ZEN AND ZEN MASTERS

God is Dead Now Zen is 03

Third Discourse from the series of 7 discourses - God is Dead Now Zen is by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.


On one occasion Seigen commented to Sekito, “Some say that an intelligence comes from the south of the Ling.”
Sekito said, “There is no such intelligence from anybody.”
Seigen said, “If not, whence are all those sutras of the tripitaka?”
Sekito said, “They all come out of here, and there is nothing wanting.”

On Seigen’s death, Sekito went to Mount Nangaku. Finding a large, flat rock, he built a hut, and from thenceforward came to be known as “Stonehead,” and later, when he was a master, as “Stonehead Osho.”
Hearing of Sekito living on a rock, the master, Nangaku, sent a young monk to him, saying, “Go to the east and examine in detail the monk sitting on the stone-head. If he is the monk who came the other day, address him. And if he replies, you recite to him the following song, ‘You are sitting so proudly on the stone, it is better to come to me.’“
The attendant monk went to Sekito and recited this song. Sekito replied, “Even if you cried tears of sorrow, I would never ever cross over the hills.”
The monk came back and made a report to Nangaku. Nangaku said, “This monk will surely make the mouth of the people tremble for generations.”

Friends, a few questions from the sannyasins. The first question:
Osho,
My deepest pain is that of being an outsider, that I don't belong here in this life, that I am essentially wrong, and death is just waiting to claim me unmercifully. That sense of belonging here, of valuing myself and being valued by existence, and thus letting myself live and celebrate fully eludes me. Is this feeling the result of God-oriented religions?
The God-oriented religions are bound to create such a feeling. It is absolutely, necessarily so because they are giving you lies as consolation. As man has gone beyond his primitive states of consciousness – he is more intelligent today – he can see the myth of God. He has lived with the lie as if it was the truth, and he was content. But now that he is intelligent and he can see the falsity of the whole religious lie, a great problem arises for him. God is dead. Man’s consolation is destroyed. He feels utterly empty, he has no relationship with existence.
God used to be the fulfillment of one’s life, somebody who was caring, somebody who was forgiving, somebody who was compassionate. There being no God, suddenly you feel yourself an outsider to existence. But this is a good beginning, don’t take it wrongly.
Every lie taken away will leave an empty space for some time. You can use this empty space to become miserable. Misery will fill it: you can make this space anguish, anxiety, suffering, pain. But it is up to you. You can make this empty space a new beginning, a new door: God is dead, now you have to search for truth on your own; nobody can give it to you. This emptiness should become a door going inward.
The moment you enter to the center of your being, you are no longer an outsider. For the first time you are the insider. God was keeping you outside the truth, outside existence. God was keeping you simply consoled, but consolations are of no help. You need a transformation of being, you need to use your emptiness joyfully because it opens a door to the eternal space. It opens a door into your very roots, which are in existence. It suddenly makes you feel at home with the trees, with the birds, with human beings, with stars – with everything around you. The whole cosmos is your very home.
So it all depends on how you use your emptiness. The so-called Western existentialists are using it wrongly. They are filling it with misery, anxiety, tension, dread, anguish, angst. First you were full of lies, fictions; at least they were consoling, at least they were giving you some hope, some connectedness with existence. But existentialism is using your emptiness in an even worse way than the religions have used it.
Religions used it to exploit you. Then they were giving you consolation. And there is a price to everything, so they were exploiting you, but you were feeling perfectly happy for centuries because God was in heaven and everything was all right – he would take care of you.
This consolation was false; it was not going to change you, it was not going to make you a buddha, it was not going to make you awakened, enlightened. It was not in favor of your spiritual growth – but at least it was keeping you without anxiety, without anguish, without meaninglessness; you were feeling at home. That feeling was a dream.
Now that the dream is destroyed, you suddenly feel you are alone: there is no God and you don’t know any other way of relating with existence. Your old programming has failed. You need a new insight. You need, instead of prayer, meditation; instead of God, your own consciousness. A pillar of consciousness is going to fill your being. And this will not be a consolation; it will be authentic contentment, it will relate you with existence. You will not feel at all an outsider.
Do you think I feel at all an outsider? I am as deeply involved with existence as one can be. The whole existence has become my very being, my heart is dancing with the heartbeat of the universe.
God was preventing this happening, this tremendous phenomenon of transformation. God was not a friend to you; God was the greatest enemy. And the priests have been exploiting you.
Now that intelligence understands there is no God, there is bound to be a small gap in which either you have to choose Western existentialism – which is not authentic, it is accidentalism – or you have to look inward the same way as every awakened being has looked. You have to stop looking toward the sky. You have to close your eyes and look toward the inner space from where you are connected with existence. Immediately the emptiness will disappear – not only emptiness, you will disappear and then only a dance remains, a celebration of this whole universe.
You are absolutely one with it, there is no question of even being an insider. There arises a great oneness. You suddenly see yourself in various manifestations: in the trees, in the flowers, in the clouds, in the stars, you are everywhere. The moment you disappear you are the whole existence – blossoming, flying; all the greenness, all the mountains, all the snow, all the rivers, all the oceans. You are spread everywhere. This state is the state of a buddha. This is true liberation.
So you are feeling yourself an outsider. This is good! This is the transitory period; now you have to be alert not to fill yourself with pain and misery. Now that God is no longer there, who is going to console you?
You don’t need any consolation. Humanity has come of age. Be a man, be a woman, and stand on your own feet.
For millennia you have been crippled because of God, because of the whole priesthood. They never wanted you to be healthy and whole. Their whole profession was dependent on your misery, pain. They were the people who were covering your misery and pain and giving you hope – and hope is an empty word.
Karl Marx is right when he says religion is the hope of the hopeless. But the hope was just like a carrot hanging in front of you. You never reach it, but it is so close it feels you are going to – if not today then tomorrow, if not tomorrow then the day after tomorrow. The carrot is always hanging in front of you.
A Sufi story says:

A man has purchased a cow, and he was not accustomed to dealing with cows. So he was trying to drag the cow along holding the cow’s horns, and the cow was very resistant. Obviously this man was new. She wanted to go to her home, she wanted to go to her old owner.
A Sufi mystic was watching. He said to the man, “It seems you are very new; you don’t know how to deal with cows. This is not the right way.”
The man said, “What should I do? – because I am not that strong, the cow is stronger; she is dragging me with her.”
The mystic gave him some beautiful green grass, and told him, “Let go of her horns. Take this grass and just move ahead of her. Keep the grass very close, but don’t allow her to eat it. As she moves toward the grass, go on moving toward your home.”
And it worked.
The cow went because the grass was so close and so green and so fresh. She forgot all about the owner; the immediate problem was how to get this grass. And it was so close, just hanging in front of her eyes. But the man went on moving slowly, the distance between the cow and the grass remained the same. And she entered into the house of the new owner, and he closed the door.

Religions have been hanging carrots in front of you. Those hopes are never fulfilled, they are hopeless. Those promises are empty.
When I destroy your hopes and your expectations and your ideas of God and your relationship with the world, naturally there is bound to be a small gap before you choose the right path. And the right path is not the existentialism of the West. The right path is the meditation that the East has been using for centuries and has completely worked out into a science. You move inward.
God was preventing it because he was outside. Your prayer was toward the God who was not there. You are here. There is no need of any evidence that you are here, there is no need for any argument to prove that you are here, so why not explore this hereness, this presence that you are, this consciousness that you are? Why not explore it?
Those who have explored it have never come back saying they are outsiders. They have not even said that they are insiders because even an insider is separate. They have come out and declared, “Aham brahmasmi!” – I am the whole, “Ana’l haq!” – I am the truth, I am existence itself. There is no question of outsider or insider. Those are two sides of the same coin. The whole coin is dropped, suddenly you find yourself one with the cosmic dance, a tremendous rhythm in which you disappear as a separate personality and you become one with the whole.
Every wave in the ocean for a moment thinks it is an outsider, it does not belong to the ocean. The next moment it disappears into the ocean. You will disappear in the ocean of consciousness the same way – you are just a wave. It does not matter that you have existed for seventy years. Perhaps you have become frozen and all that is needed is melting. Every day I am saying, “Melt, melt, melt like ice melting and become one with the ocean that surrounds you. You are living in the very ocean.”

I have told you about a young, very revolutionary fish. She started asking every other fish, “Where is the ocean? I have been hearing so much about it.”
No fish could answer. They said, “You will have to find some wise fish, some enlightened fish maybe, but we don’t know where this ocean is. We have also heard about it, and we believe it must be somewhere when everybody says so. And for centuries our forefathers have been saying the ocean is. So we believe in it.”
Then an old mystic fish got hold of the young fish and said, “You idiot! You are in the ocean. You are the ocean! You are born of the ocean, and you will disappear in the ocean, and you will live in the ocean. You are just a wave that is a little more solid – but you will disappear in the ocean.”

This is the ocean in which you are living. Around you there is – just like air – the cosmic consciousness. You can’t see it, but it is continuously nourishing you. Your consciousness is nourished by the cosmic consciousness just as your heart is beating because of your breathing. The air that you cannot see is continuously giving you oxygen, keeping your body alive.
But you are not only body. Behind the body is your hidden splendor, the consciousness. That too needs nourishment continuously. And all around you just like air…
Once you are empty, just wait a little. Don’t take any decision. And suddenly you will feel a new rush – energy coming into you, from inside, from outside. You will suddenly feel you are surrounded with consciousness and you are melting into it. And then comes the realization: “I was just ignorant about myself and the existence in which I am living, which has given me birth and which is going to be my ultimate home. I have to disperse in this home.”
But it always happens that there is a small period when you are very shaky.
The other night I was talking to you about Gurdjieff and his method of working on the energy systems. He divided energy into the first layer, which is very small, enough for day-to-day affairs. The second layer is bigger. If the first layer is finished and you continue, the second layer will suddenly start functioning. And if you continue to exhaust the second layer – which is very difficult, it takes months, sometimes years to exhaust it – then the third layer which is cosmic, inexhaustible, starts functioning. But Gurdjieff’s method is very old, very primitive.
But a coincidence happened… Avirbhava was shopping in Singapore that night, and she was feeling tired, utterly tired, and a moment came when she felt she could not go on any longer. But she wanted to finish and come back soon, so she went on and on and on.
She has come back with eighteen suitcases filled with shopping! She’s the great shopper here, and she shops for me.
So she went on and on. Then she suddenly felt a tremendous new energy arising that she had never known before, and she was as fresh as the morning dew.
When she came back here and she related it to Kaveesha, she said, “This is a strange coincidence!” because that night I had been discussing these three layers of energy.
The energy of the cosmos is surrounding you. All that is needed is a certain emptiness in you. So the emptiness is good. Don’t fill it with beliefs, don’t fill it again with another kind of God, another philosophy, some existentialism. Don’t fill it. Leave it clean and fresh, and go deeper.
Soon you will find from both sides, from outside and inside, a tremendous rush of energy, a tremendous rush of consciousness, and you disappear, you are almost flooded with the cosmos. You are so small and the cosmos is so vast; you suddenly disappear into it, and that disappearance is the ultimate experience of enlightenment. Then you know you were neither an outsider nor an insider. You are one with existence.
Other than oneness with existence, nothing is going to help. But that oneness is so easy, so obvious. Just a little relaxation, just a little turning in – not much effort, not much discipline, not much torture for yourself.
It is good that you are feeling like an outsider because God is no longer filling the space and you are feeling disconnected with the universe. It is good. It only means that false connections have been removed.
It happened one day…

Mulla Nasruddin was sitting in his office waiting for some customers. A man came in, and Mulla Nasruddin started talking to him about the things he was selling. In the middle of it, he did not give the man a chance to say anything, he just waved his hand, “Sit down!” and picked up the telephone and started talking about millions. “One million dollars, that’s okay. Yes, take it!”
At that moment the man could not resist the temptation. He said, “Wait a minute! I have come from the telephone company to connect the telephone.”
The telephone was not connected. That one-million-dollar purchase was just show business!

You are feeling disconnected because your connections were false. In fact, there were no connections, and you were talking to God – on the phone, direct line! I have suddenly made you aware that your telephone is not connected. To whom are you talking? All your prayers are before a telephone that is not connected. The only way to be connected with existence is to go inward because there, at the center, you are still connected.
You have been disconnected physically from your mother. That disconnection was absolutely necessary to make you an individual in your own right. But you are not disconnected from the universe. Your connection with the universe is of consciousness. You cannot see it; you have to go deep down with great awareness, watchfulness, witnessing, and you will find the connection. The buddha is the connection.

The second question:
Osho,
Is monotheism a necessary step in human evolution, or is it just an invention of the priests?
Monotheism is a far more dangerous device of the priests than polytheism. In a monotheistic religion there is no possibility for a buddha to be born. It is not part of evolution, it is preventing your evolution.
All the religions born outside of India – Judaism, Christianity, Mohammedanism – are monotheistic. Mohammed gives it perfect definition: one God, one prophet, one holy Koran. This is a very dictatorial type of religion, naturally dangerous because it is very intolerant. The Jewish God himself says, “I am a very intolerant God. I am very jealous, I will not allow you to worship any other God.”
Monotheism is a far more efficient way of exploiting people. Hinduism is polytheistic; it has as many gods as you can think of. When Hinduism came into existence, there used to be thirty-three million people in India. Hinduism has exactly thirty-three million gods. This seems to be far more democratic – everybody has a god of his own! Rather than worshipping somebody else’s god, it is far better to have your own private god. There is no conflict.
No Hindu scripture says, “One God, one scripture, one prophet.” All Hindu scriptures say there are as many gods as there are people. That’s why Hinduism is very inefficient. It has to be: it is not an army; it does not have a pope, it does not have any organized central body. It is a very disorganized chaos, so there is every freedom for everybody.
Somebody becomes a Mahavira; Hinduism has no objection. Somebody becomes a Buddha; Hinduism has no objection. Both were born as Hindus, both went against the Hindus. There is no problem because there is no central body to appoint a court, a grand jury, to judge whether Mahavira is authentic as he does not believe in God. His whole effort is that you should develop your consciousness to the ultimate peak: everybody is a god.
Mahavira’s interpretation of thirty-three million gods was that there are thirty-three million people, who are all going to become gods one day when they evolve to the highest peak. It is a probability: there are not yet thirty-three million gods, but thirty-three million potential gods. That gives a great freedom. And there is no need of any priest; you have your private god on a direct line.
But Christianity, a monotheist religion, will not allow any buddha; hence it has remained poor in consciousness. Its religion looks very primitive. It is based on fictions. Nothing has been contributed by monotheistic religions to the world except war, because the Mohammedan God cannot tolerate the Jewish God, nor can it tolerate the Christian God, nor can it tolerate the Hindu gods. It has to kill all those gods and the believers in those gods: “Only one God.”
So when Mohammedans came to India they destroyed millions of beautiful temples which had been made over the centuries by great sculptors. They destroyed millions of statues, beautiful statues of Buddha, Mahavira, and other Jaina tirthankaras. Whatever is left is a very small amount. Perhaps some temple was left because it was hidden deep in the forest…
In every village you will find that when the Mohammedans came, people just threw their gods, beautiful statues, into the wells just to protect them from the Mohammedans; otherwise they would have destroyed the statues. So in every village – it happens often – you will find, in summertime when the water goes down, a Buddha arising, and people pull the Buddha out. He has been lying in the well for centuries, but he has been protected. People had forgotten because those who had thrown the statues in had died centuries before.
Mohammedans came two thousand years ago, and they destroyed everything. They could not tolerate it: their God was intolerant, how can they be tolerant? Monotheism is the ugliest religion in the world because it is intolerant. Intolerance creates violence.
Christians have crusades, Mohammedans have jihads – religious wars. India has never known any religious war. It is everybody’s choice to have a god or not to have a god; even the atheists were not burned.
A great philosophy of Charvakas flourished for centuries. Charvakas believe there is no God, there is no soul – what Marx said five thousand years later. They say that the soul is just a by-product of five elements that constitute the body. The founder of the Charvaka religion was Acharya Brihaspati – and it is strange that Acharya Brihaspati is mentioned in the Vedas with great respect.
This is tolerance. It is your choice, you are free to choose your path; you are free to choose, if you want, even a religion that has no God, even a religion which has no soul. Charvakas were the perfect atheists. Their whole philosophy was, “Eat, drink, and be merry because there is no hell, no heaven, no God. And don’t be worried because there is no judgment day and there is nobody to judge.” So sinners and saints all disappear into five elements.
In India you will see people chewing pan. Brihaspati has used the symbol of pan because if you chew the pan leaf separately, it will not make your lips red, and if you chew all the things that are put in the pan separately, your lips will not be red. But put them together and your lips become red. The redness of your lips is a by-product of the five elements making up the pan. It is not an independent thing, it is just a combination of five elements together. This was a simple example by the Charvakas, but even they were respected, even the Vedas mention Brihaspati as a great master, an acharya.
Such tolerance is possible only in a polytheistic religion. When there are so many gods, you have a variety of choice, you have a certain freedom. When there is one God you don’t have any freedom.
According to me, monotheism is far worse than polytheism. The polytheism of the Hindus allowed for buddhas, tirthankaras, Charvakas, without any problem. Although they were against Hinduism, still nobody was crucified. Even Brihaspati was not crucified, but is mentioned with great respect in the Vedas. He has the freedom to think, to say, to create a philosophy of his own.
Basically the name was not charvak, it was charuvak. There is a great difference. Charuvak means sweet words. The philosophy of Brihaspati was of sweet words. He was taking away all fear – there is no God, no heaven, no hell – he was taking away all kinds of dread. Death is the end, birth is the beginning; in the middle is a small life. Enjoy it, and enjoy it even if you have to borrow money. Don’t be worried because after death nobody is going to tell you, “Give me my money back.”
His sentence is: “Rinam kritva ghritam pivet.” Even if you have to borrow money, don’t be worried: borrow money, drink ghee. Ghee is the most refined part of milk. When butter is refined, it becomes ghee. You cannot go beyond ghee; that is the last thing. And you cannot go backward either, neither forward nor backward. You have come to a full stop.
So, significantly, he is saying that this life is the full stop. You are not going anywhere. Just enjoy it. It does not matter what means you employ, what matters is your enjoyment. And life is so short, don’t waste it in unnecessary fears that you will suffer in hell. Don’t waste it in unnecessary greed that you will be rewarded in heaven. Don’t bother about right and wrong. The only right thing is to enjoy! Even this man is respected, but slowly, slowly the word charuvak became in the masses’ mind charvak. Charvak means one who goes on eating continuously – just chewing twenty-four hours like a buffalo, like monkeys – because that was actually his teaching: eat, drink, be merry.
Nor was Gautam Buddha crucified, although he declared that all the Vedas are false. He declared that the whole of Brahmanism, the priesthood of the Hindus, has been exploiting people. He declared that the Hindu caste system was wrong, that every man is born equal. But he was not crucified. Even Hindu philosophers used to go and listen to him. In fact, all his disciples were basically Hindu. Finding that they have only words and this man had experience, great Hindu scholars came to debate with him and became his disciples. From where else could he have found thousands of disciples? With such a tremendous urge to find the truth, it does not matter from whom it comes.
The monotheistic religions – Christianity, Judaism, Mohammedanism – have been the most dangerous religions in the world. Buddhism has not killed a single person in twenty-five centuries. It has never attacked anybody, and it has spread all over Asia, converted the whole of Asia just by a simple experience.
It was difficult to confront a Bodhidharma. Even the Emperor Wu of China could not manage to stand up straight in front of Bodhidharma. And Bodhidharma said to him, “You are an idiot!” He called the emperor of China an idiot because he asked: “I have been putting my whole energy, and my whole power and my whole treasure at the disposal of the Buddhist monks. Thousands of monks are here translating scriptures of Buddha into Chinese, and they are all my guests. I have opened many monasteries. I have made many temples for Buddha. What is going to be my reward?”
Just the word reward was enough, and Bodhidharma said, “You are an idiot! If you have been doing all this for a reward, you will fall into the deepest hell.”
The emperor was shocked. But Bodhidharma said, “The very idea of reward is nothing but greed. You are greedier than ordinarily greedy people. Those who are collecting money know perfectly well that when they die their bank balance is not going with them, nor is their money going with them. But you are really greedy, so greedy that you are trying to make a bank balance in the other world of which you know nothing. Obviously you are an idiot and I am not going to enter into your empire. I had come with that idea, but when the emperor is an idiot it is proof enough of the kind of people you must have there.”
He refused to enter. He remained outside the boundary of China in a small temple. And when he was dying, Emperor Wu said to his people, his prime minister, “Write on my grave that I am really an idiot. I could not understand the great buddha who had come in the form of Bodhidharma. He was right. I have lived a wrong life of greed and fear.”
Buddha’s word spread all over Asia from Sri Lanka to Korea. There was no clash, there was no fight. At the most there were beautiful discussions, very nice, civilized, cultured.
The sword cannot prove that you are right, neither can crucifixion prove that Jesus was wrong. I always think that Judaism had such great rabbis, scholars, couldn’t they convince Jesus, a young man, only thirty-three years of age? But the problem is they were only scholars, there was not a single man who really knew the truth. And this man was claiming something that they could not argue against – because there is no way to argue against it. Jesus is saying, “I am the prophet you have been waiting for.” And they certainly had been waiting, they are still waiting; they will wait forever. It is waiting for Godot.
When the book of Waiting for Godot came to me for the first time, I thought this Godot seems to be a parody on the word God. My ancient-most German sannyasin, Haridas, was there. So I asked Haridas, “Do you think Godot is German for God?” He said, “No. The German for God is Gott!”
I said, “That’s great! Already gott – there is no need to wait!” I said, “That’s perfectly okay. When you have gott it, what is the point of waiting?” I love the idea. God is so far away, Gott is simply appealing.
You are asking whether monotheism is a necessary step. No, not at all. It is an absolutely unnecessary step, and not only unnecessary, but dangerous. It has created only violence, murder. Living people have been burned in the name of a monotheistic God. One God will not allow you to believe in another God.
Polytheism is also an invention of priests, but far more liberal. Monotheism is the invention of the priests, but dictatorial. It gives you commandments, as if you are an army and you need commandments. Buddha does not have any commandments, nor does Mahavira. They persuade you; they don’t command, they don’t humiliate you. They respect you, they know that your hidden potential is the same as theirs.

Gautam Buddha relates this about his past life. He heard that a man had become enlightened. He was not very much interested, but just out of curiosity… The man had come to the town where he lived. He was very young and was not at all interested in enlightenment or spirituality, but out of curiosity: “What is this enlightenment? Let us see.” He went to see the man.
He had no desire to bow down to him, but when he saw the man, he was so luminous, had such a grace, such a tremendous presence, that in spite of himself he touched his feet. He became aware when he was touching his feet, “What am I doing? I had come just to be a spectator.”

When you really face a man who knows, a gratitude arises spontaneously. It is not an effort.
It was not an effort at all. He had not even come with touching his feet in mind; he had come just to be a spectator. But seeing the man was enough. He forgot himself; this man’s presence was so overwhelming. Such beauty! His eyes as deep as a lake; so clean, so clear. He fell in love with that man immediately. While touching his feet he thought, “What am I doing? It has happened on its own.”
But a bigger miracle was awaiting him. As he stood up, the man who had become enlightened bowed down and touched this young man’s feet. Buddha said, “What are you doing? You are a great awakened one. It is absolutely right for me to touch your feet, although I had not come with that desire – but it was spontaneous, you touched my heart – but why are you touching my feet? I am nobody, I don’t know even the ABC of enlightenment.”
That man said, “You don’t know this life yet. There was a time I was also just like you. I had no idea who I was. Now I know. I have come to my flowering. And I know you will come to your flowering. Don’t forget! I have touched your feet so that when you become a buddha you remember, you don’t forget that everybody is a buddha. Somebody has blossomed, somebody is waiting for the right season. And everybody’s spring comes in its own time.”
Buddha reminded his disciples again and again, “Never think for a single moment that you are inferior to me. We are all equal. The only difference is – a very slight difference which does not mean much – you are asleep, I am awake. But I was asleep, and you will be awake, so what is the difference?”
The difference is only of timing. In the morning I wake up, in the evening you wake up – just twelve hours difference. That does not create any superiority or inferiority. Everybody has to walk according to his pace. Some people run, some people are really fast runners. Some people go slowly, some people take many stops on the way and have a little rest and a cup of tea – maybe an afternoon nap. But everybody is on the way. Somebody is a little further back, somebody is a little forward, but that does not create any question of inferiority or superiority.
Buddhism has no priests, Jainism has no priests – because they don’t have God. If you don’t have God, you can’t have priests. Priests are the representatives of the fictitious God; they are the agents between you and God. And priests certainly would like monotheism rather than polytheism.
Hindu priests are trying hard to create Hinduism as a monotheistic religion; but they have failed. There are eight shankaracharyas. The original shankaracharya, Adi Shankaracharya, appointed four shankaracharyas. He was the first man to make some effort to organize Hinduism. Before him there was no leader at all; it was just absolute freedom. He made the first efforts to organize Hinduism, He appointed four shankaracharyas for the four directions, so each would rule over one direction. But after his death, four new shankaracharyas popped up, because there are eight directions, not four. So four people popped up on their own; now there are eight shankaracharyas.
I was telling one shankaracharya, that they should have two more.
He said, “What?”
I said, “There are ten directions. Eight you have, then one upward, one downward.”
He said, “That’s a great idea. Then we can afford two more!”
But these shankaracharyas have no central body, and they cannot have, because somebody is a worshipper of Shiva, somebody is a worshipper of Vishnu, somebody is a worshipper of Krishna, somebody is a worshipper of Brahma. And there are hundreds of smaller gods that people worship too. People worship trees, people worship just stones. Put a red color on any stone and just wait beside it. You will soon find some Hindu coming there, bowing down.

When for the first time the British government made roads and milestones, they painted the milestones red because red can be seen from far away. No other color is so sharp or can be seen from far away, so they painted the stones red. And they were very much concerned: Hindu villagers would come and put their flowers and coconuts around the stones and worship.
The British said to them, “These are milestones,” and the villagers said, “It does not matter. Any red stone represents God.”

You will see trees being worshipped, stones being worshipped. There is a complete freedom to worship. It is far better than monotheism, but I don’t support it. It may be better than monotheism, but it is still poison – a little diluted. It will kill you slowly, but it will kill you certainly.
Every religion is destructive of your evolution of consciousness. Monotheism is the most dangerous, but religion as such is dangerous. If you can avoid religion, you can become religious. If you can avoid religion, you can have a direct contact with existence and the cosmos.

The third question:
Osho,
Is it difficult for people to drop God because he is their only hope and they focus all their expectations on him? It seems to be very hard to drop an expectation even when one can see it as such and can guess that most likely it will end up in disappointment.
It is true. It is very difficult to drop an expectation, to drop a hope, because you don’t have anything real in your life. You are living only in the hope that tomorrow will be better. You are only living with the expectation that after death you will enjoy the pleasures of paradise eternally. Hence it is difficult to drop the idea of God.
But it is God who is preventing you from all the joys and blissfulness and ecstasy right now. You are missing the present in the hope of the future, and the future is not certain. Tomorrow never comes. Have you ever seen tomorrow coming? God is just like tomorrow, always hanging around. It just seems it is coming, it is coming, but what comes is today. Tomorrow never comes. All those hopes never come true. All those expectations finally become frustrations.
Why do you see rich people more frustrated than the poor? Just go into the interior parts of India where real poverty exists, and you will not find anybody disappointed. They are hoping for God, and they think their poverty is a fire test, and only the poor will enter into the kingdom of God.
That’s why Christianity has such great appeal to the poor people of the world. It gives great consolation. It gives you an expectation which helps you tolerate the present misery, the pain, the present poverty, slavery. Your eyes are focused on the future. And the present goes on passing in misery, but your eyes are no longer focused on the present, so it helps to keep you alive – but just alive; just like vegetables. It keeps you vegetating.
A life that cannot dance is not life. It is living at the minimum survival level. A life that cannot sing the song of love and joy is not life. So your expectations and your hopes may make it difficult to drop God, but you have to gather courage and understanding that your hopes and expectations are destroying your whole life. God is just a fiction. It is not going to fulfill anything. God is nowhere.
You are, God is not. Existence is, God is not.
So look into the isness of things, look into this moment now and here, into yourself. That is the closest door to the cosmos, it opens in your very center. All your expectations will look so poor, and all your hopes will look so ugly when you come to know your tremendous splendor, your godliness; when you realize your freedom and when you realize that the whole cosmos is related to you, deeply related to you, and you are just a great aspiration of the cosmos to reach to the highest point of consciousness.

Vincent Van Gogh used to paint trees… Nobody liked his paintings because they were very absurd. His trees went beyond the stars. When asked, “Where have you seen these trees?” he would say, “I have never seen these trees; I have just heard a whisper. I was lying in the shade of a tree, and I just heard the whisper. The earth was saying to the tree, ‘You are my ambition. You are my ambition to reach the stars.’ Since that moment I have started painting my trees going beyond the stars.”
He is really a genius. Certainly trees are the ambition of the earth. And what is man’s consciousness? The ambition of the whole of existence to reach to the highest peak, to become a Gautam Buddha.
In your becoming a Gautam Buddha the whole existence rejoices. You have fulfilled the expectation of existence. You don’t need to expect anything, you are yourself an expectation of existence. You fulfill it, and you can fulfill it because existence has given you every opportunity and all the potential to fulfill it. Everything is there, you just have to put everything in the right place. And suddenly you will see life is a sheer dance of ecstasy from birth to death, from death to birth. These are small episodes – birth and death – in the eternal flow of life.
But unless you drop God, you are going to remain miserable. And misery needs some support from hope, expectation, tomorrows. But this is not living. Do you think living in tomorrow can be called living?
Life knows only one moment, and that is the present. Life knows only one space, and that is here. Now and here: these two words are the most significant words in the human language; they represent reality.
Friedrich Nietzsche suggests that the hope of happiness is the instrument by which man is manipulated, more than any actual instance of happiness. Do you remember any moment of real happiness in your past life? Just go backward to your childhood. When you were a child, you thought you would be happy when you were older. Every child wants to grow up quickly.

I used to live in a house that was just eight or ten houses from a post office. In front of my house was the public park, so it was a very quiet and silent place. I used to go for a walk early in the morning – three o’clock. One day I saw a little boy near the post office with a mustache. I could not believe it. It was dark, but it was full-moon night, so I could see the mustache. And he was smoking a cigarette.
I thought, “Perhaps he is a pygmy.” Seeing me the boy moved behind a big tree by the side of the road. So I went behind the tree too.
The boy said, “Don’t tell my father.”
I said, “I’m not going to tell anybody. I don’t know your father. Who are you?”
He said, “My father is the postmaster here; that is the post office.”
I said, “What are you doing? You have got a good mustache.”
He just pulled the mustache off. He said, “It is not real, but my father has a real mustache and I always want to grow one quickly. But how to grow it quickly? I even shave my mustache when my father is out, but nothing grows. And he shaves twice a day. So I got this mustache from a shop that sells things for people who are playing in a drama.”
I said, “You are smoking a cigarette, too.” He was hiding it behind him.
He said, “My father always smokes, and while smoking he really looks like a man. So I just thought to give it a try.”

In that small boy I saw all the children of the world. Every child wants to grow up fast, because what is childhood? Being ordered by the mother, by the father; being ordered by the teacher, beaten by the parents, beaten by the teacher. Every boy wants, every girl wants just to grow up quickly. Just remember your own childhood.
It is absolutely false for people to say, “My childhood was the most beautiful period of my life.” Out of your childhood grows your youth, so if your childhood was the most beautiful period of your life, it should be more beautiful. Out of your youth grows old age – it should be perfection. But that is not the case. When you are a young man you start looking embarrassed. You are young and where is the happiness? Perhaps it is hidden in a woman, or hidden in a man – find a soul mate!
Just today I have received information that in Europe there is now a great New Age movement for finding your soul mate. And in their pamphlet they mention my name because once I told you that you cannot find a soul mate. It is a big world, and I don’t think God creates soul mates, or existence creates soul mates. Where are you going to find them? People find each other just in their neighborhood, or in their college. How is existence going to manage to put you and your soul mate in the same college? So that pamphlet condemns me because I am not saying the right thing: everybody has a soul mate.
That is a good consolation; but just look at those who have found their soul mates… Zareen is here. She has found a soul mate, and since she has found her soul mate I have never seen her as happy as she was before. And I know her soul mate. He keeps himself locked in his room because he wants, poor fellow, some time to himself. But Zareen is not going to let him be alone – you have to be careful when you have found your soul mate – so she goes on knocking on his door. She jumps balconies to reach the poor fellow. And not to make a fuss – “Everybody will know” – he has to open the door. Then the meeting of the soul mates begins. Both have been miserable since they have met.
Anando was telling me because I was asking her why Zareen does not look as happy as she used to be.
She said, “She has found a soul mate.”
I said, “She should be happier. If the soul mate is not right, bring a group of sannyasins, and put them in a queue before Zareen: ‘Choose your soul mate!’”
And you can change every day. Why get bored with one? Just the same sari, the same sari… One gets bored, that is absolutely natural. All soul mates create boredom and nothing else.
And here in this place where freedom is the absolutely total value, ultimate value, where change is accepted as life’s way, why should you bother about one soul mate when there are so many soul mates available? Just go on changing, and life will be a joy. And Zareen will again be laughing and smiling. Because of this soul mate she becomes hard and dictatorial on the gate. On whom to take revenge? – because the soul mate always goes to Mumbai, just to have a little freedom.
Unnecessary misery. In youth people start thinking, “Perhaps in old age life will be peaceful.” In old age life becomes a constant anxiety. Death is coming closer and closer. So your whole life is wasted just looking ahead.

I am reminded of a famous Greek astrologer. Even kings of the different countries of Europe used to consult him about their fate. One night he was walking, looking at the stars. But when you look at the stars you cannot look at the road. You cannot manage to have one eye looking up and one eye looking down – I don’t think it is possible. They both go up, or both go down. So he fell in a well, and then he shouted, screamed, “Save me!”
An old woman, living nearby on her farm, came. She was very old, but somehow she managed to pull him out with a rope. And the astrologer said to her, “Do you know who I am? I am the royal astrologer. Almost all the kings and queens of Europe come to me. All the richest people discuss their fate, their future with me. My fee is very high, but because you have saved me you can come to me. I will tell you about your future without any fee.”
The old woman laughed. She said, “You cannot even see that the well is ahead of you. Just feel ashamed! Those who have been coming to you must be fools. I am not going to come. You cannot see the well ahead of you, what can you see about my future?”

The future is just your hope, expectation. And when this life does not fulfill you, you start looking further, beyond death. All these are fictions just for you to survive somehow. But this survival is not how you are supposed to be. Existence has not given you birth just to live in hopes. You can be really ecstatic this moment, and there is no other moment.
Meditation is, Zen is living now and here.
The sutra:
On one occasion Seigen commented to Sekito, “Some say that an intelligence comes from the south of the Ling.”
Sekito said, “There is no such intelligence from anybody.”
South of the Ling there was a great scholar, a very wise fellow. So Seigen simply mentioned to his pupil, Sekito, “People …say that an intelligence comes from the south of the Ling.” Sekito said “There is no such intelligence from anybody.”
Intelligence arises within you. It never comes from outside, from anybody, from any place, south or north or east or west. It has nothing to do with the outside. It is your inner flowering.
Seigen said, “If not, whence are all those sutras of the tripitaka?”
If you say that intelligence does not come from the outside, then what about the sutras of Gautam Buddha called tripitaka, the three treasures? From where do they come? What do you say about them?”
Sekito said, “They all come out of here…”
Remember this word here. We were just talking about the same thing.
Sekito said, “They all come out of here, and there is nothing wanting.”
Once you are here, there is nothing unfulfilled in you. Everything becomes so fulfilled, such a deep contentment, that you don’t need anything anymore. You have actualized your potential. Your flowers have opened their petals, the spring has come.
It all comes from here, it all comes from now. Neither Buddha can give it to you, nor anybody else.
On Seigen’s death, Sekito went to Mount Nangaku. Finding a large, flat rock, he built a hut, and from thenceforward came to be known as “Stonehead,” and later, when he was a master, as “Stonehead Osho.”
This Mount Nangaku is the place where he had gone to see Master Nangaku.
In Japan it has been a tradition that whenever a master lives on a mountain the emperor gives the name of the master to the mountain, so the mountain becomes his memorial. For centuries and centuries people will know that this Mount Nangaku was once the temple and the shelter of a great master, Nangaku.
Sekito had gone to see Nangaku to deliver a message, a letter, from Seigen. At that time he must have looked on the beauty of the mountain where Nangaku lived at the top. And when Seigen died, Sekito went to Mount Nangaku. He must have seen, while he was going there and coming back, that the place was immensely beautiful.
Nangaku was not right for him. That does not mean that the man was wrong. It simply means they could not feel a certain harmony. He may have been right for someone else, but he was not right for Sekito. Or perhaps Sekito was not right for Nangaku – it means the same thing, but it is not a condemnation of Master Nangaku. It simply means that the two persons did not feel anything as a bridge. But Sekito must have seen the mountain, coming and going from there. It was a beautiful place.
So he found a small place, a flat rock on Mount Nangaku. On the top was his monastery. …he built a hut, and from thenceforward came to be known as “Stonehead”… because he was always sitting on a stone. And he used to have – as every Buddhist monk has – his head shaved. So his head looked almost like the rock he was sitting on.
You know our Sekito Stonehead? Just look at his head. I have called him “Stonehead, the first Zen master of Germany.” All that he needs is a rock. I will find a beautiful rock for him, so he can enjoy sitting on it. Once he finds the rock, you shall have to address him as “Stonehead Osho.” Right now he is only called “Master Stonehead Niskriya.”
Hearing of Sekito living on a rock, the master, Nangaku, sent a young monk to him, saying, “Go to the east and examine in detail the monk sitting on the stone-head. If he is the monk who came the other day, address him. And if he replies, you recite to him the following song, ‘You are sitting so proudly on the stone, it is better to come to me.’“
The attendant monk went to Sekito and recited this song. Sekito replied, “Even if you cried tears of sorrow, I would never ever cross over the hills – I am not going to come.”
Sekito was absolutely certain that Nangaku was not the man to be his master. There was no feeling of synchronicity. He had not even delivered Seigen’s letter.
The monk came back and made a report to Nangaku. Nangaku said, “This monk will surely make the mouth of the people tremble for generations.”
It is true. Just look at our “Stonehead Osho.” Even now – after centuries! – he is making people tremble. He used to have a girlfriend, she used to tremble. But since he became a stonehead master, the girlfriend has disappeared. Who can love a stonehead? This is a great protection, particularly in this place where every woman is looking for a boyfriend. Stonehead is absolutely unafraid. Anybody who wants to be unafraid, just become a stonehead because no woman likes a stonehead.
Nangaku was right in his estimation. He encountered this fellow when he came to see him, and you remember what he said? Nangaku said, “You should not be so arrogant in asking the question. You should be more moderate, you should be more humble.”
Sekito said to him, “I would rather go into hellfire for eternity than to change my question.” And the reason was that no question can be humble. Every question is deep down a doubt, and every question is an interference into the master’s silence. It is arrogant. And he left immediately without delivering the letter.
Nangaku had seen this man before, so when he sent the messenger he told him, “Take care. If this is the same fellow who came the other day, recite this sutra. Tell him to come to me rather than sitting on that stone, and report to me what he says.”
And what did he say? He said, “I am not going to leave this place, even if you come with tears in your eyes.”
Nangaku must have immediately remembered that this was the same man who was ready to go to eternal hell, but would not ask the question in a different way. That’s why he made this comment: “This monk will surely make the mouth of the people tremble for generations.”
And Sekito became the master of hundreds of people who became enlightened. He was a very hard master, almost dangerous to the disciples, but all his hardness came from a very loving heart, a very deep compassion. He wanted them to become enlightened. He did not allow them to escape.
Once in a while a disciple may escape and Sekito would follow him for miles and pull him back, “Where are you going? Come back!”
And the disciple would say, “Just forgive me, I am tired” – because he would beat the disciples, he would jump on the disciples.
Once he threw a disciple from the window of a second-story building, and jumped on top of him. The disciple had multiple fractures, and Sekito was sitting on his chest asking, “Got it?” And the disciple really got it! He became enlightened. Who cares about multiple fractures? The real thing is enlightenment. It has to happen at any cost.
People had never come across a man like Sekito, whose compassion was so great. He was ready to do anything. Even in his old age he would hit so hard that his own hand would hurt. And disciples would say, “You are getting old now, Master, you should not hit people so hard because they are young and you are old. You are becoming more fragile every day.”
He would say, “I know. My hand hurts the whole night, but I cannot see somebody groping in the darkness. If just one hit can make him awake, it does not matter if my hand hurts the whole night. Sooner or later these hands will disappear into the earth, but if these hands can help somebody to wake up… You think I am getting old; that is true, but as far as I am concerned, even when I am dead, if I see someone stumbling in the darkness, I will jump out of my grave and hit him as hard as I can.”
This man was a rare master, apparently very hard, deep down so soft that he was ready to jump out of his grave. My feeling is, if he had done that – he has never done that – just his skeleton would have made the person enlightened. There would not have been any need to hit. The person would have shouted immediately, “Got it! Just go back into the grave.”
Issa wrote:
Pearls of the dew!
In every single one of them
I see my home.
These Zen poets have transcended all the poetry of the world, because all poetry is mind fabrication; only haikus come from no-mind.
“Pearls of the dew! In every single one of them I see my home.” And when you can see in every dewdrop your home, how can you feel an outsider or insider? You simply become one with existence. This whole existence is so deeply one at the center. Only on the circumference are we different.
Draw a big circle. On the circumference of the circle you can put points which are different. Then from every point draw a line toward the center. As those lines start coming closer to the center, you will find they are coming closer to each other also. And at the center all the lines meet.
So when I say go to your center, I am not only sending you to your center, it is the center of the whole existence. There, we all meet. There, it is only one oceanic consciousness.

Maneesha’s question:
Osho,
Nietzsche's foreword to his book, The Antichrist, begins, “This book belongs to the very few. Perhaps none of them is even living yet. Possibly they are the readers who understand my Zarathustra… Only the day after tomorrow belongs to me. Some are born posthumously.”
To understand him, Nietzsche continues, one must have “New ears for new music, new eyes for the most distant things.”
Beloved master, do you find in us the capacity for those “new ears,” those “new eyes?”
Maneesha, everybody has the capacity, but the capacity has to be transformed into reality. It is only a potential. And I am working to give you that transformation where your potential ears become your reality, where your potential eyes become your reality.
Perhaps Nietzsche is talking about you. This is the day after tomorrow. And your meditation will make your ears sensitive enough, your eyes clear enough.
If you can understand me, there is no difficulty in understanding Friedrich Nietzsche because Nietzsche is only mind. I am no-mind. If you can understand me, you have far better ears and far better eyes than Nietzsche was thinking about. Your meditation is going to open all your sensitivity, your receptivity. Nietzsche will not be difficult for you to understand.
Meditation will make you capable of understanding not only Nietzsche, but those great buddhas who are not born yet. You will be able to understand all the buddhas of the past, of the present, of the future, because their song is one, their music is one. It is the music that arises out of deep silence.
This place is just a scientific lab to create the new man – in Friedrich Nietzsche’s words, the superman. But I use the words new man because the superman gives a sense of superiority. Otherwise the word is beautiful, but it can be misguiding; hence I call it the new man, or the buddha, because the new man is going to be fully awakened. If a fully awakened man cannot understand Friedrich Nietzsche, who else can understand him? You are on the way to understanding even deeper things and greater heights.
It is time from these great heights to roll down laughing. It is time for Sardar Gurudayal Singh.

When Little Ernie gets into mischief, his mother tries to discipline him by saying, “God would not like that!” And when Ernie gets really out of hand, his mother says, “God will be angry!”
But one evening at the dinner table, Ernie takes one look at the plate of prunes put in front of him and says, “Yuck! I’m not going to eat these wrinkled old black things!”
“Ernie!” says his mother. “God would not like that!”
“I don’t care,” snaps Ernie. “I am not going to eat them!”
Ernest!” threatens his mother, “God will be angry.”
“Ah!” shouts Ernie. “Fuck God!”
At this, his mother sends him up to his bedroom.
A few minutes later, a violent thunderstorm blows up and shakes the roof and rattles the walls. Ernie’s mother goes upstairs to remind him about God’s anger. But to her surprise, she finds Ernie looking out of the window at the terrible storm.
“You see, Ernie,” exclaims his mother. “This is what happens when you make God angry.”
“Well,” replies Ernie, “if you ask me, it is a lot of fuss to make over a plate of prunes!”

Captain Koppa of the LA police receives an order from the police commissioner to raid “Madam Fifi’s House of Carnal Delights” in downtown Hollywood. But this order causes Koppa and his men some embarrassment because they are all frequent customers themselves, and are friendly with Madam Fifi.
So Captain Koppa calls the establishment on the phone to warn them, but finds that Madam Fifi and all the girls have gone out on a picnic. Only Mrs. Moppit, the cleaning lady, is there to answer the phone.
“Listen,” says Captain Koppa. “Pass this message on to Madam Fifi: we have to make a surprise raid on the place tonight. But when we come, we will honk the horn loudly, and drive around the block. We will do this three times – and then we will come rushing in. By that time, we want everybody safely out of the place! Do you understand?”
“Yes, yes!” replies Mrs. Moppit, and she puts down the phone. But when she has finished work she goes home and forgets to pass on the message.
That night it is business as usual, and “Madam Fifi’s House of Carnal Delights” is packed to capacity. At midnight exactly, Captain Koppa and the boys arrive in their patrol cars. They all honk their horns and screech around the block. When they reappear, they honk their horns and go around again. They honk and circle the block once more and then screech to a halt outside and charge into the building.
As they are racing up the stairs with the captain in the lead, they meet two naked girls coming down, holding a mattress between them.
“What the hell is going on?” cries Captain Koppa. “Where are you girls going?”
“Don’t blame us!” shouts one of the girls. “Some idiot outside is honking for take-away service!”

Bishop Kretin has a small church on the Greek island of Crete. One of the rules of his Greek Orthodox Church is that he cannot hold a church service with less than six people present. Since Kretin only has six old ladies in his congregation, this rule is beginning to cause him some anxiety.
Sure enough, one Sunday morning only five old ladies show up – Old Mrs. Theocrapolis has dropped dead the night before, while saying her prayers. So Bishop Kretin has an idea. “Perhaps we can get a passerby to join us,” he announces, “to make up the sixth person.”
He sends off old Mrs. Suflaki to try and find somebody. “Remember, Mrs. Suflaki,” shouts Bishop Kretin, “anyone will do – man or woman!” Mrs. Suflaki shuffles down the street in her black dress, black shoes and black head scarf, looking for a passing tourist. She runs right into Herman the German who has just arrived for his summer holidays.
“Hey! Mister!” croaks the old Greek lady. “How would you like to be the sixth man?”
“Mein Gott!” cries Herman. “I would not even want to be the first!”

Nivedano…

[Drumbeat]

[Gibberish]

Nivedano…

[Drumbeat]

Be silent.
Close your eyes, and feel your body to be completely frozen.
This is the right moment to turn inward, with your whole energy, with your total consciousness. Rush toward the center, with an urgency as if this is going to be your last moment on the earth. Without such an urgency nobody has ever become awakened.
Faster and faster…
Deeper and deeper… As you are coming closer to your center, a great silence descends over you. The whole night starts singing songs for you.
A little deeper, and you find flowers of peace, serenity, joy, ecstasy, blissfulness, all growing around you.
Just one step more and you are at the very center of your being. Suddenly you see you are no more, only your original face without any mask, without any personality, is there. This is the face we have called in the East the face of the buddha. This is everybody’s original face, it is nobody’s monopoly. The only quality the buddha at the center of your being has is witnessing. Witnessing is the whole of spirituality compressed into one word.
Witness you are not the body, witness you are not the mind, and witness you are only a witness, just a mirror reflecting without any judgment, without any appreciation, without any condemnation – a pure mirror, that’s what the buddha is.
The silence becomes deeper. Ecstasy becomes overwhelming, you are drunk with the divine. This center is the connection with existence. From here your consciousness is being nourished continuously.
This is your eternal life, without beginning, without end.

To make the witnessing more clear, and more deep, Nivedano…

[Drumbeat]

Relax, let go completely, but remember one thing constantly, that you are a witness.
This witness is the truth. This witness is beauty. This witness is the good. This witness is the opening of all the mysteries of existence, the ultimate secret of all the miracles.
At this impeccable, silent moment, you are the most fortunate people on the earth. I can see your melting; the ice is melting into the ocean. You are disappearing. Gautama the Buddha Auditorium has become an ocean. Ten thousand buddhas have disappeared into one oceanic consciousness.
Collect as much experience of the center as possible, all the flowers of the beyond, the eternal peace, the ultimate joy.
You have to bring all these qualities to your ordinary day-to-day life. The more your day-to-day life becomes graceful, beautiful, peaceful, silent, loving, compassionate, the closer the buddha will come to you.
So remember to persuade the buddha that you are getting ready. Only he is missing. He has to come following you just like a shadow.
These are the three steps of enlightenment. First, buddha comes behind you with all his warmth and grace and beauty and blissfulness and benediction, as a shadow.
Soon he takes over. You become the shadow in the second step. And in the second step, your shadow by and by starts withering away because it has been only a shadow and nothing else.
In the third step you find you are the buddha, and the person you used to be is no longer to be found anywhere.
That day will be the greatest day of celebration in your life – not only in your life, but in the life of the whole of existence. The whole existence will celebrate: the trees, the stars, the moon, the oceans, the earth – everything around you will have a tremendous ceremony to welcome your coming home.
After a long wandering into different bodies, into different species, finally you have come home.

Nivedano…

[Drumbeat]

Come back, but come back with the same grace a buddha comes, with the same silence.
Sit for a few moments, reminding yourself of the golden path you have traveled, and the tremendous space you have been in.
And feel the radiance and the coolness of a buddha behind you. He is almost touching your body and your heart. He is so motherly, he is so feminine, so fragile – just like a lotus leaf.
Rejoice that you are those chosen few Friedrich Nietzsche speaks of. Soon you will start having a new sensitivity to your ears, and a new light will be shown in your eyes, and a new dance will be in your heart.
The spring is coming soon, and you are all going to blossom into buddhas. Less than that is not sufficient.
You have to be a buddha; only that experience of the ultimate height and the ultimate depth will bring you home. The very source from where you have come is also the goal where you are going.
And I am immensely happy with you. You are doing so well, with such honesty that any master would have been proud of you.
God is dead, and Zen is the only living truth.

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