Sermons in Stones 21

TwentyFirst Discourse from the series of 30 discourses - Sermons in Stones by Osho.
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Who was the master who discovered or invented the latihan meditation technique? Would you like explain this meditation technique?
Latihan is a unique method – unique in the sense that it is the only method that has come out of this century, and unique also because it happened to a man who was not searching for truth, who was not a seeker. It is also unique in that it has no parallel in any old methods of meditation.
Latihan was found by a Mohammedan in Indonesia, Bapak Subud. He was not in any way involved with the other world, with life beyond death, or with life herenow. He was just chopping wood on his farm and suddenly it happened: his ax fell from his hands and he started to make gestures, postures which he had never done. He himself could not believe what he was doing and why, but the force was so tremendous that in spite of himself, he had to do it.
He went into something almost like a dynamic meditation – shouting, running, jumping, just a pure play of energy for no reason at all.
And then he fell into a deep silence, the deepest he had ever dreamt of, and when he woke up in the afternoon, just three or four hours afterward, he was totally a new man. That happening changed him. He was no more a Mohammedan, he was no more his old personality, his old self.
He started teaching his close friends. To whomsoever he said this was a meditation, they laughed. But his intimate circle of friends were persuaded by him…”At least you should give it a try.”
A few tried, a few succeeded – and this happened just thirty years ago.
After the experience, one feels utterly relaxed, no tensions in the mind, no tensions in the body. And a great joy arises from your interiority, not dependent on anything outside you. You are for the first time a universe unto yourself. For your happiness, for your joy, you are no longer dependent. You alone can live on a deserted star, joyously.
Slowly, latihan became a world movement. But there were a few basic flaws in it; hence, the movement has disappeared – like a fashion that has come in vogue and now it seems to be some historical fact – and it has happened just within these thirty years.
First, Bapak Subud could not explain it, or why it happened to him. He was not religious, he was not philosophical, he was not interested in the esoteric side of life. The mysteries of life had never been a challenge to him. He was a very earthly man. He simply said, “It descended upon me from beyond. I don’t know why – I have no explanation for why I was chosen.”
But because it happened to a man who knew nothing about meditations, who never meditated – at least according to his conscious memory – it was natural that the method, the technique, must have some weaknesses, some loopholes. It is not a device created by a master; it is a very accidental thing.
Mohammedans cannot explain it for the simple reason that Mohammedans, Christians, and Jews don’t believe in a series of lives; they believe only in one life. That cuts their wings, that cuts their time, and there are many things they cannot go into because of their religious conditioning. The past life does not exist; hence, to go into it for an explanation will be absurd – where are you going, there is no past life! And the wonder is, they don’t have another answer. Why should it happen to Bapak Subud who has no qualifications at all?
The only explanation is in his past lives. Past lives and the theory of rebirth is not just a philosophical hypothesis in the East – it is based on the experience of thousands of years, because there were happenings which were impossible to explain without the hypothesis of a past life.
Bapak Subud may not have any religious qualities but he must have worked upon himself, his consciousness, in some past life. He must have come to a point very close to the goal. But unless you achieve something, when your death occurs all that you have learned will have to be learned from ABC. But if something has matured in you, if meditation has not been an abortion in you but you have given birth to yourself, then let death come. Your consciousness will carry the work on yourself from where you are leaving in this life, and you will remember it.
The method of latihan is simple: you have to stand in a room, just to stand loose as if you are just a coat hanging on the wall, so relaxed. And wait. You are not supposed to do anything, you have simply to wait. Things start happening to most people. Hands start moving, somebody starts rotating his head, somebody starts jogging, somebody starts dancing.
Somebody starts singing. Somebody starts speaking gibberish, a language that does not exist.
After half an hour, they lie down and just rest – the exertion is great. They do latihan sessions twice a week, at the most thrice a week. It is a catharsis. You throw out all kinds of anger, jealousy, greed – all the muck that you are full of, you start throwing it away – and when you come out of latihan, you are clean; you feel the freshness of the early morning, the crispness of the air. Not only has it refreshed you, renewed you, it has given you a new sensitivity. The same roseflower looks so psychedelic…it is no longer ordinary, it is radiating with color. It has a certain aura around it.
And in the same way, the whole of ordinary life suddenly takes a change, because you have a new pair of eyes, a new heart to feel, a completely clean mind to see as clearly as is humanly possible.
The movement died down because of faults in the method. And it was beyond Bapak Subud’s capacity and understanding to find those faults, because this was his only experience; he had nothing else to compare it with. And to him, it happened; those faults were not a deterrent to him. But many people doing latihan have gone mad. That was the reason why the movement slowly, slowly died out.
The people who have not gone mad are just on the borderline. A few people, certainly, have attained to meditation, but of the lowest kind. They feel silent, they feel a certain togetherness; they are more rooted, more centered. But more than that…they have not experienced anything of the beyond. They have not come in contact with the gods, the god of truth, the god of love, the god of beauty, the god of bliss. They are absolutely ignorant of what spirituality really means.
They are in a kind of limbo. Latihan has created a certain space in them which makes it clear to them that this world is not enough. But remember: it is a negative feeling that this world is not enough. This world is denied, negated, but the other world is not visible yet. The person is in a difficult situation. This world does not appeal to him, he has seen something superior; but just to remain in the small space that latihan has created is boring. It has no excitement, because it is not like a river, continuously growing and becoming bigger, reaching the ocean to become the ocean itself.
Latihan almost creates a pond which goes nowhere, which simply dries out, evaporates. And only mud, a muddy puddle is left behind.
Dynamic meditation has everything that latihan has – and more, because it is a device, deliberately made, considered from every possible angle, not to harm anybody in any situation. Latihan is almost a primitive thing in comparison to dynamic meditation, which has everything of latihan plus.
In latihan, you have to do it in a small group. Women and men are not allowed to do it together in one room. From this point the mistakes of the method begin. It is the old fear, the old Mohammedan mind – why can’t women and men meditate together? In fact, they should only meditate together, because while you are meditating, you need the presence of the other which is your other half. It does not matter whether the woman you love is present. What matters is that feminine energy is available, male energy is available. If they are both available, the total effect is of wholeness, and the mind which starts feeling even a little bit of wholeness cannot go mad.
Madness means you are in fragments, you are a crowd. There are many of you; even you cannot recognize who is the true one.
Latihan gives no idea of what is going to happen. You need not believe in that but you should be aware of it, because as it starts happening, if you have been aware beforehand, you will not be scared. You will know: this too will pass away.
Just the other day, one of my German sannyasins – a topmost model in Germany, Gayan – has sent her latest photograph. She has really a beautiful face, extraordinary in its innocence. That gives it its unique beauty. She must have felt I would like the picture. I have seen many pictures of her, but this was something different. Perhaps she was in a certain state of mind; perhaps the photographer was in a certain state of mind, but somehow the picture is far better, shows a state far higher than that in which Gayan is, in reality.
I have always wondered about her and about many other people. She looks so beautiful in her pictures – so innocent, so agelessly beautiful, agelessly young – but in reality, these qualities are not in her. It is possible that while she’s being photographed as a model, she brings herself together. The camera, the studio…the photograph is going to be seen by millions of people. Perhaps all that creates the situation in which she becomes silent, just looking at the camera for a few seconds. But she realized that sending me the picture is not the full act, so she wrote by the side of the picture: “Osho, this too will pass.” That is one of my old stories she is referring to.
I would like to remind you of the story because sometimes, if it hits the right place in your heart, it becomes a tremendous help in your evolution of consciousness.
A king was getting old and of course, worried and concerned about death. One day, he could not sleep the whole night long; he was continuously thinking of death. He has killed thousands of people himself; he has been a great conqueror – what has happened to him? Why has he become so cowardly? The death of the other does not matter to you, but your own death matters.
In the morning, he called his wise men and asked them: “If I fall into a situation where you are not available to advise me and I don’t see any way out, I would like you to make a small suggestion that I can put under the big diamond in my ring.” The ring was made with an opening device, so he could look underneath the diamond and read the message.
They were at a loss. This was something very difficult – just one sentence, for millions of situations. How can there be one answer for all the questions? Only a man like me can say, “Yes, not only that – there is only one answer for all questions; there cannot be even two.”
They were worried and puzzled, but one old man suggested something and that appealed to them, so they brought it to the king. He was not to see it – the condition was that he was not to see it. He was not to open it just out of curiosity. He was to open it in a real danger, when there is no other possibility for him, when he cannot figure it out, when he’s simply stuck and knows nothing about what to do. Only in such emergencies, when life is at stake should he open the ring and read the message.
And by chance, the time to read it came very soon, just after fifteen days. The neighboring country invaded. They had been invaded by this king many times, defeated many times. They were boiling with anger and violence and humiliation and insult. For ten years, they had been training their people and this time they were determined: “Either we take over the kingdom of the enemy or we are not going to come back home alive.”
And when somebody, even if he is beaten, has such an idea in the mind, he’s no longer weak. He is far stronger than your strongest people.
They fought as the king had never seen anybody fight…because the king and his soldiers were just fighting to defend, but the enemy was fighting to gain self-respect. They had lost their integrity, and even at the cost of life it had to be regained – even if the whole country dies!
The king lost the war. Somehow he escaped to the mountains on his horse, but the enemies were following. He was alone and he could hear many troops of horses following him and the noise was coming closer and closer. He was running as fast as the poor horse could run, because he was wounded, almost at the point of death. But the greatest difficulty came when they reached the end of the road – that road was not going anywhere! It only came to this spot where tourists used to come. It was a very scenic situation, but it was death to the king – he could not go anywhere. Underneath, there was a rocky valley thousands of feet deep. If he jumped into it, he would be finished. And he could not return because it was a small road….
Then he suddenly saw the diamond shining in the sun, and remembered, opened the diamond, read the message. The message was very small but very great. The message was: “This too will pass away.”
Just let the idea sink in your heart: This too will pass away. So there is no need to be worried. In life, there is nothing permanent.
Everything is changing. You could not have thought, fifteen days before, that you would be in this situation. You cannot think what your situation will be after fifteen days. Don’t be worried: This too will pass. Everything passes by.
It had a great effect on the man. He relaxed, he forget all about those people following him. He said, “I have never come to this spot. It is perhaps one of the most beautiful spots around the capital and I might have missed it if I had not been defeated by the enemy. This beauty is worth losing the whole kingdom for.” He enjoyed the beauty…and after a few minutes he became aware that the noise of the horses and the enemy coming was receding: “Perhaps they have moved into some other part of the mountains, but certainly they are not on this footpath.”
He gathered his armies, he fought again. He won his kingdom back, and when he was received at the elephant gate of the capital, the whole capital was just festivity. Everybody was rejoicing the victory. Flowers were being thrown on the king from every house, from every place. People were dancing, singing, playing on their instruments. And for a moment the king said, just inside himself, “It is not so easy to defeat me.” And he saw a subtle ego arising with all this reception and celebration.
Again, the big diamond was shining in the light and he remembered it. He opened it. He read it again: “This too will pass.” He became silent. His face went through a total change – from the egoist he moved to a state of utter humbleness.
If this too is going to pass, it is not yours.
The defeat was not yours, the victory is not yours.
The death was not yours, the life is not yours.
You are just a watcher. Everything passes by.
This is what is missing in latihan. There is no place for the witness, for the watcher, and that is the essential part of meditation.
Latihan prepares the ground, but never sows the seeds and then waits for roses and lotuses. And nothing comes up – just wild grass.
Meditation has two parts: one, a cleaning part. You are going to invite the greatest guest into your life. Clean the whole house, make it pure, fragrant, make it an aesthetic phenomenon inside you.
Catharsis is perfectly good and right, but it is incomplete. After catharsis begins the real work. When you have cleaned the ground of weeds and wild grass, then is the time to sow the seeds of flowers and wait for the spring.
Latihan is gone. It will be remembered in the footnotes of history but it has lost its grip. And the problem, the reason why it had to go was that it was only the beginning part of meditation.
I have given you many meditations, but each meditation is complete in itself.

The other day, I heard you saying that Jesus' disciples are responsible for his crucifixion? Osho, it wakes me up at night to think that we are responsible for you having been dragged around in prisons and being persecuted and thrown out of so many countries. I love you more than my own life. How is it that my awareness and my responsibility seems so far behind my love?
Love is not far behind your responsibility and awareness. And if something like Jesus happens to me, which is probable, you will not be responsible for it. If it does not happen, then you will be responsible for it.
The people who can be responsible for it, I have been weeding out continuously. I have my own very simple ways so that the other person never becomes aware that he is being thrown out. I go on giving him the idea that he is leaving me. I don’t want the poor fellow to feel guilty that he has betrayed. And if something happens to me then he will feel guilty his whole life, that he was responsible. Just to make him free of responsibility, I have never told anybody to leave. But it is very easy, without saying, to make someone leave.
It is so easy that you will not believe me. There is no great esoteric principle behind it.
One old woman in the commune was a negative presence, and she was creating the same vibes around her. We tried our best here in India, in America, but the problem with the woman was first, that there was a language difficulty. She did not understand English or any language that I understand. Secondly, she was 70 years old – almost all her ideologies, Christianities…church…had all become so frozen that it seemed impossible to reach her. You could shout but her ears were full of prejudices, and something else would reach her.
Seeing that now she was being destructive to the commune…. I used to go every day for a drive, and sannyasins used to meet me on the road, both sides, dancing, singing. I stopped looking at her.
The first day, perhaps she could not figure out why I had not looked at her. The second day, it was absolutely certain that I had not looked at her. The third day, she was certain that I was not going to look at her anymore, unless she changed. On the fourth day she left. But she left on her own decision; I had not said anything.
So some small strategy has to be used for the person to go without feeling guilty.
Those who are with me are the reason why I am alive.
I’m not alive for myself – my work is done.
I’m alive only to see a few of my plants blossoming, a few of my trees bringing fruits. I have devoted my whole life. I have never bothered about respectability from the society, I have never bothered about anything. But one thing is very close to my heart: my only concern is to see you ecstatic, blissful, fulfilled. And if so many people love me, and feel their responsibility, it is the greatest security I have.
All the governments of the world are in conspiracy against me. All the religions, all the political parties are in the same conspiracy: to destroy me, to destroy my ideology, to destroy my people. But they will not succeed. If even a single person loves me unconditionally, I have more protection, more love, more friends, than nuclear weapons can destroy.
So you need not be sad about it. I am talking of those people who have not only left, but who were perhaps very happy that the US government and the Christian church together destroyed a small commune of five thousand people. They have all the forces, all the money. They have all the news media to spread whatsoever they want. It seems the people who have betrayed me are rejoicing that now, the commune will not be possible.
For the first three months after the closure of the commune, these people remained silent because they were weighing the possibilities: “Perhaps the commune continues. If it continues, then it is better not to say anything that may make it difficult for you to enter the commune again.” So for three months, they were completely silent. After three months…and for these three months they were using their sannyas names, they were using the mala, they were using orange clothes, although I have freed you. But they were using them.
Once it was certain that America could not tolerate the commune, they all started changing to their old names. When they saw that the European countries, their parliaments, have decided that I cannot enter any European country, then they came out more clearly, saying that they are independent and they are doing the same work as Osho is doing. They are enlightened.
Just a few days ago, Santosh, one of the therapists in the commune…. I have worked on him twelve years to create a whole therapeutic science of dehypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy has been in existence, but a reverse process of hypnotherapy, so those who are hypnotized can be dehypnotized…. And everybody is hypnotized – by some culture, by some religion, by some politics – so everybody needs a deep spring cleaning, and dehypnosis can do it.
Now he is in California, and has started publishing a small newspaper. Even my name is not mentioned anywhere in the institute for dehypnotherapy that he has created there. And in this newspaper, just two days ago I saw: he has an announcement that all the European countries have prohibited the entry of Osho into their countries, so those who are waiting, hoping that sooner or later Osho will be coming to Europe, should drop the hope. “And we are already doing the same work.” Now, their whole fear is, if I come back to Europe then they cannot go on being mini-gurus – just like mini-skirts, nothing much material.
And Santosh is happy that I cannot enter America for at least five years. But they are wrong. It makes no difference whether I am in Europe or in America, Australia, or in India.
Those who have loved me and those who have drunk out of my well, will not find another who will be satisfying. At least right now, there is nobody else. There used to be one – J. Krishnamurti. Unfortunately, he is dead.
These people, at least ninety percent of them, will come back. The ten percent, the very hard-core egoists, may find it difficult to come back – although they need not find it difficult, because I never even asked you why you left. That is your business. Why have you come? That too is your decision, and you have all the freedom to join or not to join.
I am not at all disturbed or annoyed by anybody. Because here, with me, you are not supposed to give anything in return for whatever you feel I have done for you. And in fact, I don’t need anything to be returned by you because it is not a bargain, a deal, a business. It is simply my love.
I love the truth – I have found it.
I have loved you – I have found you also.
Now my only remaining work is somehow to turn your eyes toward the truth. Once that happens, then there is no need for me to be here.
But I am not a serious man, I can still be here. So you don’t be worried; most probably I will be here.

Sitting silently, suddenly, softly, slowly, soundlessly, peacefully, something peeled off which I could see was my illusion for a better world and good people. Osho, can you say something about the difference between a vision and an illusion?
The difference between a vision and an illusion is very delicate and fragile, but the difference is very big.
The dream is a mind phenomenon; it happens in your mind. It happens because you repress, and whatever is repressed comes up in the night when the conscious represser is asleep. Then the unconscious releases itself in dreams. Dream is the language of the unconscious.
Through the dream, the unconscious is doing many things: one is catharsis, second is giving messages to the conscious. If you don’t hear, the same dream will be repeated again.
It has happened in very rare cases that a dream was repeated almost every night for years. And it happened to a very intelligent, great creator – Leo Tolstoy. He used to have a dream – which was a nightmare, although there was no violence, no torture – but the set-up of the dream was such that he always woke up perspiring, breathing heavily, heart beating faster. And the dream was very strange, so he tried hard….
Perhaps he is one of the greatest novelists in the world. He has a very sensitive intelligence to find out even about others, but with his dream, he was simply helpless.
The dream was that he would see every night a vast, infinite desert – no greenery; just desert and desert, sand and sand, and it goes on and on in every direction. It is burning hot, and he sees a pair of shoes – his shoes – going away from him. They are walking. He’s not in them. The shoes alone are going and going and going, and this continues. It can continue forever, there is no essential need for it to stop. There is no essential need for it to come to a conclusion. There is no question.
He told many of his friends, he told many psychoanalysts. They said, “Strange. We have heard thousands of people’s dreams, analyzing them. We have read about the dreams of other people who have been analyzed, but we have never come across such a dream.” Just the shoes go on walking and it is so tortuous, and every day you know; the whole day you know that the night is coming. Going to bed, you know: soon those two shoes…and how long it will continue nobody knows. Unless it comes to a peak, and just from the heavy breathing and perspiration, he wakes up.
One day, he was telling it to two of his friends, Chekhov and Gorky – both of the same caliber, both great novelists. He said, “I have asked psychoanalysts and others, and they don’t seem to find any meaning in it.”
Chekhov said, “You have said it – they cannot find the meaning – that is the problem. You also cannot find the meaning in your life. Your life is a meaningless life, just like those two shoes, going for no reason, not knowing where, not knowing why, but continuing in a desert where there is not even a tree to rest – it is all hot fire. But one has to reach, so they are going.”
And suddenly Tolstoy became aware of the fact that it was true. His wife was from the royal family, he himself was a count. His wife was a sadist, a disciplinarian. And you cannot expect a man like Tolstoy – a painter, a musician, a poet, a novelist, a dancer – to behave the ordinary way people behave; they live in their own world.
Because Tolstoy could not manage, there was continuous fight…life was so miserable, and the dream was simply a representation, a very hidden, symbolic dream. But from that day, the dream disappeared. The meaning had been understood. It means that for ten or twelve years, the unconscious was trying to send a message to the conscious; the conscious could not get the message, so the unconscious went on and on and on until the day he understood. Then the message stopped.
Mind is full of repressions which need release. There is a certain capacity – you cannot hold more than that.
Dreams are your unfulfilled desires, your repressed longings, your incomplete experiences, but they are all of the mind.
The vision is when the mind has gone, when the mind is in a state of silence and stillness, when there is not even a small stir of thoughts. The lake of the mind is absolutely calm and quiet. When the mind is absolutely calm and quiet, you can see – not through the mind but from a totally different source. In the East, we have called it the third eye. It is simply symbolic.
When these two eyes which function for the mind are closed and the mind is no longer working, suddenly you start seeing with a clarity that you never had before.
This is vision.
It has nothing to do with your repressions, nothing to do with your unfulfilled desires, nothing to do with your repressed instincts. It has something to do with the coming future. It is your clarity that has given you the opportunity to have a glimpse into the future.
And if your meditation goes on deepening, your vision will go on becoming more and more clear, in detail.
The vision is possible any time – day, night, waking, asleep. The dream is possible only in sleep.
The dream belongs to your small mind. The vision belongs to the universal mind.
The vision is an indication that you are coming closer to home. The dream is an indication you are going farther from home.
One strange thing, it is simple to make the distinction: dreams are always in black and white; visions are Technicolor. So if you forget everything else, you can remember this much. Because dreams are very ancient, they don’t know the new technology. They are still working with old photography and old plates, and everything is dim and dark. But visions are absolutely radiant and clear and full of color.
After dreams, you will find yourself tired. After seeing a vision, you will find yourself so full of energy…because the vision has been a contact with existence itself. Existence has refueled you, has given you more life because you have deserved it by going deeper in meditation.
A dream is indicative of a sick mind, a sick psychology.
Vision comes out of your inner health.

For the last two years, I have been doing karate-do and I love these awake moments where all thoughts disappear out of my head. Karate has the addition “do”, the Japanese meaning for the Tao of Lao Tzu. I ask you whether there is a connection between karate and enlightenment.
There have been many mergings of different traditions, religions: Jews and Christians, Christians and Mohammedans, Mohammedans and Hindus. But except for the Buddhist, all the conversions and mergers have been through force of some kind or other. Mohammedans and Christians have been fighting – killing living people, burning living people in thousands. They call it holy war, jihad.
Of course if your life is at risk, very few people will be fanatic enough to die rather than be converted, because anyway you are not much of a Hindu – what does it matter if you become a Mohammedan? You will not be going to the temple, you will be going to the mosque. You will not be reading Gita, you will be reading Koran. But these are superficial things. For these superficial things, why lose your life? Even if these people are mad, you are not mad.
Mohammedans converted millions of people to Mohammedanism through the sword, and those who refused were killed.
Christianity converts people by giving them bread, butter, houses, schools, hospitals. That is not very much different from the sword, because these people don’t understand at all the religion in which they are, and neither are they going to understand anything of the religion to which they are converting. Their interest is in material things.
I had a friend, a principal of a Christian college. I asked him, “How do you feel about conversion?” because his father had become a Christian when he was a young kid.
He took me inside the house. In his bedroom, he had a picture and he showed me: “This is my father.”
I said, “My God! But he looks like a beggar!”
He said, “Yes, he was a beggar. This is my mother. They had to become Christians just to survive and just to take care of us. They were very much interested that their children should be educated but they could not manage it.”
And he was in the same picture. You could not think there was any connection between those two old persons and this man. He is a principal, well-educated in the West, has the highest degrees, great respectability even among the Hindus.
And then his son-in-law, who is an American, is a psychoanalyst. For six months he practices in America and six months in India. And his daughter is one of the most beautiful women I have seen. Just a small thing is wrong, but that has nothing to do with anybody except her husband. She has a small beard that she is continuously shaving. But the more she shaves it, the more it grows. Her husband was saying to me, “I feel a little embarrassed to go with her anywhere, because people immediately see the first thing – her beard.” And she is such a beautiful woman…but perhaps nature was trying to see how a beard fits on a woman. It does not fit.
He said, “You can see what Christianity has done to us, what Hinduism has done to us. These are the Hindus – my father, my mother. In tatters…you can see they are hungry, you can see they have suffered their whole life.”
“And then,” he said, “you can look at me. You can look at my daughter, the doctor” – the daughter is also a doctor of psychology – “who also goes to America to practice. And she has married an American. Now they have cars, they have houses, they have bungalows in the hill station.”
I said, “I can understand. It is perfectly right, there is no problem, but this is not religious conversion, because religion does not seem to play any part in it.”
Conversion happens only when you experience something that you have never experienced before, and the experience is so radical that it does not allow you to continue, to remain the old self. It forces you to change your habits, to change your thoughts, to change everything, and be reborn.
The conversion that has happened through Buddhism is the only one that can be called religious. And because it was religious, there was no question of the sword, there was no question of bread and butter, or any kind of bribe. No violence…not even an invitation that you should become a Buddhist, but only sharing their meditations, their joys. And people seeing them, feeling them, became attracted, became followers of Gautam Buddha. But it was their own decision; no one has interfered in it.
Because of this phenomenon, the same happened in Tibet and the same happened in Japan. The old religion of Shinto in Japan dissolved into Buddhism, just as a river meets an ocean – no conflict, just a welcome merger.
What I want to emphasize is that because of the difference in conversion, something very great has happened. And that is that many things are born out of the meeting of Buddhism with Confucianism, of Buddhism with Taoism, of Buddhism with Shintoism. Many creative things have happened which have not happened in Hindus becoming Christians, Hindus becoming Mohammedans, Mohammedans becoming Christians, Jews becoming Mohammedans or Christians – no change like that has happened.
And that is going to be the criterion: the change that has happened is that they have all produced new methods that were inconceivable before. It was a friendship – nobody was higher, nobody was lower.
When a Hindu becomes a Christian, the Christian priest guides him in what to do. When a Taoist becomes friendly with Buddhism, nobody is going to guide him; they both have to share their experiences. And out of this sharing, a loving, friendly….
In China, Ch’an was the crossbreed between Buddhism and Tao – and Ch’an is certainly higher than both. Each child has to be higher than both the parents; otherwise, there would be no evolution. Evolution depends on the simple fact that every child has to defeat his father, his mother, in every possible way, in every possible direction.
Ch’an is far superior to Buddhism and Tao both. It is not out of conflict and violence and blood; it is out of sheer love and joy. It is an inquiry: what you have found, what I have found…perhaps they can be one whole. And that one whole is Ch’an.
In Japan, the thing happened even on a bigger scale. Ch’an reached a higher form, even more delicate and more superior, when Buddhism and Tao became acquainted with the old Japanese religion of Shinto. When Shinto dissolved into Buddhism, they refined Ch’an because they had a few new experiences which Buddhists had never encountered, which Taoists had never known.
Zen is the highest peak of meditation that has ever been reached.
Not only Zen…but in Japan almost a miracle has happened. Japan has tried the insights of Zen in other fields of life, for example, swordsmanship – a very faraway subject. Nobody can imagine what meditation has to do with a sword, but they developed swordsmanship in Japan. You learn it in the temple of Zen.
And this swordsmanship is not the same as it is all over the world. It is totally different in Japan; it is a method of meditation, because with swords you have to be very alert. You are fighting with swords – you have to be very alert; otherwise you are gone. In such situations, you cannot afford to be sleepy.
Swordsmanship has been used to develop that quality of awareness, and in the same way, the other martial arts – aikido, jujitsu, karate. All these are arts of the warrior, but the Japanese have transformed them for the war that you are going to fight inside yourself with the darkness, with your own ego, with all that is ugly in you.
Karate is connected with Tao, is connected with Gautam Buddha, is connected with Confucius. But neither Confucius nor Gautam Buddha nor Lao Tzu were aware that their meditative techniques would bring such a transformation that even martial arts, which have been developed to destroy man, to murder, to commit suicide…but they can be used because the situation of death facing you in any form makes you alert, aware.
And listening, and practicing jujitsu, karate, aikido…slowly, slowly you become more and more silent, more and more peaceful. The question of war and destruction disappears.
But this was possible because these religions met in a human way. The other three or four religions have met also, but they have met from the very beginning as enemies. So the Far East, where Buddhism has been the root, has been very creative. It is different from the rest of the world.
I would like you to understand meditation in such a way, that you can use it not only while you are meditating but while you are doing anything. Just do it more consciously, more gracefully, more lovingly and you have changed the very quality of the action.
And once you know to change the qualities of your actions, your whole life becomes the life of a meditator.

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