Start with Meditation
Osho on Enlightened Zen Master Lin chi
Born in 867 C.E., Lin Chi was Chinese master who founded the Zen Buddhist Lin-chi line. Lin-chi was noted for his emphasis on shouting ho and striking Kyosaku as techniques for spurring on the spiritual progress of his students. The Lin-chi way is characterized by dialectical formulae, the three statements (sanku), three mysteries (sangen), and three essentials (sanyo); and the sets of four—four alternatives (shiryoken), four conversations, four types of shouting (shikatsu). His sayings and some biographical information are gathered in Lin-chi lu which includes the notable command: ‘If you meet the Buddha, kill the Buddha; if you meet the patriarch, kill the patriarch’, which summarizes the goal of independence from even the highest authority in the achieving of what they alone have the authority to teach.
Osho, when he talks about Lin Chi, says, “Lin Chi, a great Zen Master, worked with his own Master for years. The Master taught him painting; through painting he was teaching him meditation. For twelve years, Lin Chi worked. Then he became perfect, he became the greatest painter. Then the Master said,’Now, your effort is complete. Now throw these brushes, these colors, these paintings, and forget all about painting.’ Twelve years’ effort, day and night; and this Master was a hard taskmaster. After such effort, arduous hardship, something had been attained; and then the Master said,’Throw it away.’ The Master has to be followed; Lin Chi threw the brushes, the ink, the paintings, and forgot all about it. Six years passed and then the Master said,’Now you can start painting.’ Lin Chi asked,’What is the meaning of it?’ The Master said,’Now you have attained to effortless effort.’
First, one has to learn effort. Then one has to learn effortlessness. If in your art your effort is present, then it is not great art. If you paint and effort is present, you are not a great master yet because the very effort shows that you are not one when you are painting. If you sing and in singing effort is present, then you are not a great singer. You are still trying hard to prove something. When you have really become a great singer, effort drops; you sing spontaneously. Your singing becomes like the singing of the birds; your singing becomes spontaneous.”
One Zen master, Lin Chi, was dying. Thousands of his disciples had gathered to listen to the last sermon, but Lin Chi was simply lying down — joyous, smiling, but not saying a single word. Seeing that he was going to die and he was not saying a single word, somebody reminded Lin Chi — an old friend, a master in his own right….
He was not a disciple of Lin Chi. That’s why he could say to him, “Lin Chi, have you forgotten that you have to say your last words? I have always said your memory isn’t right. You are dying… have you forgotten?”
Lin Chi said, “Just listen.” And on the roof two squirrels were running, screeching. And he said, “How beautiful” and he died.
For a moment, when he said “Just listen,” there was absolute silence. Everybody thought he is going to say something great, but only two squirrels fighting, screeching, running on the roof…. And he smiled and he died. But he has given his last message: don’t make things small and big, trivial and important. Everything is important. At this moment, Lin Chi’s death is as important as the two squirrels running on the roof, there is no difference. In existence it is all the same. That was his whole philosophy, his whole life’s teaching — that there is nothing which is great and there is nothing which is small; it all depends on you, what you make out of it.
Start with meditation, and things will go on growing in you — silence, serenity, blissfulness, sensitivity. And whatever comes out of meditation, try to bring it out in life. Share it, because everything shared grows fast. And when you have reached the point of death, you will know there is no death. You can say goodbye, there is no need for any tears of sadness — maybe tears of joy, but not of sadness.
But you have to begin from being innocent. So first, throw out all crap that you are carrying. And everybody is carrying so much crap — and one wonders, for what? Just because people have been telling you that these are great ideas, principles…
You have not been intelligent with yourself. Be intelligent with yourself. Life is very simple; it is a joyful dance. And the whole earth can be full of joy and dance, but there are people who are seriously vested in their interest that nobody should enjoy life, that nobody should smile, that nobody should laugh, that life is a sin, that it is a punishment.
How can you enjoy when the climate is such that you have been told continuously that it is a punishment? — that you are suffering because you have done wrong things and it is a kind of jail where you have been thrown to suffer?
I say to you life is not a jail, it is not a punishment. It is a reward, and it is given only to those who have earned it, who deserve it. Now it is your right to enjoy; it will be a sin if you DON’T enjoy. It will be against existence if you don’t beautify it, if you leave it just as you have found it. No, leave it a little happier, a little more beautiful, a little more fragrant.
This is an excerpt from the transcript of a public discourse by Osho in Buddha Hall, Shree Rajneesh Ashram, Pune.
Discourse name: Beyond Enlightenment
Chapter title: Unless the whole existence…
31 October 1986 pm in
Osho has also spoken on many Zen Masters and Mystics Mahakashyap, Bodhidharma, Hyakujo, Ma Tzu, Nansen, Dogen, Isan, Joshu, Kyozan, Basho, Bokuju, Sekito, Yakusan, Bankei, Sosan, Yoka, Nan-in, Ikkyu and many more in His discourses. Some of these can be referred to in the following books/discourses:
- Bodhidharma: The Greatest Zen Master
- Ancient Music in the Pines
- Ah, This!
- A Bird on the Wing
- Dang Dang Doko Dang
- Dogen, the Zen Master: A Search and a Fulfillment
- Hsin Hsin Ming: The Book of Nothing
- God is Dead, Now Zen is the Only Living Truth
- Isan: No Footprints in the Blue Sky
- Joshu: The Lion’s Roar
- Kyozan: A True Man of Zen
- The Language of Existence
- Ma Tzu: The Empty Mirror
- Nansen: The Point of Departure
- Hyakujo: The Everest of Zen, with Basho’s Haikus
- No Mind: The Flowers of Eternity
- No Water, No Moon
- Yakusan: Straight to the Point of Enlightenment
- Zen: Zest, Zip, Zap and Zing