miserable, time becomes long, lengthy. If you are joyous, time becomes small. But the clock will show the same time. If it is one hour then the clock will show that one hour has passed - whether you are miserable or blissful, the clock is not affected. The clock goes on moving; it is a mechanical device. It simply reports chronological time, it does not report your inner experiences of time.
If you are sitting with a friend after many years, time passes so fast. If you are lonely, miserable, anxious, restless, time seems to pass with such slowness. This is your experience, that time becomes longer or shorter according to you, according to your mind.
You must have known some moments when time had totally stopped. Ordinarily, biological man, the sleepy man, only knows such moments through lovemaking - because it is only in lovemaking that he loses his mind, it is only in lovemaking that he gets lost. But that peak, the orgasmic peak, in which he loses all mind, and becomes just a vibration, becomes just an energy, a liquid energy - no thought, no past, no future, no desire - happens only for moments. It is only through love and the orgasmic experience that you become aware that there is a possibility of time stopping totally.
Hence I say: sexual orgasm is the lowest but the fundamental experience of meditation - lowest and fundamental. It is through sexual orgasm that man became aware of the infinite possibility of stopping time completely, of getting out of time. If you can get out of time for one moment, that means one can get out of time forever, too. Then ways and means have to be found. That's how Tantra, Yoga, Zen, Tao, Sufism, all kinds of ways and means, have been found. Once man became aware that the possibility exists that there is a window through which he can escape, even though it happens only once in a while....
Many times people ask me why women have not become great masters like Buddha, Zarathustra, Lao Tzu, Bodhidharma, Jesus - why? One of the fundamental reasons is that man has denied women the experience of orgasm. You will be surprised by my answer. You will not have imagined that that would be the root cause why women could not rise as high as a Buddha, as a Bodhidharma.
What went wrong? One thing: man has not allowed women to have the experience of orgasm.
And it became possible because there is a little difference between a man's orgasm and a woman's orgasm. Man comes to his orgasmic peak very quickly, so he can have his orgasm easily, quickly.
The woman comes to the orgasmic plane slowly; her pace is different. Unless a man loves the woman tremendously and helps her to come to the orgasmic state and moves slowly with her.... If he cares about her, is not just using the woman as a means to attain his own orgasm but is also careful and attentive and loving enough that she should also have her orgasm, then he moves slowly.
That's what Tantra discovered centuries ago: that man has to move very slowly. Man's orgasm is local, genital, and the woman's orgasm is more total. Her whole body is involved in it, hence it takes time. Man's orgasm is so local that it does not take much time. Unless a man loves the woman, caresses her body, helps her whole body to rise to the peak.... It is a subtle art to come to the orgasmic state together.
When man and woman both come to the orgasmic state together, simultaneously, it is a great experience of ecstasy - very rich. Man coming alone to orgasm is one thing: it misses much, it is not so rich, it is not multidimensional. It is more or less masturbatory - the woman has been used only as a means for masturbation - it is not true orgasm, and the woman remains behind. And man has been doing that for centuries, so many women have completely forgotten that there is any possibility of orgasm for them.
It is only now with the women's liberation movement that women are becoming aware that in the past they have been missing something very valuable in their lives. In the East they are not yet aware of it. It is very rare in the East to find an orgasmic woman, one who knows what orgasm is. Even in the West only a very small percentage of women is becoming capable of orgasm.
This has been the greatest oppression, the greatest exploitation of women, because if women are deprived of orgasm they are deprived of one of the most fundamental experiences of meditation.
The only window towards God remains closed. They never become aware that there is a moment when time disappears, that there is a moment when "I am no more a body, no more a mind, but a pure consciousness - absolutely thoughtless, desireless, dreamless and utterly blissful."
This is the lowest experience, remember; one has not to stop there. This is the first step of a long journey, only then do you arrive at the temple. But it is a necessary step, it is very fundamental.
So once in a while you may have become aware that time stops, but time stops only when you are blissful. Time stops only when you are absolutely without mind - conscious, yet mind is not there - because you are not 'minding', you are not thinking... a simple existence.
It can happen in music, it can happen while watching a sunset, it can happen while you are painting.
But these experiences are far more rare, whereas sex is available to each and everybody: it is a biological gift of nature. To be a musician of such caliber that you can lose yourself as you lose yourself in a woman or a man is a rare phenomenon; it happens only once in a while. To be a painter, a sculptor, a dancer, a poet - this needs great talents, and one may not have them - but the same thing happens.
That's why it is possible for a great painter to go beyond sex very easily: because he has another window to experience the orgasm, to experience the timeless moment, to experience God. It is easier for a poet or a dancer to go beyond sex than it is for others, because they have an alternative through which they can experience the same thing - and maybe with a greater depth.
But whatsoever the cause, if you have ever experienced a moment when time stops, that is the moment which has to be understood because that is the nature of meditation. That is what brings you home finally, ultimately. Before that, all kinds of questions will arise; they are all meaningless.
Masters answer them because of compassion, otherwise they are all foolish.
Mind is stupid - mind as such is stupid. It asks very stupid questions.
The questioner is asking:
I HAVE HEARD THAT ALL BUDDHAS IN THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE PREACHED THE SAME DHARMA....
Now, a buddha does not preach. Yes, much happens through him, but he is not a preacher. He is not a sermonizer, he is not a priest; he is not even a prophet.
Somebody asked Krishnamurti, "Why do you talk?"
Krishnamurti said, "Why does the rose bloom? Ask the rose - and my answer is the same."
For a buddha it is not a question of preaching, it is simply his overflowing compassion. These words don't apply to the buddhas. No ordinary word is applicable to the buddha - you have to change its meaning so totally that it is no longer the same word.
The questioner says:
They have PREACHED THE SAME DHARMA AND COUNTLESS BEINGS WERE SAVED FROM SUFFERING.
Now, suffering is a dream: you suffer because you are asleep. It is a nightmare, it is not a reality. So there is no question of saving you; you are already saved.
Remember, a buddha is not a savior, a buddha is only an awakener. Nobody needs to be saved; you are already saved. You may be having a nightmare and you may be suffering in your nightmare, but it is all dream. It is not true, it is not real, and whenever you awake you will laugh at the whole absurdity of it.
But we understand things according to ourselves, hence these questions. Our minds are so much conditioned that we go on asking questions which are not relevant at all. And there are people who will answer our questions, and we may be consoled, and we may start clinging to ideas and philosophies.
The real master is not going to give you an answer as a consolation, because that will be strengthening your old mind. The real master will hammer, shatter your head completely. He will cut your head. He will make you aware that this mind can accumulate many answers, but they are all useless, meaningless, because this mind itself is wrong.
The American diplomatic courier had just arrived in the tiny Latin American capital, and, as he strode briskly out of the airport terminal, he was obviously charged with a sense of his own self-importance, snapping instructions at the porters carrying his luggage and looking about impatiently for the car that was supposed to be there to meet him. He certainly had no time for the dirty little street urchins who trailed after him, trying to sell everything from a shoeshine to their sisters.
"Hey, Americano!" called out one lad, especially worldly-wise for his years. "I get what you like if you pay - feelthy pictures, marijuana, girls, boys."
"I can't be bothered with this vermin," the undiplomatic messenger disdainfully proclaimed, brushing his ragged pursuer aside. "My business here is with the American ambassador."
"Can do, senor," responded the boy, "but for an ambassador you weel have to pay extra."
People have their own conditioning, their own thinking, their own ways of looking at things. They hear from a preoccupied mind, they question from a preoccupied mind, and any answer given to them never reaches undistorted.
The questioner asks:
IS IT NOT TRUE?
YOU HAVE HEARD SOMEONE SPEAK OF DREAMS, AND YOU YOURSELF ARE ACTUALLY DREAMING. WHATEVER YOU FIGURE WITH YOUR DUALISTIC MIND NEVER MAKES A TRUE ACCOUNT OF MIND ESSENCE, THEREFORE I CALL YOU A DREAMER. DREAM IS ONE THING AND REALIZATION ANOTHER. DO NOT MIX THEM TOGETHER. WISDOM IN THE DREAM IS NOT THE REAL WISDOM. ONE WHO HAS TRUE WISDOM DOES NOT HOLD SELF-RECOGNITION. BUDDHAS IN THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE ARE IN THE REALM BEYOND COGNITION. IF YOU SHUT OFF YOUR THINKING FACULTY, BLOCKING OFF THE ROAD OF YOUR MIND, YOU WILL ENTER A DIFFERENT SPHERE. UNTIL THAT TIME, WHATEVER YOU THINK, WHATEVER YOU SAY, WHATEVER YOU DO IS NOTHING BUT FOOLISHNESS IN DREAMLAND.
To cut down on expenses, two secretaries decided to vacation together and to share a hotel room.
On the first night, one turned to her friend and rested her hand on her shoulder.
"There's something about myself I've never told you," she admitted. "I'll be frank...."
"No," said the other girl, "I'll be Frank."
"I'd like to buy some body makeup for my girlfriend," the young musician told the clerk at the cosmetics counter.
"Certainly, sir," said the clerk. "What color would you like?"
"Never mind the color," said the musician. "What flavors do you have?"
This is the state of everybody: we are living in our own dreams. What Bodhidharma calls dreamland you can call Disneyland or Californialand! Now the whole world is slowly slowly turning into a Disneyland - in fact, it has always been so. People live in their dreams. The so-called ordinary people live in their dreams and the so-called V.V.l.P.'s live in the same kind of dream world.
The pope was reading in his Vatican sanctuary when suddenly he was called to the telephone.
"This is Father Novelli in New York," said the voice. "Your Holiness, I think that Jesus Christ is walking down the middle of Fifth Avenue. What should I do?"
"Look-a busy!" replied the pontiff.
Look-a busy - what else can you do? These people, whether the small or the so-called big ones, are in the same world.
I have heard:
Michelangelo was painting the ceiling of a church. He was alone on top of a big stool. One woman came in and started praying loudly, talking to God. Michelangelo heard her saying things to God.
He enjoyed the way she was talking to God as if God was really there, so he played a trick on her.
He said, "Listen! I am Jesus Christ!"
The woman said, "You shut up! I am talking to your father!"
Just look around. Just watch people. You need not go to the movies, you need not read detective novels. Just sit by the side of the road and watch people's faces: how they are moving, how they are walking, their gestures. A few are talking to themselves, their lips are moving. Everybody seems to be in a dream, in his own world.
That's why there is such a clash: because each one has his own world view and his own world, so whenever two persons come close, sooner or later the clash happens. The clash is bound to happen because their dreams cannot coincide - and everybody wants to impose his dreams on the other.
Now, nobody can dream your dreams; that is impossible. Dreams cannot be imposed on others.
You cannot share your dreams with others. You cannot invite your wife or your husband into your dream; that is impossible. Dreaming is such a private phenomenon. Hence, people who live in dreams live in a private world; they never become aware of the real world that surrounds us. They see, but through a thick mist. They see, and yet they see not.
YOU HAVE HEARD SOMEONE SPEAK OF DREAMS, Bodhidharma says, AND YOU YOURSELF ARE ACTUALLY DREAMING. WHATEVER YOU FIGURE WITH YOUR DUALISTIC MIND NEVER MAKES A TRUE ACCOUNT OF MIND ESSENCE, THEREFORE, I CALL YOU A DREAMER.
Unless thinking disappears totally you will remain a dreamer. Thinking is dualistic, thinking is logical, thinking is Aristotelian. Unless thinking is dropped totally your mind will go on playing tricks upon you; it will go on deceiving you, and you will never be able to know the real essence of your being - which is freedom, which is bliss, which is God.
DREAM IS ONE THING AND REALIZATION ANOTHER.
Realization is possible only when dreaming evaporates.
DO NOT MIX THEM TOGETHER.
What you have heard is meaningless; only what you have known on your own has meaning.
WISDOM IN THE DREAM IS NOT THE REAL WISDOM.
You can be a very wise dreamer, you can be very knowledgeable in your dreams, but a dreamer is a dreamer. You can dream of beautiful things - sweet dreams of golden palaces, of paradise - but they are all dreams. Whether you dream of heaven or hell, it is the same. Hell is a dream, heaven is a dream.
In Western languages these are the only two possibilities after death: heaven or hell. Hence, Western religions have never been able to free themselves of dreaming. They don't talk of being free of dreaming, they don't talk of absolute desirelessness. They have not risen to the ultimate purity of religiousness.
The Eastern religions talk of a third state: moksha, nirvana, freedom - freedom from both heaven and hell - because buddhas in the East have been saying that your fetters may be made of gold or of iron, but fetters are fetters: you are chained, you are a prisoner. You can be free only when you are free of all fetters; made of iron, made of gold - all fetters, all chains, have to be dropped. Then a third phenomenon becomes possible: moksha, nirvana. There is no word to translate it; it simply means getting free of both hell and heaven, because both are dreams.
ONE WHO HAS TRUE WISDOM DOES NOT HOLD SELF-RECOGNITION.
This is one of the fundamentals of Buddha's teaching:
ONE WHO HAS TRUE WISDOM DOES NOT HOLD SELF-RECOGNITION.
One who knows, one who has come to terms with his true essence, knows no ego, no 'I'; no self is recognized. He is part of the universal flow; he is no more separate. His private world disappears.
He is no more an idiot.
The word idiot means one who lives in his own private world. It comes from the root idios; from the same root comes idiosyncrasy. An idiot is one who never takes note of the real world and goes on living in his private world, thinking that is the real world. In that sense, unless you become a buddha, you are an idiot.
BUDDHAS IN THE PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE ARE IN THE REALM BEYOND COGNITION.
You cannot see them - buddhas cannot be seen. Ordinary eyes are not capable of seeing them, nor are ordinary minds capable of understanding them. If you really want to understand a buddha you will have to become a buddha; there is no other way. You will have to taste awakening. By becoming a buddha you will understand all the buddhas of the past, present and future.
IF YOU SHUT OFF YOUR THINKING FACULTY, BLOCKING OFF THE ROAD OF YOUR MIND, YOU WILL ENTER A DIFFERENT SPHERE.
The only thing to be done is to shut off the constant, feverish activity of the mind. Shut it off, put it aside, and then you enter into a different space, a different sphere.
UNTIL THAT TIME, WHATEVER YOU THINK, WHATEVER YOU SAY, WHATEVER YOU DO IS NOTHING BUT FOOLISHNESS IN DREAMLAND.
Thurmon, Pickens and Diggs were discussing the world's greatest inventions.
"I believe," said Thurmon, "that electricity is the best invention. It turns on the lights, makes the TV work - it do everything."
"Yeah," agreed Pickens, "but ah believe that atomic power is the most important invention. It can do everything electricity can and you can push a button, blow up the world."
"Well, gennamen," said Diggs, "to me the greatest invention is the thermos. It keeps da hot food hot and da cold food cold."
"What so great about that?" asked Thurmon.
"How do it know?" replied Diggs.
Your mind, whatsoever it thinks - small things about the thermos or great things, great metaphysical things about God... because it is the same mind, it makes no difference. The object of thinking can be the thermos or God, coca-cola or paradise, but the mind that thinks about it is the same.
Bodhidharma is saying: Don't go on changing the subject of your thinking, don't go on changing the subject matter of your thinking, change your inner space. Let us have a totally different mind, which thinks not, desires not, dreams not. Then you enter into the world of the buddhas.
The second question: WHAT KIND OF WISDOM SHOULD ONE USE TO CUT OFF DELUSIONS?
Each question again and again shows one thing very clearly: that the answer has not been heard. As if the questioner were more interested in his questions than in the answers! Just out of politeness he listens to the answer, but he is already preparing his question. Otherwise a single answer is enough - all the questions are solved.
Again he asks the same thing from a different angle:
WHAT KIND OF WISDOM SHOULD ONE USE TO CUT OFF DELUSIONS?
As if you can 'use' wisdom; as if wisdom is a tool to be used, a means. As if after you have become wise you will have to cut your delusions.
It is like a man who says, "When I have become awakened, how will I get rid of my dreams? What kind of awakening has to be used to cut all the dreams?"
It is like a man who in the night sees a rope on the road, projects a snake on the rope and escapes, runs away, freaks out. And somebody says, "Don't be worried. I know it is a rope. Come with me. I will show you that it is a rope. Let us take a lamp with us." And he says, "Okay. Even if with a lamp I come to know that it is a rope, then tell me how to get rid of the snake."
Exactly like that is this question:
WHAT KIND OF WISDOM SHOULD ONE USE TO CUT OFF DELUSIONS?
When you are wise, delusions are not there. In fact, delusions have to go first, only then do you become wise. But our so-called wise people are living in deep illusions, that's why the question seems to be relevant.
Stephanie woke up with a sore shoulder one morning and went to see her doctor about it. After examining it, the doctor said he couldn't find anything wrong with it. She insisted it hurt her, so the doctor said, "Well, tell me what you did last night."
She told him that she'd gone riding in the country with her boyfriend and that they took a walk in a cemetery and read some of the tombstone inscriptions.
The doctor said, "Possibly you caught a cold in your muscle from the chilly air. Will you get undressed so I can give you a more thorough examination?"
She did so and the doctor examined her entire back.
After a minute or so he said, "Stephanie, I can't find a thing wrong with your shoulder, but your buttocks state that you've been dead since 1892."
Our so-called wise people are in the same boat; they are not a bit different from you. The people you go to for advice - the pundits, the priests, the scholars - are themselves in the dark. Of course they are more informed than you, but it is not a question of information. Wisdom comes through transformation not through information.
WHEN YOU OBSERVE YOUR DELUSIONS, YOU WILL KNOW THAT THEY ARE BASELESS AND NOT DEPENDABLE. IN THIS WAY YOU CAN CUT CONFUSION AND DOUBT. THIS IS WHAT I CALL WISDOM.
When you observe your delusions as delusions you are finished with them. The moment you know that something is a dream you are free of it; nothing else is needed to be done.
That's why with my sannyasins I insist: there is no need to go anywhere else. Live in the world, but become aware. Just becoming aware is being a sannyasin. No need to renounce, no need to escape anywhere. Become aware and you will see what is illusion, what is dream. And whatsoever is known as illusion disappears; nothing else is needed to be done.
A frank female rebel named Glutz Disdained any ifs, ands, or buts; When they asked what she'd need To be totally freed Of her hangup, her answer was, "Nuts!"
Everybody is in need of nuts, because everybody is nuts. Mad people are in need of other mad people, because only mad people can support your illusions. You support their illusions, they support your illusions. That is what is called friendship, love, companionship in the ordinary world: A friend in need is a friend indeed. And when is the need? - when your illusions start disappearing he helps you to hold, to cling hard to them. He does not allow you to let go of your illusions. Whatsoever happens, he helps you to remain the same as you have always been. He does not allow you to change.
Life is trying to change you every moment, but you have so many friends, protectors, parents, teachers, and your family. The whole management of the government, the church, is such that it helps you to remain as you are. It is a great conspiracy to keep people dreaming, because nobody wants you to be awake. It is dangerous, because any people who have ever become awakened have always proved dangerous to the status quo, to the established church, state, society - to the establishment as such. The awakened people have always proved a kind of nuisance, because they start helping other people to become awake.
WHEN YOU OBSERVE YOUR DELUSIONS, YOU WILL KNOW THAT THEY ARE BASELESS AND NOT DEPENDABLE. IN THIS WAY YOU CAN CUT CONFUSION AND DOUBT.
Nothing else is needed; just becoming aware of them, that they are illusions, you are finished. The moment you know that two plus two is not five, that two plus two is four, you are finished with two plus two equals five. You need not do anything else; it is enough to understand.
The way of the buddha is that of understanding.
The third question: WHAT SORT OF DELUSIONS WILL BE CLEARED BY ZEN?
Again and again.... There are only two things which are infinite in the world: the stupidity of the disciples and the compassion of the masters. Now he asks: WHAT SORT OF DELUSIONS...? As if there were many kinds of illusions! Illusion is illusion; it has only one quality: that it is not true, that it is not so, that it is not part of reality, that it is your projection. Now, what you project does not matter.
You can project a bullock cart, that is an illusion; you can project a golden chariot, that is an illusion.
You can project anything, but the basic nature of illusion is the same; there are not many kinds of illusion.
But the logical mind is always after "How many kinds, what categories...?"
AND WHAT SORT OF DELUSIONS WILL BE CLEARED BY ZEN?
As if a few will be cleared by Zen and a few will still remain! "What kind of dreams will disappear when you become awake?" As if a few kinds of dreams will still continue, will still persist!
But the compassion of a master is such that Bodhidharma says:
ANY DELUSIONS OF MEDIOCRITY, OF A PHILOSOPHER, OF A SHRAVAKA, OF A PRATYEKA- BUDDHA, OR OF A BODHISATTVA.
He says: Any idea that "I am this or that" will disappear. The basic illusion is the illusion of I, the ego - and the ego will disappear.
Some people think they are inferior, but the ego persists: "I am inferior." And somebody thinks he is superior - the same ego persists: "I am superior." Somebody thinks, "I am mediocre," somebody thinks, "I am very very wise," somebody thinks, "I am just a follower of Buddha, a SHRAVAKA," and somebody thinks, "I am the buddha himself."'
All kinds of illusions that are rooted in the idea of the ego will disappear. When you wake up, ego disappears, and with it all its paraphernalia. The whole lot that is created by the ego goes with it; those are all shadows of the ego.
The fourth question: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A SAGE'S MOST EXCELLENT LIFE AND THE COMMON PEOPLE'S EVERYDAY LIFE?
IT IS LIKE GOSSAMER. SOME MISTAKE IT FOR VAPOR, BUT IT IS IN FACT A SPIDER'S SILK THAT FLOATS IN THE AIR. A MEDIOCRE PERSON SEES THE SAGE'S LIFE, AND BELIEVES IT TO BE THE SAME AS HIS OWN EVERYDAY LIFE; WHEREAS THE ENLIGHTENED MAN SEES THE HOLY PATH IN A LIFE OF MEDIOCRITY. YOU WILL OBSERVE IN THE SUTRAS THAT ALL BUDDHAS PREACH FOR TWO GROUPS, THE MEDIOCRE AND THE WISE, BUT IN THE EYE OF ZEN, A SAGE'S LIFE IS ONE OF MEDIOCRITY AND THE MEDIOCRE PERSON'S AS THE SAGE'S. THIS ONE LIFE HAS NO FORM AND IS EMPTY BY NATURE. IF YOU BECOME ATTACHED TO ANY FORM, YOU SHOULD REJECT IT. IF YOU SEE AN EGO, A SOUL, A BIRTH OR A DEATH, REJECT THEM ALL.
It is a very significant answer. Meditate over it.
IT IS LIKE GOSSAMER.
Our life is just our own ego playing all kinds of games with us. The ego is not a reality but only a belief. It is just like your name. When you were born, you were born without a name - everybody is born without a name - then a name was given. A name is a necessity, it has certain usefulness in the world; it would be very difficult if all people were without names. So it is utilitarian, a necessity, but it is not reality, remember.
You are not your name, but slowly slowly you become your name. If somebody says something against your name you are infuriated, you are ready to fight, you are enraged - as if you were your name!
Swami Rama one day came laughing. He was in New York. The host could not find out the reason why he was laughing so much. "What has happened?" He had gone for a walk and now he was coming with such laughter; the laughter looked almost mad, eccentric.
The host asked, "What is the matter? What has happened?"
And Rama said, "A few people started abusing Rama, insulting Rama, and I enjoyed the whole thing so much! I watched it, I saw Rama being insulted. But I am not Rama! Those people were unnecessarily wasting their breath. I am not my name, that's why I am laughing. And it is good that I don't have any name - nobody can insult me, nobody can abuse me. I am nameless, I am formless."
But we are in an unconscious state and we become identified with anything.
It was at the office Christmas party. As they lay on the office reception couch in the darkened room, their breath came hot and fast.
"Ah, Herbie," she said passionately, "you have never made love to me like this before. Is it because of the holiday spirit?"
"No," he panted, "it is probably because I am not Herbie."
Unconscious people! Who knows who is Herbie and who is not Herbie? Even Herbie himself is not Herbie. But we go on living our life with all this unconsciousness.
Cantor, Klein, Levy and Strulowitz met for lunch.
After ordering, Cantor said, "Oy, oy, oy!"
"Ay, ay, ay!" answered Klein.
"Yai, yai, yai!" added Levy.
"Look," said Strulowitz, "if you fellas are gonna talk business, I ain't gonna stay!"
We have certain ideas in the mind; we project those ideas on others, we interpret them according to our ideas, and we live in an encaged world of our own creation.
This is what Bodhidharma calls the mind, the ego. Drop it! See that which is. Don't interfere with it, don't interpret it in any way. See the roseflower. Don't even say that it is beautiful, because that is interference. Don't say anything at all. The rose is silent: you also be silent. Let there be a meeting, a deep meeting between you and the rose, no mind between you and the rose, and you will be surprised: the observer becomes the observed. There comes a moment when you are the rose and the rose is you.
And that is the moment when you know, never before it. That is the moment when wisdom arises in you. And once you have the knack of finding wisdom you can find it each moment of your life.
Slowly slowly it becomes your natural climate.
IT IS LIKE GOSSAMER. SOME MISTAKE IT FOR VAPOUR, BUT IT IS IN FACT A SPIDER'S SILK THAT FLOATS IN THE AIR. A MEDIOCRE PERSON SEES THE SAGE'S LIFE, AND BELIEVES IT TO BE THE SAME AS HIS OWN EVERYDAY LIFE....
If the mediocre person, the ordinary person, goes to see a buddha, he will not see any difference.
Many have asked Buddha, "You sleep just as we sleep, you eat just as we eat, you become tired just as we become tired, so what is the difference?"
The ordinary person projects his ordinariness even on the buddha. That's why later on, when the followers see that ordinary people will not be able to understand the buddha if they really write down his actual life, they start creating fictions around their master. Hence, whatsoever you now have about Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed, Krishna, Mahavira, is all fiction; it is not true.
Jesus walking on water is a fiction invented by the followers so that ordinary people can see that the master is extraordinary, he is no ordinary man. Jesus reviving the dead or curing the blind - these are fictions. If they are metaphors, then they are beautiful. That is the function of every buddha: to give eyes to the blind - in a metaphorical sense - to revive the dead. ... Because you are all dead.
The way you are, you are in your graves. And each buddha calls Lazarus out of the grave.
If it is a metaphor, if it is a poetic, symbolic way of saying a thing - beautiful. But if you try to prove that it is something historical, factual, then you are simply trying to befool the ordinary people.
But this is not going to help; the ordinary people cannot be helped in this way. This only creates a problem for the ordinary people, because whenever they come across a real buddha they will expect him to walk on water. And if he cannot walk on water - and no buddha is foolish enough to walk on water - then they will think he is not a buddha.
Your expectations are created by the followers; they were created in order to help you to understand their master. In fact, they have done just the opposite: you will never be able to understand any living master. And dead masters are of no use. Only a living master, the touch of a living master, can change you from base metal into gold.
But great difficulties have been created: around Buddha there are so many stories, around Zarathustra there are so many stories. And all those stories are fictions created by the followers.
And as time passes by so many more fictions are being added every day that it is difficult to sort out what is true and what is untrue.
But the reason is what Bodhidharma is saying: the ordinary person believes that the buddha is also ordinary - "just like us."
... WHEREAS THE ENLIGHTENED MAN SEES THE HOLY PATH IN A LIFE OF MEDIOCRITY.
And just the opposite is the case with the buddha.
Buddha is reported to have said, "The moment I became enlightened, the whole existence became enlightened for me." And I can vouch for it: the moment I became enlightened, the whole existence became enlightened for me too.
When I see you, I don't see you as mediocre, ordinary. I see you as buddhas - asleep of course, snoring too, but that does not make any difference to your buddhahood. Buddhahood has every freedom to snore and sleep! But I can see that deep down your snoring is only superficial, your sleep is only superficial. Deep down there is a light burning eternally. I see you as buddhas; you have not yet seen it.
The function of the master is to help you to see what he is already seeing in you. He helps you also to see it: that's the whole function of a master.
YOU WILL OBSERVE IN THE SUTRAS THAT ALL BUDDHAS PREACH FOR TWO GROUPS, THE MEDIOCRE AND THE WISE, BUT IN THE EYE OF ZEN, A SAGE'S LIFE IS ONE OF MEDIOCRITY AND THE MEDIOCRE PERSON'S AS THE SAGE'S.
Buddhas have to teach two kinds of people, because superficially there are two kinds of people, the mediocre and the wise, hence there are two kinds of statements in all the statements of all the buddhas. A few statements are made to foolish people. Don't judge the buddha by those statements.
Remember the context, remember to whom they were given, who was being answered. Don't forget the person. And a few answers are for the wise ones. It is very difficult to sort them out because they are all compiled together.
In the Vedas there is only one percent of statements which are worth keeping; ninety-nine percent is only worth throwing away. So is the case with the Old Testament, so is the case with the Koran, because Mohammed comes across all kinds of people. And these are the basic categories: the stupid, the mediocre, the dreamers, the sleepy, and the wise ones. To the wise ones he will say one thing. For example, Jesus says, "Knock, and the doors shall be opened unto you." This must have been told to somebody very very asleep.
Rabiya was passing one day and she saw Hasan sitting before a mosque, tears rolling down his cheeks, and crying with raised hands in deep prayer. He was saying to God, "I am knocking and knocking on your doors - for years I have been knocking. Why don't you open the doors? When will you receive me?"
Rabiya was passing. She came close to Hasan, shook him from his prayer and said, "You, stupid!
The doors are open. They have never been closed. Simply get up and enter!"
Now, Hasan is just on the border; one step and he will become wise.
There is no contradiction in Jesus saying, "Knock, and the doors shall be opened," and Rabiya saying, "What nonsense you are talking - 'I am knocking'! The doors are already open!" There is no contradiction, remember; there can't be. It is impossible to find a contradiction between two of Buddha's statements. But here the context is different. Jesus must have been talking to ordinary, mediocre people, and Rabiya is talking to one who is just on the verge of becoming enlightened.
That very moment Hasan opened his eyes and said, "Right, you are right! The doors have never been closed. I have been a fool It is so compassionate of you that you disturbed my sleep. I am immensely grateful to you. Yes, the doors were never closed - and I would have prayed my whole life, believing that the doors are closed, and that I have to knock and I have to pray."
Since that day nobody ever saw Hasan praying. He stopped coming to the mosque. What is the point? The doors are everywhere.
Wherever you are, God is there confronting you, challenging you.
Buddhas have to speak in two ways. But Bodhidharma says: I am not interested in the mediocre.
... BUT IN THE EYE OF ZEN, A SAGE'S LIFE IS ONE OF MEDIOCRITY AND THE MEDIOCRE PERSON'S AS THE SAGE'S.
"We don't see any difference: to us the sage lives just like an ordinary person and in the ordinary person we see a buddha. We see the profound in the ordinary and the ordinary in the profound."
Hence Zen monks have lived a very ordinary life, with no holier-than-thou nonsense.
THIS ONE LIFE HAS NO FORM AND IS EMPTY BY NATURE. IF YOU BECOME ATTACHED TO ANY FORM, YOU SHOULD REJECT IT. IF YOU SEE AN EGO, A SOUL, A BIRTH OR A DEATH, REJECT THEM ALL.
Bodhidharma says: Reject the very idea that "I am a buddha." Reject the very idea that "I am special, extraordinary, spiritual, holy," because these are all tricks of the ego. The ego is coming again from the back door. Reject all identifications. Simply be a total emptiness. And then whatsoever you will say and whatsoever you will do and whatsoever you will be is going to be right, is going to be beautiful, is going to be graceful.
And the last question: WHY AND HOW DO WE REJECT THEM?
The stupidity continues:
WHY AND HOW DO WE REJECT THEM?
IF YOU HAVE ZEN, YOU SHOULD NOT SEE A THING.
There will be no question of rejection. It is only a way of saying "Reject the ego." If you meditate, if you become silent, there is no ego to reject. You won't see a thing - neither life nor death, neither matter nor mind. All things will disappear. You will be an empty space, a mirror reflecting nothing.
So don't be worried!
First enter into meditation, have the meditative quality in you. Become silent and thoughtless, contentless, still. And then there will be no need to worry how and why to reject - there will be nothing to reject. You will not see a thing.
"THE MOST FIRMLY ESTABLISHED IN THE PATH APPEARS THE MOST REMISS."
One of the greatest statements ever made.
"THE MOST FIRMLY ESTABLISHED IN THE PATH APPEARS THE MOST REMISS."
That's why one who is really a buddha will always be condemned by the ordinary people: because he appears to be the most remiss, because he fits in no category, because he fits in with no morality. You cannot predict anything about him, he is unpredictable. Why? - because he is so established in his being that he cares nothing about anything. He lives spontaneously, whatsoever the consequence. He will look careless to you, but he is so conscious he need not care. He will look negligent to you; he is not. He is so conscious, there is no question of negligence. He will look lazy to you, but he is not - there is no question of it. He is so conscious, laziness cannot exist in his consciousness.
But to the outside world he will not fit into any category. The Christian church will not call him a saint.
The Hindus will not call him a mahatma. The Jainas will not call him a MUNI. Even if Buddha comes back today, Buddhists will not recognize him as a buddha - he will look very remiss, very astray.
It is said that when one Zen master became enlightened, he came from the caves in the mountains to the marketplace with a bottle of wine. People looked at him; they could not believe their eyes.
They had always thought that he was a very holy man. Now, coming back to the marketplace with a bottle of wine! Has he gone mad?
But he is simply saying, "I have gone beyond all rules, regulations. I have gone beyond all morals, all rituals. Now you will not be able to predict about me anymore. I am no longer 'ordinary' and no longer 'holy'; I am simply whatsoever I am."
He came to the marketplace to destroy your idea of his holiness.
Sufis, Taoists and Zen masters are very well known for destroying your idea of their holiness, their 'special-ness'. They manage to devise many methods to simply destroy your expectations, to undermine you. They never fulfill your expectations.
That is the true sign of a master: that he never fulfills your expectations. If somebody fulfills your expectations, be sure and certain that he is a phony. Remember this beautiful statement:
"THE MOST FIRMLY ESTABLISHED IN THE PATH APPEARS THE MOST REMISS."
Enough for today.