First the questions from the sannyasins.
The first question:
The first thing to be understood is that I am not dealing with psychology. Psychology remains attached to the mind; it is the science of the mind. And my whole work is how to take you out of the mind, so these people will take me as if I am their enemy.
They are working out how the mind functions, whether it is personal or interpersonal, what are its conditionings and how those conditionings can be changed with new conditionings. Their whole work - whether they call it interpersonal psychology or spectrum psychology - remains confined to the mind. And my world, the world of Zen, is the world of no-mind.
We simply don't want to bother about all the rubbish that mind is carrying from centuries. If you get involved in it, you can go on digging and digging, and you will find more bullshit coming out.
It is better just to take a jump out of it; it is not you. It is the whole conditioning of mankind, from generation to generation. Every mind concept has traveled to you, and it is becoming thicker and thicker every day. As time passes, you have a thicker mind, and meditation becomes more difficult.
These people are not concerned with meditation at all, hence there is no question of their being here.
Secondly, they think they have found the answer. Obviously, a person who thinks he has found the answer will not go seeking the truth anywhere, but will remain confined in his own imagination.
Mind cannot be anything more than images, thoughts, sentiments, moods. Mind is not your nature, but an imposition by the society on your purity.
These people will feel at a loss here, because whatever they have been doing we are throwing out - and they have been collecting. They will get great stuff if they come - just to collect. Every evening so much rubbish is thrown. They can collect and enjoy analyzing it.
Not a single person exists in the world who is completely psychoanalyzed. Such is the depth of all past orientations. Ten years, fifteen years, people have been in psychoanalysis, and they go on talking; new dreams start coming, new thoughts start coming; they go on and they go on... When they get fed up with the psychoanalyst, they change the psychoanalyst and go on repeating the same story in another name.
But even a psychoanalyst is not aware that there is much more to your reality than your small mind.
Science remains confined to matter.
Psychology remains confined to the mind.
Meditation is an effort to penetrate beyond matter physiology, beyond mind psychology, and to find the original source of life and consciousness.
The work here is totally different, not only different, but makes all their efforts - the so-called psychologists of different schools - meaningless. It is an exercise in futility.
The second question:
It cannot be discussed and concluded; in fact, those two inches are only the average.
When you breathe deeply you touch the center, and you can find whether it is two inches behind or two inches below.
The person who has written TAO YOGA, Mantak Chia, does not seem to be an experienced person.
When I say two inches below the navel, I am trying to take your consciousness as deep as it can go.
Those two inches are not something fundamental. Your center may be only one and a half inches below the navel. Just as everybody's nose differs... there is no way of concluding which nose is the fundamental nose.
Don't get into intellectual discussion. The navel you have, the consciousness you have... the path is clear, it is not far away. Just a little silence, peace and witnessing, and you will know where it is; it is bound to be different in every person.
It is possible Mantak Chia found it two inches behind the navel, but my experience is, it is two inches below the navel. And it is better to accept the idea of two inches below, because if it is two inches behind that will come in the way. It is always better to keep the goal a little farther away. If it is two inches behind, you will pass it. And everybody is going to find it a little different. Just as individualities differ, your physical organs differ.
There is no scientific way of saying where the source is. The only way is to find it. It is somewhere near your navel. Perhaps somebody may find it just behind the navel. But according to me and my experience of people, it is not behind, it is below - two inches. Only then can it manage your sexual energy, otherwise it will be too far away; there will be no connection between your sexual machinery and your life energy.
Your life energy has to reach from the sex center to the seventh center in the head, the whole golden path. So it is better, hypothetically, to make an effort of going two inches below. If you go three inches below, good - better.
Somebody may find that Mantak Chia's idea is right; it may be applicable to him. But talking in terms of the average, two inches below the navel is the right source. You will find it somewhere close by - an inch before or an inch after; don't be bothered about inches. Remember, your navel is the point, and around it somewhere is the source of your life energy, because when you were born you were connected through your navel with your mother. Your mother's life energy was moving through the navel into you; there was no other connection.
So one thing is certain, that your navel for nine months has been the connection with existence, with your mother. Everything you were getting was through the navel. But it cannot be on the surface of the navel, it can only be deep inside. Everything that is so precious, like life, has to be in a very subtle way hiding.
You can make a two-inch-wide circle around your navel. Behind, below, somewhere, you will find it - don't get fixed about inches. And you don't have any measurement inside. You cannot take your measuring tape - "How many inches deep, or back, is your life source?" It is just a hypothesis to help you to enter in. You will find it. Go as deep as possible. Don't stop if you see a little path where it is still possible to go more.
Experience is the question; don't be mathematical.
I am reminded by your question of a great mathematician, Herodotus....
He was the first man to find the principle of averages. It was a great discovery at that time, and he was so overwhelmed by it, that one day when he had gone for a picnic with his wife and seven kids - they came across a small river...
The wife was a little worried, but Herodotus said, "Wait. I will take the average depth and the average size of our kids. It will take only five minutes." He took out his measuring tape, found out the average height of the children, and ran around into that small river. At a few points he measured it and told his wife, "Don't be worried. The average depth of the water cannot drown the average height of our kids. You come on!"
But somewhere the water was deeper and somewhere it was shallow, and some child was smaller and some child was bigger... The average does not work in actual situations; it is good for mathematical calculations.
The wife was still worried, so she kept herself behind. And when she saw one child drowning, she called to Herodotus who was going ahead, "Look! I was concerned from the very beginning. I don't understand your mathematics!"
And can you believe it? Herodotus did not go to save the child, the wife had to run...! He ran back to the bank, where on the sand he had made all the calculations, to find out whether the calculation was wrong. The calculation was perfectly right, but existence does not follow your calculations.
So when I say two inches, it is only an average hypothesis. And I want it to be below the navel, because if it is behind, it will come in the way. Or if it is not behind, you will never reach to the point.
So I don't want to take any risk. You may get stuck two inches behind the navel, and just two inches below will be your center. You would have missed the ultimate experience by just two inches!
There is no need to be worried about how many inches. You just gather your energy and go to the very deepest that you can. Don't leave any stone unturned.
The third question:
You will have to understand two kinds of creativity. One is exactly what you are saying - it is an escape from the uneasiness of not doing anything and just sitting silently. The whole world is workaholic, and the whole world goes on driving everybody nuts: "Do this! Do that! Don't waste time!" So your whole mind is programmed for work, for efficiency. Naturally you cannot sit down silently, you have to do something. It can take the form of some kind of creation: music, poetry, sculpture, but this is not true creativity.
The true creativity comes out of sitting silently. When you are so totally quiet that there is no thought, no wave in the ocean of your being, out of this silence comes a different kind of creativity.
The first I can only call composition. The second is authentic creativity. They look alike, and sometimes the composer may even do better than the man of creativity. But the composer will never be original, he will always be copying. Only the creator can be original, can break new doors into the mystery of existence.
George Gurdjieff has gone deeply into this matter, and he has called the first, subjective creativity; it is mind oriented. And the other he has called the real objective creativity. Whatever names are given, that is not the question, but he knows the difference - that the people who created the Taj Mahal were not simply architects, they were not simply technologically knowledgeable.
The emperor who made the Taj Mahal called Sufis from all over the world - not the architects, but the Sufi mystics - to give the idea of the Taj Mahal. It was created in order to become an object of meditation. If you sit silently by the Taj Mahal in a fullmoon night, you start becoming silent. The very form of the Taj Mahal creates a certain quality in you, just as has been found about pyramids - that the very shape of the pyramid is life preserving. It detracts everything life negative.
When, in the very beginning of this century, the first pyramid was opened, they found a dead cat inside. They could not believe it. The pyramid was three thousand years old, so the cat must have died three thousand years ago. Just by accident she may have entered when they were closing it, and could not get out. But the body of the cat was absolutely fresh, as if it had just died. No stink...
in three thousand years.
Then the scientists started looking at the shape of the pyramids - there must be something in the very shape of the pyramids. And now they have made pyramids for meditators, small aluminium pyramids. You sit inside and you suddenly find you are more alive, you suddenly find more silence.
We are going to create new campuses around in the pyramid shape for meditators. Even people who live inside a pyramid find it very rejuvenating. The scientists could not believe it; they themselves found that they were more alive inside the pyramid than they were outside. Something happens; just the shape of the pyramid is the thing.
Those pyramids were created by Egyptian mystics from very ancient scriptures from the continent, Atlantis, that drowned either by natural catastrophe or by man's stupidity. But in Alexandria in Egypt, they had saved everything worthwhile from the lost continents of Lemuria and Atlantis. The library of Alexandria was so big - perhaps the biggest library in the world. The Mohammedan, Khalif Omar, burned it down.
You can see the stupid logic. With the holy Koran in one hand, and a burning torch in the other, Khalif Omar entered the library and asked the chief librarian, "You have to answer a question, because the very existence of your library depends on it. Is there anything more in your library than is in the Koran?"
The librarian saw the strategy. If he said there was more, then certainly it had to be destroyed, because nothing more is needed than the Koran; it is enough. If he said... and that's what he said, being a very intelligent person, knowing perfectly well there was so much more in the library than the Koran. He said, "Whatever is contained in the Koran in a condensed form is available in the library.
It is the same."
Although he tried by his answer to save the library, he did not know the fanatic mind.
Omar said, "If it is the same, then it is not needed, the Koran is enough. Why bother with so many books?" Omar burned it, and that library was so vast that it took six months for the fire to destroy it.
It had all the maps of the pyramids, and the reasoning why that particular shape is rejuvenating.
Pyramids can be called authentic creativity, but our so-called painters and our so-called musicians have no understanding of meditation. So it is just being busy without business, just doing something because the society does not accept you sitting silently.
From my very childhood, my uncles, my relatives had been telling me, "You will end up in nothing, because you simply sit and do nothing."
I said, "That's exactly what I am searching for - to be nothing."
They shrugged their shoulders; they could not understand - what kind of a man is this who does not take an insult? In their minds to be nothing is humiliation; one has to be something! And I said to them, "You cannot humiliate me. To be something is humiliating. When one can be nothing, so vast, so infinite, why should one be something? Something is a limitation."
So if your creativity comes out of your silence, out of your Zen, out of your meditations, then it is authentic, original. If it comes only as an occupation because you are feeling lost and there is nothing to do - a long holiday, so you start doing something.... That is not coming out of your silences, it is coming out of your crazy mind.
It happened once...
A painting of Picasso was sold for one million dollars. The woman who purchased it wanted the critics to inquire whether it was authentic, original, or a copy.
One critic said, "It is certainly original because I was present." He was a friend of Picasso; he said, "I was present when he was painting this painting, so you can take it for granted, without any doubt, that is the original."
But the woman was not satisfied. She went to Picasso himself, and she told him, "It does not matter to me, I have purchased it. I simply want to know whether it is original."
Picasso looked at the painting, and he made a strange statement. The critic was present, and the woman who had been living with Picasso was present, and Picasso said, "This is not original."
And the woman said, "You have painted it in front of my eyes, and this critic was present also. How can you say such a thing - that this is not original?"
He said, "It is true that I have painted it, but it is not original. I have already painted the same painting before. Finding nothing to do, I repeatedly painted the same painting; that is in the museum in Paris.
You can go and see; this is just a copy. It does not matter who makes the copy. I have made the copy; that does not make it original. A copy is a copy whoever makes it. It has come out of my inability to sit silent; it is only a copy. But the first one is original. It came out of the silences of my being; I had no idea what I was doing. When I was painting this painting, I knew everything that I was doing. This is a mind product; the first one has arisen from beyond the mind."
Anything that arises from your silences has a beauty, a truthfulness, an authenticity. And that which arises out of the mind is only a carbon copy. Howsoever beautiful it may appear to the ignorant, it cannot be called a creative phenomenon.
If you have been to Agra to see the Taj Mahal, you will find that on the other side of the Yamuna there are the foundations of another Taj Mahal - just the foundations. The same emperor who allowed the Sufi mystics to design the Taj Mahal thought, "It is too costly to bring all these mystics from Persia and Arabia. And now that we have the model..."
It took thirty years for one thousand artists to make the Taj Mahal. He released them, and he told the architects that were available in New Delhi, "Now that the Taj Mahal is ready, you can build the same on the other side of the bank."
This Taj Mahal was going to be his wife's samadhi. It is from his wife's name that it became Taj Mahal; her name was Mumtaz Mahal. The other he was creating for himself. And the architect said, "There is no problem. We can build exactly the same thing on the other side." And they suggested, "If one is made in white marble it will be a good contrast to make the other in black marble."
They could not complete it because the emperor was imprisoned by his son, and the son was not interested at all. So it has remained only a foundation. But even if it had been completed, it would not have been a creative act, it would have been only technologically copied from the original.
And the mistake is immediately seen - they did not think of the whiteness and the communion with the full moon. Black marble does not have that beauty in the full moon. It cannot create a luminosity within you, it cannot wake you up. So even if they had completed it, it would not have been authentic and original.
If you don't have to do anything, that is the greatest moment just to be. Don't do anything. Be silent.
Do only when things are necessary to be done. So much nonsense will be cut out and you will have much more energy to explore the inner.
It is a traditional question. Everybody knows the answer, but it has been asked to every master, and always a different answer has been given. The question has remained the same, but because the master is different, the disciple is different and the times have changed, no master ever repeats any other master's answer.
Everybody knows that Bodhidharma came to China to convey the message of Gautam Buddha. But this answer will not be given by any Zen master. This will be too superficial, too informative, too knowledgeable, but not existential.
What is the meaning of Bodhidharma's coming?
Now Suibi is a very subtle master. He has already answered without answering it. He is saying, "I will tell you when nobody is around." That includes the questioner, that includes Suibi himself. "When nobody is around, I will answer it." That nobodiness is the meaning of Gautam Buddha's essential teaching.
But Suibi did not manage to satisfy Shohei. Shohei could not get to the point where Suibi was pointing - "I will tell you later when nobody is around." He misunderstood it, just as you would have misunderstood him.
His silence is every time giving him the answer: "You don't understand. When you say nobody is there, you are there, I am there. When the questioner is not there, and the answerer is not there, you will get the meaning of why Bodhidharma came from India to China."
Shohei goes on insisting. So finally, inside the bamboos, SUIBI, POINTING TO THE BAMBOOS, SAID, "THIS BAMBOO IS THAT LONG, THAT BAMBOO IS THAT SHORT."
You will not see any logical connection. There is no logical connection, but there is something more fundamentally connected. What he is saying is, "Bodhidharma came to teach suchness. This bamboo is long, so what? This bamboo is short, but there is no problem. I have never heard these bamboos discussing, 'Why are you long and why am I short?' Neither does the short one feel inferior, nor the long one feel superior. They are both enjoying existence in their totality.
"So just be, without comparing. Settle down in your own consciousness, and you will know the answer, the answer that cannot be given from outside."
He is saying, the beginning is also the end, the meeting is also a departing. One has to understand this contradictoriness, this paradoxical nature of existence. The welcoming smile is also a farewell.
In a very small haiku he has expressed the very essence of non-comparative, non-relative existentialness, in which all contradictions dissolve, in which all paradoxes meet; where night is not against the day, and death is not against life; where nobody is superior and nobody is inferior; where the beggar and the emperor are the same.
This sameness, this suchness is the Manifesto of Zen: a declaration of the beauty of your individuality, and at the same time a declaration of dispersing that individuality into the universal.
The less you are, the more you are.
If you are nothing at all, then you are everything.
This is the Manifesto of Zen.
Maneesha, in the first place psychoanalysis has nothing to do with Zen, and in the second place, Zen has nothing to do with Buddhism. It has something to do with Buddha, but not with Buddhism, not with the doctrine that has arisen around Buddha's words, the philosophy, the religion, the cult.
Erich Fromm, himself, being a man of psychoanalysis, looks at Zen from a particular point of view, and that is the wrong way of looking at Zen. Zen has to be entered directly, not as a Mohammedan, and not as a Hindu, and not as a psychoanalyst, and not as a communist. If you already have a framework, a pattern, then you will impose that pattern on Zen. And Zen is so innocent, just like a small child.
You can make that small child a Hindu, you can make that small child a Mohammedan, or a Christian, or a Buddhist, or whatever you want. It is a question of writing on an empty paper. The child is utterly empty, available for you to write whatever you want to write upon it. And people never look at their own conditioning....
Erich Fromm is conditioned as a psychoanalyst; hence, it seems to him to be very right that "if one carries Freud's principle of the transformation of unconsciousness into consciousness to its ultimate consequences, one approaches the concept of enlightenment."
Enlightenment is not a concept, it is an experience. And even Sigmund Freud is not enlightened.
You will be surprised to know that he was not even psychoanalyzed. His disciples insisted again and again, "Why don't you go through psychoanalysis? Now we are ready, we can be the psychoanalysts and you be the patient" - and he always refused.
What was the fear? The same fears that are hidden in everybody - one is hiding one's wounds, one's inferiority, one's fears.
Sigmund Freud was very much afraid of death, so much so that even the mention of the word 'death' was enough to give him a fit. He would fall down from the chair, and would start foaming from the mouth. Now this man and enlightenment are as totally different as possible.
He expelled one of his most deserving disciples, Carl Gustav Jung, who was supposed to succeed him. But because Jung mentioned death three times, and caused a shaking fit for poor Sigmund Freud, Freud expelled him.
But you should not think that Carl Gustav Jung was not afraid of death. He wanted to go to Egypt.
At least six times he booked his tickets and canceled them. Six times he even reached the airport and then freaked out. What was the fear? The fear was of seeing the dead bodies, the mummies of the old kings and queens. He was interested in seeing them, but was also afraid that it would give him the idea: "You are not immortal, you are also going to die. Great emperors could not save themselves." So the fear...
Psychoanalysis is a very ordinary thing, and it is very helpful to people who are going a little abnormal. Ordinarily everybody is normally crazy, but normally crazy, within boundaries. Everybody knows what his weak points are. He hides, but sometimes in some stress situation a person starts behaving beyond the normal boundaries. Psychoanalysis is helpful for bringing the fellow back to the prison - he was getting out of it.
But it is not that psychoanalysis taken to its ultimate consequences will be the same as enlightenment. Enlightenment is an effort to take you beyond the mind, and psychoanalysis is an effort to keep you within the mind. Their very processes are opposite. Erich Fromm is absolutely wrong.
It is time for Sardar Gurudayal Singh. Put on the light!
One afternoon down in Podunk, Alabama, at the Abe Lincoln Elementary School, Miss Velcro, the black teacher, is giving an English lesson.
"Now, class," says Miss Velcro, "today we are going to write some poetry. And for our theme, we are going to go back to our black roots in Africa. I want you to write a poem using that famous African town, Timbuktu."
For the next ten minutes, everybody writes. And at the end of the class, Miss Velcro says, "Okay, children, before we go home, would anyone like to read out their poem to the class?"
Two boys, Little Black George and Little Black Washington, raise their hands enthusiastically.
"Good," says Miss Velcro. "George, you read yours first."
George stands up and says proudly:
"Far away in a distant land,
Out across the burning sand,
Black men on camels march two by two,
On their way to Timbuktu!"
The classroom cheers loudly, and then Miss Velcro says, "That was very good, George. Now let us hear your poem, Washington."
Little Washington jumps up, clears his throat, and says:
"Me and my older brother Tim,
A-hunting we did go.
We came upon three pretty girls,
A-sleeping in a row.
Since they was three and we was two,
I bucked one - and Timbuktu!"
Maureen O'Murphy receives this letter from her son Patrick, at college in Dublin:
Send me fifty pounds immediately.
Your loving son, Patrick P.S. I am so ashamed to have written you this letter asking for money, that I sent my friend Michael, to get it back, but the postman had already collected it. I can only hope that this letter gets lost in the post!
His mother replies:
Don't worry, the letter was lost in the post.
Your loving mother, Maureen.
P.S. I would have enclosed fifty pounds, but the postman has already collected the letter.
The Muggins family are gathered around the dinner table one evening, when young Melvin Muggins gets up to make an announcement.
"I would like to take this opportunity," begins Melvin, "to tell you all that I am going to marry Hilda Haggard, the girl across the street."
"What?" cries his father, Mr. Muggins. "Her family did not leave her any money!"
"That's right!" snaps Mrs. Muggins. "And she has not saved a penny!"
"She does not know anything about football!" shouts Little Monty Muggins.
"She is weird!" cries Little Mildred Muggins. "I have never seen anyone with such frizzy hair!"
"That's right!" shouts Uncle Mitch. "And all she ever does is sit around all day reading trashy novels!"
"And look at her clothes!" cries Aunty Mabel. "I have never seen such terrible taste!"
"That's nothing!" screeches Grandma Muggins. "You should see the makeup she paints all over her face!"
"That's all true," replies Melvin calmly, "but she has one big advantage over all of us."
"Really?" everyone cries. "What is that?"
"Well," explains Melvin, "she has no family."
Close your eyes... and feel your bodies to be completely frozen.
This is the right moment to enter in.
With a deep urgency, gather all your energies and consciousness, and rush towards your inner center of being which is just two inches below the navel, inside you.
Faster and faster...
Deeper and deeper...
As you are coming closer to the center, a great silence descends over you, a peace that passeth understanding.
And inside, at the center, you encounter your very self, your very buddha, for the first time. It is only a presence, a light, a flame. This flame is rooted in the eternal fire of existence.
You have been here always, and you will be here always. Only forms change, but the existential truth remains without any change. It is your ultimate being. In this ultimateness you are no more there, but the whole is. The dewdrop has disappeared in the ocean, or the ocean has disappeared in the dewdrop. This is one of the greatest moments to become a witness.
Witness that you are not the body...
Witness that you are not the mind...
Witness that you are only a pure witnessing consciousness....
The deeper this consciousness goes, the closer you are coming to your ultimate nature, the buddha.
Relax into witnessing.
Just a silent witnessing, and all boundaries disappear. And suddenly, Gautama the Buddha Auditorium becomes an ocean of consciousness. Ten thousand buddhas are no longer there, only a single pure fire of awareness. This is your very nature.
Zen is not a religion, it is a manifesto of your very nature.
It is a freedom from all social structures.
It is a freedom even from yourself.
It is pure freedom.
In this freedom, all that is creative arises.
All that is beautiful blossoms... all that is significant.
A grace that you have never been aware of surrounds you.
An aura of light follows you.
Collect all these experiences before Nivedano calls you back.
You are not to become anyone, you have just to dissolve into the totality of existence. In this annihilation, you reach to the highest peak of consciousness. In that peak there is light and there is joy, and there is song and there is dance - but there is no "I" at all.
Persuade the buddha, the flame, to come behind you. It has been hiding inside your being since eternity. You have never explored the inner space, otherwise there is no need of any religion, and no need of any temple.
This very body becomes the temple.
And this very consciousness becomes the buddha.
These are the three small steps....
First, request the buddha, the internal and the eternal flame to follow you, to become part of your ordinary day-to-day life.
In the second step, you start becoming a shadow to the buddha. He takes you over; you start disappearing.
In the third step, even your shadow is no longer there, only a pure presence of the buddha.
This is not an achievement, you are already it - you have forgotten the language.
The Zen Manifesto is simply to remind you.
The last words of Gautam Buddha were: sammasati - "remember."
In a single word, everything significant is contained: sammasati.
Come back, but come back as buddhas - peaceful, silent, relaxed.
Just for a few seconds sit down with closed eyes to remember, to make a note of where you have been, to what depth you have been able to reach; what is the taste of silence, peace, what is the taste of disappearing into the ultimate...
The last words of Gautam Buddha contain the Zen Manifesto: sammasati. Remember what is your inner space. Just remember.
There is nothing to achieve, and there is nothing to become. You are already that which you have been seeking in all your lives in different ways, on different paths. But you have never looked inwards.
Look in. And whenever you have time, you know the path. Just go again and again to the inner space so that your fear of disappearing is dropped, you start enjoying being nobody, and you start remembering the forgotten language.