Buddha Emptiness of Heart 04

Fourth Discourse from the series of 8 discourses - Buddha Emptiness of Heart by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

A monk asked Rinzai, “What is the attitude of the heart which does not change from moment to moment?”
The master said: “From the moment you set yourself to ask this question, there is already the difference, and your essential nature and your action become separate.…Do not be deceived. In and out of the world there is not a thing that has a self-nature, nor a nature that is productive of a self. All is but empty names, and the very letters of these names are also empty.
“If you take these empty names for real, you make a big mistake. For though they exist, they belong in the realm of dependent change, are like robes to put on and off.
“There is the robe of bodhi, of nirvana, of deliverance, of the trikaya, of objective wisdom, of bodhisattvas and of buddha.
“What are you seeking in the realm of changing dependence? The three vehicles and the twelve divisions of the teachings, all are so much old paper to mop up messes. The buddha is an illusory phantom. The patriarchs are old monks. You yourselves, are you not born of a mother?
“If you seek the buddha, you will be caught by the buddha demon; if you seek the patriarchs, you will be bound by the patriarch demon. Whatever you are seeking, all becomes suffering. It is better to have nothing further to seek.”
Maneesha, the clouds and the rain and the silent bamboos, and ten thousand people sitting silently, is a rare phenomenon. This kind of assembly has disappeared from the world. It used to be, when Buddha was walking, or when Rinzai was alive.…You are representative of a forgotten past, which is not the past of the crowd but only the past of the awakened ones.
Rinzai’s statement is tremendously significant, but before I say something about it, as a preface….
Man’s personality has been divided in concentric circles. The first circle is the body. Within it, another circle is the mind. Within that, another third circle is the heart. And within the third circle, the center is the self. Buddha goes beyond it.
The atheists belong to and believe only in the first circle. They deny all other circles as imagination. Mind also is a function of the body. The theists believe in all the four circles: the body, the mind, the heart, and the self. Their insistence is that the first three circles are insignificant or illusory, they are not your true reality. Your true reality is the fourth center.
Buddha is breaking new ground. He goes beyond the fourth; he goes beyond the self. No-self, anatta, is your true existence. When you are not, you are. Of course, not in the same form as you have known yourself. You are spread all over the cosmos.
This is something unique, for which Buddha fought for forty-two years, because every religion stops at the self, the atma. Buddha is alone in the whole field, in saying that unless you go beyond self, you cannot enter into the universal, into the cosmic. You cannot become the rains and you cannot become the bamboo and you cannot become the roses…Why remain contained in a small bag? Why not be the whole? According to Buddha, to be the whole is the only holiness.
Rinzai is making his statement in this context; and very perfectly.
A monk asked Rinzai, “What is the attitude of the heart which does not change from moment to moment?”
The problem is perennial. The master says something – of course he has to use words, language, concepts, but that is not what he wants to say. That is sheer helplessness, sheer poverty of language; nothing can be done about it. We have to use the marketplace language in a world where neither the body exists, nor the mind exists, nor the self exists, but just a silence. How to convey it? Some word has to be used, some language, to communicate. And immediately the problem arises – the disciple clings to the words.
It has to be repeated again and again for the disciple that the word is not the message. The word is just a vehicle of an invisible message. That message is not contained in the word, it is around the word. Don’t cling to the word, just see the hint.
But it is very difficult. We are accustomed to understand language by understanding the word. But when you come to a buddha, you have to understand language in a new way. You have to understand the gaps between the words. There the buddha is present. In the words he has to use the mind, but when there is a gap, that gap shows his emptiness, his nothingness, his beyondness.

A great Sufi mystic kept a holy book…Everybody thought that it must be very mysterious, because he never allowed anyone to see within it, or read it. He kept it just under his pillow, and when there was nobody around, he would take it from its place and open the book, and would go through all the gestures of reading.
It became more and more mysterious as he became more and more famous. Perhaps he is keeping something secret, to be delivered only to the chosen few. Again and again he was asked, “Why don’t you talk about the book?”
He said, “I cannot talk about the book. When I am gone, then you can read it; not while I’m here because I cannot explain what is written in the book. But when I am gone it is none of my responsibility. You read it – whether you understand it or not is your business.”
It became more and more mysterious. People were trying in every way to at least have a look. When everybody else was gone, somebody would be hiding on the roof, removing a tile and looking. But the moment he would remove the tile, the master would close the book.
The moment he died – he was so much loved – but the moment he died, people were more concerned about the book than about his death. They immediately took out the book, and they were shocked and surprised: the book contained nothing! It was an empty book. They turned all the pages…somewhere, perhaps, the message. They went on again and again; perhaps they had missed the page where the message is. But there was nothing at all.
For one thousand years, the book had been given from the master to his successor, a disciple. It is very significant; it says, “Don’t look at the words, read the emptiness.”
This monk is asking:
“What is the attitude of the heart which does not change from moment to moment?”
It cannot be his own experience in any case, because the one who knows will not ask such a question. When the heart is empty it has no attitude. If it has an attitude, how can it be empty? When the heart is empty, this question cannot arise.
“What is the attitude of the heart which does not change from moment to moment?”
The master said, “From the moment you set yourself to ask this question, there is already the difference…”
He is making him aware that the moment you ask this question, you have created the difference. Just as the question arises in you, your heart is no longer empty. And anybody who gives you an answer will make your heart again full of attitudes, answers, questions…It will lose its emptiness; and that emptiness is its beauty, its purity, its grandeur.
Nobody else has understood the beauty of emptiness, of being nobody, of being just a nothing, a pure silence where nothing moves. Gautam Buddha stands as the highest peak of the Himalayas. There have been many mystics, but Gautam Buddha’s height, his purity, his clarity, is incomparable.
Rinzai and others are simply conveying the same experience. Of course they are not so articulate as Gautam Buddha himself, but everybody is trying his best to satisfy the disciple, the questioner.
The master said: “From the moment you set yourself to ask this question, there is already the difference…”
You are no more the same. The empty heart does not ask anything; everything comes to it on its own accord.
You just look at the rains…We have not burned any woman on a funeral pyre; neither have we burned any Shankaracharya. We don’t indulge in such stupid ideas, but Pune has never known such rains as it has known this year. What is the reason? When ten thousand people sit silently, the clouds come by themselves. You just be silent, and everything comes simultaneously to you – and in abundance! Nature is absolutely ready to give up all its treasures to the empty heart.
But rather than asking the question, become the empty heart, and you will see miracles happening around you for which you have not done anything. They are sheer gifts of nature to the man who has an empty heart. He deserves it, although he does not demand it; he is fulfilled, although he does not ask for it.
His fulfillment is a totally different phenomenon. It is not filled with any objective richness, fame, respectability, or power. He is filled with a deep inner dance, a laughter for no reason, a joy just like a small child. Just being is itself a gift; a blissfulness surrounds him, a great field of silence and presence.
And this is for those who are only at the center. Buddha wants you to go beyond the center.
In Pali, the self is called atta, and no-self is called anatta. Buddha is the first man in history who has used anatta: no-self is your reality, you don’t have any self. You are just like an onion: you go on peeling it, thinking that beyond this layer you will find something. You find another cover to peel off. You go on peeling, and finally nothing is left in your hands. That nothing is anatta.
You are neither the body, nor the mind, nor the heart, nor even the self. You are just a pure awareness beyond all kinds of cages. But don’t ask a question. Rather experience it, because it is not a question-and-answer thing. It is not something to be believed, it is something to be lived.
Rinzai says,
“The moment you ask, your essential nature and your action become separate.…Do not be deceived. In and out of the world there is not a thing that has a self-nature…”
He is very clear. Not a single thing in the whole world has a self-nature, because if things have self-nature, then they will never be able to merge into the universal. They will always remain separate islands; tiny, imprisoned in their own body-mind-self.
He is really a man of courage to say,
“There is not a single thing that has a self-nature, nor a nature that is productive of a self. All is but empty names, and the very letters of these names are also empty.
“If you take these empty names for real, you make a big mistake. For though they exist, they belong in the realm of dependent change, are like robes to put on and off.”
You have been in many bodies, in many species. You have changed your clothes many times, you have changed your residence many times; you have changed your address and name many times. It has been for centuries that in sannyas you are given a new name. It is indicative: you consciously change the name so that you know it is just a fiction. The old name had become a great reality; the new name is not yet conditioned. It is symbolic, that everything in you is continuously changing, eternally. Even your self is not the same, it goes on changing. Then what remains?
Rinzai is very straightforward. He says, “There is the robe of bodhi,” – even enlightenment is a robe, don’t get identified with it – “There is the robe of bodhi, of nirvana, of deliverance, of the trikaya – the three bodies we have talked about. But these are all changing layers; nothing of them is to be made a permanent home. “…of objective wisdom, of bodhisattvas and of buddha.” Even if you think you are a buddha, don’t get identified with it, it is just a passing phase. It is just a bridge to nothingness. The most perfect bridge, of course, but still a bridge.
“What are you seeking in the realm of changing dependence?” Where everything is changing, what are you seeking? Even the seeker is changing while you are seeking. Stop seeking, stop searching, just be. And you will be surprised: the last stop is the self. It is a kind of feeling of am-ness, is-ness – but it too is just a last stop, not yet a home. One step more, from self to no-self. Just disappear without any condition, as a perfume disappears into the air.
Gautam Buddha’s contribution is certainly the greatest that any man has made to humanity.
“What are you seeking in the realm of changing dependence? The three vehicles and the twelve divisions of the teachings, all are so much old paper to mop up messes. The buddha is an illusory phantom.”
Other religions would be very much disturbed. No Christian can say that Jesus Christ is a phantom; no Hindu can say that Krishna is a phantom. This much courage has been shown only by Zen masters. It is not that they don’t love Buddha – they love him, they worship him – but truth is truth. The buddha of your conceptions is an illusory phantom. You have to go beyond it. You have to be simply nothing.
“The patriarchs are old monks. You yourselves, are you not born of a mother?”
If you are born of a mother, then you are bound to die sooner or later. Every birth makes it certain that you are going to die. Everything is so illusory; what are you seeking?
This is a totally different approach from that of any other religion. They all tell you to seek and search. But Rinzai is saying, “Stop all seeking and searching, and just be.” And look deeply into your being, and even your being will start melting like ice in June. Not even a trace will be left of you. You will have merged into the totality of existence.
On the surface it is frightening; that’s why Zen could not become a worldwide phenomenon. If you tell a person “I can teach you how to be poor,” he will say, “Get lost! I am already poor.”
But if somebody says, “I can teach you how to be rich,” then certainly you will respect the man and will listen to his wisdom. There are thousands of books around the world, telling people how to be successful, how to be rich. I have not seen a single book which says how to be poor, how to be a failure.
And Buddha was teaching how to be nothing! People have asked him, “What kind of teaching is this? At least right now we are. We may be in misery, we may be in trouble, but at least we are. Teach us how not to be in trouble, how not to be miserable.…Rather than that you teach us just to disappear!”
But Buddha knows better. He knows that as long as you are, you are going to be in misery, you are going to be in trouble. The very separation from the cosmos is the source of all your miseries. It may take different forms, but the real form, the reality, is that you have taken yourself apart from this vast existence.
So Buddha said, “I am trying so that you will not have any trouble, any misery. Just be nothing; then how can you be troubled? Who will be troubled?”
He has found one of the greatest truths ever found: that you and your misery are not two things. You are the misery, you are the problem. Your mind tells you that this is not so: “We can change the misery.” That is true.…The misery you can change, but you will change it for another misery. You can go on changing – everybody is doing that – from one misery to another misery. But you never come to realize that the real misery is that you are. You are separate from existence.
Buddha is hard, but absolutely true: until you dissolve yourself into the totality, you will be troubled. The very separation is the cause of your hell.
“If you seek the buddha, you will be caught by the buddha demon…” These Zen masters have a courage totally unknown to any other religion.
“If you seek the buddha, you will be caught by the buddha demon; if you seek the patriarchs, you will be bound by the patriarch demon. Whatever you are seeking, all becomes suffering.”
Seeking, in short, is the source of suffering.
Do not seek, just be.
Don’t go anywhere, just remain at your center. A small movement, and you have missed the point. And this center of your being is just the center of a soap bubble. But to reach to the center is to have at least reached to the door of the temple.
Now don’t be afraid, and enter the door of nothingness, of no-selfness, of anatta. Let your whole being be filled with the sense that “I am not; existence is.”
To understand Gautam Buddha, or his disciples who have attained to this nothingness, is absolutely impossible with the mind. Mind will always want to be. The mind will always think, “What a strange teaching, to make so much arduous effort not to be. With this much effort, you could have become the richest man in the world. With so much effort, you could have become a prime minister, a president. And this strange fellow has himself dropped his kingdom, and is now teaching people how to be nothing.”
I don’t think…if somebody writes a book, like Dale Carnegie – Dale Carnegie’s book has sold second only to the Holy Bible. How To Win Friends And Influence People is the title of his book. And he has certainly made many friends – there are Dale Carnegie Clubs all around the world, where his book is read. They run classes, and schools, and courses. Looking at his book, you will see: he is creating a science of hypocrisy. Whether you want to smile or not, you should smile – even at a stranger, because one never knows, tomorrow you may need him.
I have been doing just the opposite: how to influence people, and increase your enemies! And I think I am more successful than Dale Carnegie.
Zen could not become a worldwide experience for the simple reason that nobody is ready for that great explosion in which you are lost. But think for a moment: what are you? What are you going to preserve? And what is the point, what will you do with it? Even if you discover your self, then what are you going to do with it?
You will create new miseries, new troubles, new engagements, new appointments, new love affairs …because you cannot just be. Otherwise you will start thinking to yourself, “Have I gone mad?” No girlfriend, no boyfriend, just sitting in your room, being nobody…You will jump out of your room, take your rented bicycle, and run away to find someone! You know that there will be troubles, but it is better: at least those troubles keep you alive. Just a good fight in the pub, coming home drunk, staggering, but at least you are.
But what is the point?
Zen’s experience is that unless you go beyond self and start enjoying being nobody; unless nothingness becomes your blissfulness, you have missed your life completely. It is the greatest challenge that can be given to any human being. And only those who have the lion’s heart have followed the path of Zen – even in China, just a small stream; in Japan a very small stream.
When I was arrested in America, the first telegram came from a Zen master in Japan, to Ronald Reagan, with a copy to me. It said, “You are doing the worst, most stupid thing that one can conceive of.” The jailer came running to me and he said, “Who is this man?”
I said, “I don’t know, but certainly he is a man of understanding.”
The jailer said, “He may be a man of understanding, but he does not know manners – calling the president stupid!”
I said, “You don’t know about Zen! When somebody is stupid, they call it stupid. You can inform the president that I agree with the Zen master.”

Zen has been a path of the very few chosen ones who have guts enough even to disappear.
“Whatever you are seeking,” says Rinzai, “all becomes suffering.”
Western psychology has not come to this understanding. We try to help people out of one suffering, and another is coming on. Nobody except Zen has come to the realization that every seeking becomes suffering. It does not matter what you are seeking – money, power, richness, fame, or even if you are trying to be a buddha – you are creating suffering for yourself.
“It is better to have nothing further to seek.”
Just stop! So when I say during your meditations…I am not saying that you have to become a buddha. That will become a seeking, and a suffering. I am saying you are a buddha; just recognize it, and there ends the matter. Once you recognize you are the buddha you will melt, when the time and season is right, into the ultimate reality. To be the buddha is only the beginning of the end; but what a beautiful beginning, and what a beautiful end. Without any struggle, allowing existence to take over, is the greatest ecstasy in the world.
Rinzai has made a very strong and honest statement. I hope it will be helpful to all of you who are on the path of meditation. Remember, this is the path of disappearing.

A haiku by Uko:
take me up to where
clouds drift.
He is saying the same thing: take me up to where clouds drift, into the universal, into the sky; I don’t want to remain confined in the body, the mind, the heart, and the self. Just take me away from all these.
This is what Gautam Buddha calls freedom. Less than that is a compromise.

Maneesha has asked:
I think I heard you say recently that when we are aware of our emptiness, when we are conscious – even if it is only for an instant – we are in the same state that you are always in. But, isn't it that your state of consciousness is not just quantitatively different from ours – in that you are conscious twenty-four hours a day – but is qualitatively different?
I love you and I love that space of emptiness that I feel. Why then this reluctance to accept that my emptiness is the same as yours?
Maneesha, it is an ancient question, whether there is any relationship between quantity and quality, or no relationship. Science has finally decided on the fact that they are interchangeable.
In a very ordinary experiment, you can boil water to ninety-nine degrees; it will not evaporate. The moment it comes to a hundred degrees, it will evaporate. Now certainly, the evaporated water and the liquid water, although they are both water, have a qualitative difference.
On the other hand, if you go on lowering the temperature the water becomes solid ice. Ice, water, vapor – the inner thing is the same, but their outer expression is not only quantitatively different, it is qualitatively different. For example, you cannot quench your thirst with vapor. In the first place, to catch hold of it in a glass is going to be a difficult task; and even if you catch hold of it, it is now nothing but H2O. It has disintegrated into its basic elements.
Do you think that, by repeating “H2O,” like a transcendental meditation, your thirst will be quenched? You simply need water. H2O, the mantra, will not do.
I can understand your reluctance to accept it. It is because of your love. The more you love me, the more you will see the heights of my consciousness and the more you will see the depths of your consciousness. Your love is going to reveal the dark valleys of your being, and the sunlit peaks of my consciousness. And because you love me, you cannot simply shut your eyes and deny that there are any sunlit peaks. Your love will grow more, to the point that you have to travel the path from your valleys to the sunlit peaks of the mountain.
The only thread between the master and the disciple is that of love. It is not belief, it is not faith, it is pure and simple love. You have seen in the master your own ultimate realization; you have seen in the master what you can be. Just a little turning in, and you will be the same.
And your reluctance is natural. You have loved me; you would not like to be equal to me, that seems to be insulting. But it is not insulting, it only logically looks insulting. Your love turns into a deep gratitude.
I will tell you about Sariputta, a famous philosopher at the time of Gautam Buddha. He became a disciple of Gautam Buddha just by seeing him. He himself had thousands of followers, but the moment he saw Buddha, he told his disciples that now they were free: “If you want to remain with me, you can, but now I am in a strange love with this man.” And he became enlightened within two years. The day he became enlightened, his eyes were full of tears, and he was holding Buddha’s feet. Buddha said, “Why are you crying?”
He said, “I cannot accept that I am equal to you. It is just impossible for me to think that now there is no difference between my consciousness and yours.”
Buddha said, “Sariputta, come to your senses! It is my whole effort to bring you to the same consciousness, to the same height, as I am. Don’t be worried about the fact that you have become an equal. You have always been an equal; it’s just that you never realized it. Your gratitude is enough, but don’t feel reluctant to accept your buddhahood.”
This is going to happen to many of you. But don’t be reluctant. Your mind will say, “You can rise as much as possible, but don’t rise to the height of your master.”
There are teachers in the world, fakes, frauds, who would not like you to rise to their heights – if they have any. The authentic master is insistent that you should become the same, you should dwell on the same heights. That is, in a way, the definition of an authentic master. For him, you are already the same, you just don’t recognize it. The whole effort is to bring the recognition to you.

The rains have come to listen to your laughter. Poor rains, nobody laughs at them. Nobody even says hello; on the contrary – people are carrying umbrellas. That is just insulting.

Pope the Polack is invited to the White House to give a special speech on the role of the Vatican in saving the world. As he is speaking to a group of people on the lawn, he coughs, and his false teeth fall out onto the ground and break.
Seeing the situation, a nearby guest digs into his pocket and pulls out a set of dentures. Embarrassed, the pope fumbles around with them, but because they are too big, he cannot get the teeth into his mouth.
Then the guest reaches into another pocket and offers another set of false teeth. But this time they are too small.
The guest pulls out a third set from his back pocket, and the toothless Polack shoves them into his mouth. These teeth fit.
Nervous, but happy, Pope the Polack turns to the guest and says, “Wow! That is great. Are you a dentist?”
“Nope,” replies the guest, with a wink, “I am an undertaker!”

It will take a little time for you to get it. But in the middle of the night, don’t forget to get it!

Father Fumble, the newly ordained priest, goes for some practical Catholic experience with his teacher, Father Fungus.
The two priests sit together inside the confessional box of the Sacred Virgin’s Chapel, and listen to all the crimes against God Almighty.
“I have fornicated with two strange men this week,” confesses Katie. “Please forgive me, Father.”
“You are forgiven, my child,” says Father Fungus. “Just put forty dollars in the money box and say ten Hail Marys.”
“I have been adulterous with my neighbor,” pleads Polly, the next sinner.
“You are forgiven, my daughter,” says Father Fungus. “Twenty dollars in the box and ten Ave Marias.”
“So,” says Fungus to Father Fumble. “Do you get it? All the rates are written in this little book, and if you have any problems, I will be upstairs.”
Father Fumble sits alone in the confessional, and in comes the next customer.
“Father,” confesses Betty, “I have just given my boyfriend Boris a blowjob.”
“Blowjob?” says Father Fumble, thumbing through his book. “Blowjob?”
Then he shouts upstairs, “Hey, Father Fungus! What do I do for a blowjob?”
“Tell her to put ten dollars in the box,” calls back Father Fungus, “and send her up here!”

This you get perfectly well!

Swami Deva Coconut manages to get a job on Nancy Reagan’s personal staff. One day, he overhears Nancy complaining to Ed Meese that she and Ronnie are having a lot of trouble with their love life.
At a suitable moment, Swami Coconut takes Nancy aside and suggests that she should try mounting on top of her husband, instead of lying underneath in the traditional missionary position.
Nancy’s Fundamentalist Christian morals are rather shocked, but she is so desperate that she agrees to give it a go.
The next morning, a delighted Nancy meets Coconut in the library.
“It was like magic,” gushes Nancy, breathlessly. “It was wonderful. But tell me, Mr. Coconut, how did you know a simple thing like that would make all the difference?”
“Easy,” replies Coconut. “Everyone knows that Ronald Reagan can only fuck up!”






Be silent.
Feel your whole body to be frozen.
Close your eyes.
This beautiful evening, this great rain, this tremendous silence, will be of help to you to go inwards as deeply as possible.
Go in…
Deeper and deeper.
You have to cross all the lines I told you about…the body, the mind, the heart. Reach to the self, the center; and then you can take a jump into eternity, into the ultimate cosmos.
Then you can open your wings, and fly in the sky.
The whole effort of meditation is to give you a taste of ultimate freedom. So don’t be afraid of anything – there is nothing to be afraid of.
It is your own sky, it is your own truth, it is your own originality.
This is the buddha in you. Recognize, remember – and remember to remember afterwards.
To be a buddha is just a remembrance, it is not an achievement.
You are already it.

To make it clear, Nivedano…


Relax, let go.
The body will be dying, see it as a corpse; with it the mind will be gone.
Just a watcher remains eternally with you.
It is your essential nature, but the watcher is not the self.
The watcher is a no-self, it is nothingness.
It is the empty heart, it is an opening into the universe.

Let the experience sink deep in every fiber of your being, because it has to be your very life style. In your actions it has to be present. Around the clock you have to carry a remembrance of your being a buddha, and this will transform all your actions and responses.
This is the miracle…because we don’t cultivate any morality, we simply awaken your buddha. And all morality, all truth, all sincerity, and all honesty simply follow your remembrance of the buddha, as a shadow.



Come back, but come back as buddhas, without any hesitation. Bring out with you the experience of the innermost core.
Sit down for a few moments, without any reluctance, as a buddha. It is your right, your birthright. It is nothing like an achievement, it is just remembering a forgotten language.
You are a buddha whether you know or not. It is better to know it, because then it transforms your whole life, brings new joys and new flowers, new blessings, new understandings, new clarities and perceptions. It is a total change.
Morality has to be cultivated; it is false. But to remember one’s buddhahood…the morality comes as a shadow, on its own. Then it has a beauty, a tremendous grace; then you are not doing it, it is simply happening.
To enter into the world of spontaneity and happenings is the only reason why you are here. We are not searching or seeking anything. We are simply trying to remember who we are, what it is that is the center of our life. Finding the center, it will not be long before suddenly you will realize: this center is also the center of the whole existence – we are all connected in the roots.
And the experience of being one with existence is the greatest and the most valuable experience that is possible for consciousness.
You are getting ready to face a miracle: inch by inch, you are moving closer and closer to the cliff, which I call the center. One step more, beyond it, and you will know that you were never separate from existence; you have never been born, and you have never died – you are an eternity.
The joy that it brings, and the ecstasy that it brings, and the dance that it brings…it makes your whole life a celebration.

Can we celebrate the ten thousand buddhas?

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