Live Zen 03

Third Discourse from the series of 17 discourses - Live Zen by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

Kyosei’s Instructions on Pecking and Tapping
A monk said to Kyosei, “I want to peck from the inside. Would you please tap from the outside?”
Kyosei said, “Could you attain life or not?”
The monk said, “If I could not attain life I would become a laughingstock.”
Kyosei said, “You too are a fellow in the weeds.”

Setcho put it like this:

Old Buddha had his way of teaching,
The monk’s answer won no praise.

Strangers to each other, hen and chick,
Who can peck when the tapping comes?

Outside, the tap was given;
Inside, the chick remained.

Once again the tap was given;
Monks throughout the world attempt the trick in vain.

This anecdote evokes such a beautiful image of what transpires between master and disciple.
Can you talk about the peck and tap that we call our relationship with you?
Maneesha, before I talk about Kyosei and his statement, I am reminded of a very significant awakened man. He was a potter; his name was Gora. He uses this image very significantly, because when a potter makes a pot he has to do two things: inside he pecks and outside he taps. That is the whole art of pottery, but that’s also the whole art of the master and disciple relationship.
Even though he became enlightened, Gora remained a potter. He inspired millions of people – very rich people, even the kings, were his disciples. And they again and again asked him, “This does not look good. You stop this business of pottery. We feel ashamed.”
Gora said, “Even if I drop the visible business of making pots, what about my being your master? What am I doing with you? – pecking and tapping.”
Yes, Maneesha, this is the whole art of the master. If he cannot peck from inside when he starts tapping from the outside, he will destroy the disciple. And most of the so-called teachers of the world exactly do that. They don’t even know their own inside – how can they help somebody else’s growth with this art of pecking from inside and tapping from outside?
Tapping from outside is very easy, even Zen Master Niskriya can do it. But the real question is the support from inside. Great things can be said to you which will not be of any help, which on the contrary may pollute you and poison you, because they will make you knowledgeable. A master is your enemy if he makes you knowledgeable. But from the outside only knowledge can be given. You become more and more filled with knowledge.
The real master has nothing to do with knowledge. He hits deep inside you. His compassion sometimes seems to be very hard, but he goes on showering from the outside, with great love. Inside he has to be a surgeon; outside he has to shower flowers of blessings. Unless a master can do both he is not a master, he is only a teacher.
A monk said to Kyosei, “I want to peck from the inside. Would you please tap from the outside?”
Kyosei said, “Could you attain life or not?”
The monk said, “If I could not attain life I would become a laughingstock.”
Kyosei said, “You too are a fellow in the weeds.”
Just as I have remembered Gora, the potter, Kyosei is taking up a different dimension to it, the dimension of an egg. You can tap from the outside, but the bird inside the egg has to peck, himself. This takes Gora’s explanation to a far deeper insight. A real master in fact need not peck you from within; your very life energy will do it. That’s why Kyosei certainly and suddenly seems to be asking without any reference or context, “Could you attain life or not?”
He is saying, “As far as tapping is concerned, I am ready, but do you have energy enough to attain life? – because the other part, the pecking, you will have to do. You will have to take the risk to come out of the shell, to come out of the egg.” Certainly, Kyosei far exceeds Gora’s understanding.
The monk said, “If I could not attain life I would become a laughingstock.”
He has understood why the master Kyosei is asking him, “Could you attain life…? Are you full of energy and abundance so that if I tap you, you will not be killed? Are you mature enough, centered, that my tapping from outside will not destroy you, but will give you the open sky, the freedom to fly? It all depends how much energy, how much life force you have. If you don’t have that life, then you are only a fellow in the weeds.”
No roses will blossom in the weeds. The weeds don’t give any flowers, they don’t have that abundance of energy that blossoms in a flower. A flower is a mysterious phenomenon. From the earth, you cannot find anything that resembles the rose that is going to grow out of it. Neither in the rosebush can you find anything resembling – even a faraway echo of the beauty, of the color, of the delicateness of a rose. It is not in the earth, it is not in the roots, it is not in the bush…but it has to be there, otherwise the flower cannot blossom.
The flower is an abundance of energy. Much energy is used by the leaves and the foliage. Unless a plant has more energy than is absorbed by the foliage, by the branches, by the leaves, a rose is not possible.
The monk is right when he says, “If I could not attain life I would become a laughingstock.” You tap the egg and you kill the bird inside by your tapping. The monk is saying, “I would be a laughingstock.” And many disciples in the world…almost the whole world is in some way or other following a certain line of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Christianity without knowing they are disciples. But no roses blossom – they are all laughingstocks.

One Christian missionary, Stanley Jones, used to stay with me. He was a world-famous man. Six months he used to travel in the West to teach about Christianity, its theology, in the universities and six months he used to come to India. Whenever he was in my town, he used to stay with me. I asked him one day, “You have been a Christian for almost sixty years, but I don’t see even a faint echo of a Jesus in you. You know much, but knowledge is not the thing. Your heart has not blossomed, your head is heavy. When are you going to grow roses?”
He looked at me a little shocked, because this is not the way of talking in any reference other than Zen. In every other religious context things are theoretical, philosophical, they are doctrines. Zen is not a doctrine. It is a very direct approach to the existential problem of why man has not blossomed, why millions of people have not grown roses in their gardens, why they are just weeds, laughingstocks.

Setcho comments on this small conversation. For the first time he is a little sensible. He is still a schoolmaster, but perhaps living in the company of the mystics, of the masters, he has learned something. I still suspect that it is only knowledge, but this time he comes very close to the truth. But remember, to be very close to the truth is still to be very far. Unless you are the truth there is no point in knowing how far you are from it. One mile, or one million miles, even a single inch, just a single word, and you have lost the truth.
Anyway, he has come very close. For the first time he shows the possibility; perhaps in the end he may turn into a roseflower himself.
Setcho says:

Old Buddha had his way of teaching.
The monk’s answer won no praise.

Strangers to each other, hen and chick,
Who can peck when the tapping comes?

Outside, the tap was given;
Inside, the chick remained.

Once again the tap was given;
Monks throughout the world attempt the trick in vain.
Just tapping from the outside is not going to help, unless the inner energy has become a tremendous longing to come out. Then, even without any tapping from outside the bird is going to break the eggshell by itself.
There have been many masters who had no masters. Their own longing for the truth was so tremendous they needed no help. Their own overflowing energy gave them the freedom to fly into the sky. The eggshell is very thin; it is not a China wall. You are not imprisoned in something made of steel; you are imprisoned in something made of thoughts. Such a thin rice paper, a Japanese curtain, that you can come out any moment you want. You don’t have to wait for somebody to knock from the outside. And if you don’t have energy, even if someone knocks it is not going to help.
There is a very beautiful poem of Rabindranath Tagore, “The King of the Night”:

There is a temple devoted to the King of the Night – very ancient, huge, with one thousand priests. The high priest one night dreams that the King of the Night has appeared and said to him, “Tomorrow I am going to visit the temple. Clean it, prepare it. I have not been there for centuries. I have to go to many other temples too.”
He woke up, perspiring, although he has been praying every day for just this fact, that “you should appear, you should give us a glimpse of your being, your splendor.”
And now the dream has come, but a dream…? In the middle of the night, he called all the priests from their beds and said, “I am sorry to disturb you, but the problem is really serious. I have seen in my dream the King of the Night, saying, ‘Prepare, clean the temple, I am coming to visit tomorrow.’”
The other priests started laughing. They said, “It seems you have become too old, senile. Just a dream and you have unnecessarily harassed us.”
The old man said, “I understand that you will laugh at me. I thought about it before I woke you up, but there is no harm in preparing. Anyway the temple has needed painting for centuries.”
The temple had been completely abandoned by people. It was far away from the habitation of people in the deep forest. And the priests had also by and by become skeptical. Many of them had stopped praying.
Many of them had become agnostic: “Who knows if there is a King of the Night? We have been here – we have never seen him. Our parents have been here – they have never seen. Their parents have been here – they have not been able to see him. Centuries have passed and we have been serving these stone statues and now suddenly you want us to believe in your dream?”
The chief priest said, “I myself don’t believe in it, but there is no harm. Just think of the other possibility if he comes…There is no chance, I know, but just give a one percent possibility. It is one hundred percent certain there is no possibility that he will come. It is just a dream, but just give one percentage point…if he comes and finds us unprepared, no flowers for him, no sweets for his welcome, no music, no dance, no candles, then we will be in really bad shape. One thousand priests…what are you doing here?
“And anyway, if we clean the temple, bring flowers, burn candles as if he is coming and he does not come, there is no harm. It is our temple and we live in it, we have celebrated it. The guest has promised but did not turn up. There is no harm in preparing, but in not preparing there is tremendous risk, and I cannot take that risk.”
By that time the night was almost over and everybody gave thought to the old priest – he was reasonable. The temple was cleaned. It had hundreds of statues, so much dust, for centuries nobody has cared. They brought flowers and perfume, and they brought sweets and they prepared special food.
Half a day had passed and the suspicion started arising: “Half the day has gone and he has not come yet. We are unnecessarily being bothered by this old fool’s dream. Who has ever heard that any god comes to any temple? It goes against all factuality, all history, and we believed the dream and tired ourselves unnecessarily. And we cannot eat, unless the guest comes.”
That is a simple rule in the temple. First the god has to be served and then the priests can share the food.
Up to now it had been easy, because the gods were only stone gods. Today was difficult. It was getting late, the sun had started going down and everybody was angry with the old priest: “We have wasted so much money unnecessarily on flowers, on painting…. We had to bring so many servants to clean, because it was almost impossible, it was so huge.”
The old priest said, “I am sorry, but what can I say? He may still come.”
The day passed and finally they decided, even against the head priest, “Now it is useless to wait – the sun has set. The whole day we have been hungry and working and now we are tired. We want to eat and go to sleep.”
The old man said, “It is better just to wait one night more because he is the King of the Night – that we have forgotten completely. He will not come in the day; he will come in the night, if ever he comes.”
They said, “Now we are no longer going to be persuaded by this stupidity to remain hungry and awake the whole night, waiting for your dream.”
They revolted.
The old priest said, “There is no need to revolt. I am myself old and tired and hungry; I will join you…perhaps it was just a dream.”
And they all ate the delicacies they had arranged for the god of the temple. They were so tired they fell asleep very soon, early in the night.
In the middle of the night came a golden chariot with the King of the Night, the god of the temple. The chariot came on the mud road leaving its marks on the mud up to the great gate of the temple. There were a thousand steps to reach to the temple, and the god of the temple climbed those thousand steps up to the main door.
The noise of the chariot on the mud road was heard. Some priest, half-awake, half-asleep said, “It seems he has come, because I hear the sound of a great chariot.”
Somebody else shouted him down: “Don’t disturb us now. Enough of all this nonsense! There is no chariot; it is just a cloud passing by.”
Somebody else said, “But I have heard the steps – somebody is coming up to the main door.”
Out of those thousand priests many jumped upon him and forced him: “Remain silent and quiet. It is nothing but a strong wind striking on the doors. Don’t be deceived; don’t think that the god will knock on the doors.”
In the morning they were all crying because there were marks of footprints on those one thousand steps and on the mud road there were marks of a chariot, coming and going back.
The god had come – but they were asleep.

It is possible to find a master who can tap you, but if you are fast asleep, in your sleep you will find a thousand and one explanations and go on back to sleep. Perhaps it is a cloud, perhaps it is wind…you may find any reason to avoid; you will take another turn and go to sleep…nobody has come.
It all depends on your inner energy to be waiting at the door for the guest to come, fully awake, in deep trust, in great love.
In fact your trust and your love are the constituents of the guest.
Your love creates, your trust creates – nobody comes.
Just your trust and your love blossoms and a fragrance surrounds you. Thousands of lights start burning around you.
It is your energy, your abundant energy – there is no other God.

Maneesha, you are asking: “This anecdote evokes such a beautiful image of what transpires between master and disciple. Can you talk about the ‘peck and tap’ that we call our relationship with you?”
In fact, the tap is not inevitable but the peck is inevitable. If you are overflowing with energy then even a man who knows nothing may give you a tap and you will be freed from your sleep, from your darkness, from your unconsciousness.

Once it happened with a great Tibetan saint, Milarepa…. He was a simple and innocent person and he followed a master who was not a master at all, but just a great scholar, very knowledgeable, had a great following. But Milarepa was not concerned with the knowledge. He loved the man, he trusted him. Although he was not trustworthy, he was not a master, Milarepa accepted him as a master to such an extent – the story is very beautiful, must be symbolic – that he would walk on water.
Other disciples who were older and senior to him could not do it; they tried. They asked Milarepa, “What is the secret?”
He said, “No secret; I simply trust my master. I remember him and I say to him that I want to cross this river, that’s all. I don’t know how he manages.”
Naturally, jealousy arose because he was a newcomer and he was suddenly becoming the most prominent because of his doings. He would jump from the mountains without being hurt…and the reason he would always give was, “It is my master.”
It was reported to his master. The master was very much surprised. He himself would not dare to walk on water. He was a knowledgeable scholar, but that does not make you capable of walking on water. He could not jump from mountains into valleys without being hurt. But now he was in a difficulty. He could not say, “I am not responsible at all, it must be his own trust” – on the contrary he proved to be a very ordinary human being. He said, “Yes, it is my name and the power of my name.”
So the disciples asked, “Then you show us: walk on the waters.”
He said, “I will.”
He thought in his mind, “If my name can manage it, then of course I am going to try it myself.”
And after the first step he started shouting, “Help! Help!” because he was drowning. Somehow he was pulled out.
The disciples asked, “What happened?”
He said, “I don’t know, I had never tried it before. Where is that Milarepa?”
Milarepa was on the other side of the river, so he came running on the water.
The master said, “My God, you have exposed me. I cannot do it, nor can my name do it; it must be your trust. It does not matter in what – in whom.”

So once in a while it has happened that a master who was not a master has helped somebody to become awakened, enlightened. And the contrary has also happened, that the master is fully awakened, he goes on shouting into your ears…but you don’t think that you can fly, that the whole sky is yours, that you can be free from the imprisonment that you yourself have created of relationships, of success, of power, of prestige…thousands are the names of the devil, but the essential thing is that it imprisons you, it chains you.
It is in your power to break those chains, because those chains are made only of your imagination.
Maneesha, the most essential lesson on the path is of having a loving heart, of trusting the existence – of being in a let-go that if existence takes care of all this vast universe it will also take care of you. And whatever happens must be right because nothing can happen against existence.
This immense trust is difficult in the beginning, because you can’t touch existence, you can’t figure out what existence is.
The master is simply a very thin thread between you and existence. He can give you a tangible proof of trust and love. If he becomes the proof, the answer, then something in you will start opening up. The master does nothing, not even tapping.
So I am not in agreement with Kyosei and Setcho and Gora. What they are saying is significant but not significant enough.
The master does nothing.
His being a master is enough.
His silence penetrates the heart of the disciple.
There is no effort; it is just a happening.
The very presence of the master gives you the trust that life is much more than you have known up to now, much deeper, much vaster; that life is not just this mundane, everyday routine; that life has an inner world, an inner kingdom, a treasure that you are carrying without knowing anything about it.
The master simply provokes you, challenges you.
His silence is a challenge, his words are a challenge. His presence is an invitation.
Those who are alive and those who want to be more alive follow the path; they are very few, unfortunately. Most of the people decide to remain in their eggs. The egg seems to be very protective – who knows what is outside? The egg is a security – who knows, outside may be insecure, unsafe. The master simply gives by his presence the assurance – not by words, but just by his being: “Come out of the egg, come out of your prison whatever is the name of your prison – and you are capable of it.”
Nothing is needed to be done from the outside; it is an inner explosion. The gardener does not open the rose petals; the bud opens the petals on its own. Yes, the gardener helps in many other ways, but the central and the essential experience happens from the inside.
I call the man a master who can make you secure in this insecure world, who can give you the courage to come out of your cozy hole, who can give you the insight that you have wings.
I have told you one ancient parable…

A lioness was pregnant and she jumped from one hillock to another hillock and gave birth to a kid, which fell on the ground in a crowd of sheep.
This small lion was brought up by the sheep, although he became a lion. But they became accustomed to him and moreover, he was a vegetarian just as all sheep are. And although sheep or lions don’t have mirrors, they felt that something was weird with this sheep…too long, too big, but there was no trouble.
The trouble arose one day when an old lion saw this crowd of sheep going by and, among them, a lion, young, strong – and the sheep were not afraid of him!
The old lion could not believe his eyes – it was so absurd! He had to run after him, because the young lion started running with the sheep. He called to him many times, “Stop!”
But the young lion had never thought that he was anybody other than a sheep – perfectly vegetarian, eating grass, having friends, love affairs, girlfriends, enjoying life – why should he stop? And this fellow seems to be dangerous!
But the old lion could not resist the temptation. He followed and got hold of the young lion and said, “You idiot, have you forgotten that you are a lion?”
The young lion started shivering with fear and he said, “Let me go, my people are going. If they are gone I will be lost. Don’t prevent me. Please forgive me; just let me go. They are all going to have a beautiful lunch; just by the side of the river there is such delicious grass. If you want you can come, but don’t prevent me.”
The old lion said, “You stupid…you come with me. Have you started eating grass?”
The old lion took the young lion forcibly, because he wouldn’t budge. He wanted to go to his own people and this fellow was unnecessarily harassing. The old lion took him to the river and told him, “Look into the river and look at my face and your face!”
Nothing was said, nothing was done, and there came a great roar from the young lion. Suddenly, a transformation: he was not a sheep.
But nothing was said. Just a mirror was used, the mirror of a silent river.

The master is only a mirror.
He does not do anything.
He simply allows you to look into the mirror of his eyes, into the mirror of his gestures, into the mirror of his silences, and perhaps there may come the lion’s roar.
You may wake up to your reality.
It is so silent and so beautiful, but I would like a little laughter before we experience a deeper silence. Each laughter brings in the wake a deeper silence, a fresher silence….

A young actor has just been hired for his first role in a play being performed on Broadway.
“You have only one line,” the director tells him, “but it is an extremely important one. When you hear the sound of guns going off you say, ‘Hark! I hear the cannons roar!’ Do you understand?”
“Of course,” replies the actor confidently, “Hark! I hear the cannons roar! No problem, I’ve got it already.”
The following night the theater is packed and the young actor is striding about backstage repeating over and over, “Hark! I hear the cannons roar.”
Then the audience goes quiet as the play begins. The director signals for the young man to go out on the stage and the curtain raises.
Suddenly a loud thundering noise rolls through the theater. The startled actor spins round and shouts, “Shit! What the fuck was that?”

A Texan in England enters a crowded railway carriage. He finds that the only spare seat is occupied by a mean looking dog owned by a fat red-faced woman.
He asks politely if the dog can sit on the floor instead of the seat.
“You leave my dog alone!” snaps the woman.
The Texan searches the whole train without finding a seat, so he comes back and throws the dog out of the window.
The woman freaks out. “Are you all going to sit here,” she screams at everyone, “and allow an American to treat an English lady like this?”
One man in a bowler hat lowers his Times newspaper, “The Americans are all crazy, Madam,” he explains. “They hold their fork in the wrong hand, they drive on the wrong side of the road, and now this idiot has gone and thrown the wrong bitch out of the window!”

A Catholic priest in Rome visits a brothel. When he has finished, instead of having to pay he is given ten dollars. The priest rushes off to tell the cardinal about this.
Sure enough, the next day the cardinal goes to the same brothel. When he has finished, instead of having to pay he is given one hundred dollars. The cardinal can’t believe his luck. So he runs off to tell Pope the Polack about this incredible deal.
The next night the Polack pope sneaks down to the red-light district and finds the same place. When he has finished they give him a check for a thousand dollars.
“Just a minute,” cries the pope, “this is unbelievable! How come you pay the customers here?”
“Well,” says the madam, “it is like this. We got a great photograph of the priest in action. We made a great movie out of the cardinal. And right now you are appearing live on satellite television.”

A young girl who is getting married asks her mother about the wedding night. Her mother is old-fashioned and tells her, “He will take you to bed, tear off your clothes and then he will lie beside you and then…er, scare you! But you will just have to put up with it.”
After the first time the young bride looks coyly at her husband. “Darling,” she says, “scare me again.”
He scares her several times during the night, and when the sun rises the bride shakes her husband and says, “Darling, scare me again.”
The man opens his bleary eyes, slowly takes a deep breath and shouts, “Yaa-boo!”

Okay…now for two minutes close your eyes, no movement, just be frozen….

Now relax.

Come back.

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