About a year ago I heard of an enlightened Buddhist master from South Korea and walked three days to his temple from the nearest town. He was ninety-four years old, with a face like a child, a smile like a baby, and most compassionate eyes.
His first question was, ‘How did you get here since there is no road?’. I sit here often and wonder how I got to you, Osho, since there is no road.
There is no need for a road – because your master is where you are. You can come to me only when you stop travelling, when you drop out of all paths and ways and roads. When you are simply there, where you are, you are with me. That is the only way to be with me. No path is needed. All paths lead astray. To come home, no path is needed. You have to stop travelling and rushing here and there.
The old man really asked a beautiful question to you. ‘How did you get here since there is no road?’
He was talking in a zen way. In Zen they have a koan that a man had a goose. When the goose was very small, he put it into a bottle. Then the goose started growing. He continued to feed the goose in the bottle. Then the goose became too big – so big that the mouth of the bottle was very small and it could not come out.
Now the problem is – the bottle has not to be broken, and the goose has to be taken out otherwise it will die. Now there is no space to grow and it is growing. The bottle has to be saved – it is very precious – and the goose has to be taken out, and the mouth is so small that it cannot get out. What to do?
This is a zen koan. It is given to disciples to meditate over. Now it is absurd. What can you do about it? Whatsoever you do, again and again the same problem. The bottle has not to be broken. That seems to be the only way to bring it out. And the goose cannot be allowed inside anymore, because now there is no space left and it will die. Now what to do? The question is urgent. And the disciple is told to meditate as intensely as possible.
The disciple meditates twenty-four hours. Then he comes to the master, he finds some way – but what way can you find? All ways are impossible. There is no other way, this is the only alternative. And the disciple becomes desperate and more desperate, and he thinks and meditates, and his mind starts reeling around. He cannot sleep, because the master says, ‘The question is very urgent. The life has to be saved. The goose is dying – and what are you doing sitting there? Be more intense, be more alert, and find out the solution.’
And the master is walking around with his staff, and you cannot relax and you cannot sleep. Even in sleep the disciple thinks only of the bottle and the goose. And it continues – day in, day out.
And one day it happens. The disciple is sitting silently, relaxed. There is no worry. And the master comes and says, ‘So, it has happened?’
The disciple says, ‘Yes, the goose is out… because it has never been in.’
But this is not an intellectual answer. I have given it to you. You cannot deceive a zen master. He will beat you badly if you try to deceive. Because your whole being has to show it… your very being, your tranquillity, your silence, your relaxedness, has to show it. It is not a question that you have to answer.
The disciple goes on thinking and thinking and thinking. And thinking becomes almost mad. His whole mind moving, moving, moving. And there comes a point where no more thinking is possible. He has come to the very end of it.
Every tension has to come to a point where you cannot go any more. Try it by closing your fist and making it as tense as possible, and go on making it tense and tense and tense. One moment suddenly you will see the fist is opening, you cannot make it any more tense. And you cannot open it; you cannot close it. It is simply opening on its own accord. Because to remain open is natural. When the extreme is touched, relaxation settles in.
The same happens in the mind. The worry goes to a climax, a peak, and then suddenly all thoughts fall away, and the disciple is sitting there on a lotus flower, as if on a lotus flower… no worry, no problem, no koan, nothing. The goose is out – because the disciple is out. That constant thinking was the bottle in which one was confined. Now the goose is out because the disciple is out.
The old man must have asked you, ‘How did you get here since there is no road?’ like a zen koan.
In fact there is no road to reach to god, because god is where you are. The goose is already out, the god has never been missed.
And now you ask, ‘I sit here often and wonder how I got to you.’
You may have forgotten me, but I have been always there. I am not separate from you. If I am separate then I am worthless. If I am separate from you and you have to come to me, and there is a path that connects you to me, then you will never reach to me. Then I will be like a mirage. You will be coming and coming and you will never reach to me.
One day you will understand that you are just sitting here, doing nothing, and you are in me and I am in you. And that will be the beginning of a totally new dimension of life.
Then god is in you and you are in god, and the world is in you and you are in the world. Then you are floating with the clouds and clouds are floating within you. Then you are flowering in the flowers and the flowers are flowering in you. Then division disappears. Then only one is. The goose is out. There is no road to it. The bottle is not to be broken, the bottle does not exist. The bottle is illusory. The bottle is just a belief. That you are far away and you have to travel is just a belief. That you have never gone anywhere and you have always been in the home is the truth.
A small anecdote:
A traveller, hundreds of miles from home, was walking across a flat, featureless desert. It had been twelve hours since he left the last oasis and he was beginning to feel a tinge of fear that he was lost, and soon night would come.
Far off in the distance he saw a dust trail, hardly visible, and watched with relief as it drew nearer. Finally recognizing a figure walking towards him, as they drew nearer he shouted, ‘How far to the nearest oasis?’ And the oncoming figure did not respond.
‘How far to the nearest oasis?’ he cried as the man passed beside him and still no answer. ‘How far to the nearest oasis?’ he yelled, nearly hysterical, as the dusty-robed figure disappeared in a cloud of windswept sand, and still no sign of an answer or even that the figure had heard.
He walked on. Five minutes later he heard a distant sound. Turning, he heard the figure shout, very faint in the evening winds, ‘Two hours.’
‘Why didn’t you tell me before?’
‘Because I did not know how fast you walked.’
But this journey is just the opposite journey. If you walk very fast, you will never reach me. If you don’t walk at all, if you simply sit there inside you, you have arrived. In fact you had never departed.
Osho, The Discipline of Transcendence, Vol 2, Ch 6, Q 4