Take It Easy Vol 1 03

Third Discourse from the series of 14 discourses - Take It Easy Vol 1 by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

If at the end of our journey
There be no final resting place,
How can there be
A way to lose ourselves in?

That mischievous creature,
Having appeared in the world,
Misled, alas,
How many people!

The mind –
What shall we call it?
It is the sound of the breeze
That blows through the pines
In the Indian-ink picture.

The mind remaining
Just as it was born –
Without any prayer
It becomes the Buddha.

Tell a lie,
And you fall into hell.
Then what will happen to Buddha
Who contrived
Things that don’t exist?
Truth is not a commodity that is wanted by people. They think they already know it. And even if they think they don’t know it, they think “Who needs it?” Their need is for more magic in their life, for more illusions, for more dreams.
The ordinary mind is constantly seeking new dreams, new sensations. In fact, it is afraid of truth. The truth may shatter its magic; it may shatter its desires, it may shatter the beautiful dreams that one has been going through.
Truth is not needed by people. The moment a person becomes interested in truth he is no longer part of the mob; he becomes an individual. That very interest creates individuality, otherwise, you remain part of the crowd, you don’t really exist. You start existing only when you start searching for truth. But the search is arduous. It needs courage, it needs intelligence, it needs awareness.
Buddhism is no ordinary religion. It is not a religion of the mob, it is the religion of rare individuals. It is not the religion of the mediocre, it is the religion of those who are really intelligent. No other religion is so individualistic. And the paradox is that Buddha says there is no self, the paradox is that Buddha does not believe in individuality – but his religion is that of the individuals.
Just to be interested in what Buddha has said is a great adventure, because nobody before or after has been such a radical revolutionary.
Today’s sutras of Ikkyu are of immense importance.
The first sutra:
If at the end of our journey
There be no final resting place,
How can there be
A way to lose ourselves in?
You will have to meditate over it. Slowly, slowly, the meaning will dawn into your consciousness.
First: there is no goal, so nobody can go astray. Let it penetrate your heart, let it pierce you like an arrow. There is no goal in life, so there is no way to miss it. All other religions depend on that; all other religions go on telling people: “You are missing.” That is the meaning of the word sin – to miss, to miss the target. The original Hebrew root means to miss the target; not being able to reach the goal – that is sin.
According to Gautam Buddha, there can be no sin. You can’t miss it because there is nothing to miss. The goal does not exist; the goal is imaginary, it is your creation. You create the goal, then you create virtue and sin. Those who are moving toward the goal are virtuous, and those who are not moving toward the goal are sinners. You create the goal and then you divide humanity into saints and sinners. Drop the goal and saints disappear, sinners disappear, divisions disappear, the higher and the lower disappear – and valuation disappears, and then there is no heaven and no hell.
See the point of it: just the idea of the goal creates heaven and hell. Those who are moving toward the goal – the obedient people, the good people – they will be rewarded by heaven. And those who are not going toward the goal – the sinners, the bad people – they will be punished by hell. First you create the goal and then everything follows: then heaven and hell are created, then saints and sinners are created, and then fear is created – fear of losing the goal – and then ego is created, the ego of attaining the goal. You have created the whole mess, the whole neurosis of mind.
Buddha strikes at the very root: he says there is no goal. Just this simple statement can become a liberating force: there is no goal. Then one is not going anywhere. One is always here; one is never going anywhere. There is nowhere to go, and there is nobody to go. All has always been here, and all has always been available.
The goal means the future; then you start becoming more interested in the future, you start forgetting about the present. The goal creates tension, anguish, fear – whether you are going to make it or not – and competition and jealousy and conflict, and the hierarchy. Those who are coming closer to the goal are higher; those who are not coming closer to the goal are lower.
The whole Christian church depends on a single phenomenon: disobedience. Buddha says there is nobody to command and there is no way to obey.
Life has no goal as such. Life itself is its own goal; the goal is intrinsic. The value of life is in itself; it does not come from anything else. Life is not a means to some end somewhere in the future. Life is its own end, its own means. Life is all. Once you understand this you cannot say life is meaningless.

Socrates started a certain idea in the West which has culminated in its logical perfection in Sartre. Socrates says: “A life lived without meaning is not worth living.” Now this is the seed. From Socrates to Sartre this seed has been growing and growing down the ages in the West. Now Sartre says: Because there is no meaning, life is meaningless, not worth living at all.
Albert Camus says: “The only problem that man has to solve is the problem of suicide, the only metaphysical problem.” Why? – because he says life is meaningless, so why live? If Socrates is right, that a life is only worth living when it has some meaning, some goal; when it is moving somewhere, reaching somewhere, attaining something, achieving something – only then it is worth living – then if there is nothing to achieve and nowhere to go, life is meaningless. Then why live at all? why not commit suicide?
Buddha’s understanding is totally different. He says: Life is its own meaning. You need not create any other meaning – and all created meanings will become just sources of anxiety. The rose blooming in the garden is not blooming for something else, and the river flowing to the ocean is not flowing for something else. The flow is the joy, the flowering is the celebration.
You are in love – meditate over the phenomenon. Is the love leading you somewhere? Love is its own delight; it need not have any other goal. It is enough unto itself.
When you drop the idea of meaning and goal, a strange phenomenon happens: the idea of meaninglessness also disappears. With the idea of meaning, side by side, parallel, runs another idea: the idea of meaninglessness. Buddha cuts the root. He says there is no meaning to be attained, hence there is no question of feeling meaninglessness. Life in itself is its value.
Ikkyu comments on this beautiful existential intuition:
If at the end of our journey there is no final resting place, how can there be a way to lose ourselves in? There cannot be. Nobody has ever gone astray. Adam has never left the Garden of Eden. He is still living in the Garden of Eden – but he has become goal-oriented, so he cannot see it. He has started thinking of the future. Because of that thought of the future, his mind is clouded and he cannot see that which is around.
When you are too much future-oriented, you start becoming forgetful about the present which is the only reality.
These birds chattering, that faraway cuckoo, this moment, this herenow is forgotten when you start thinking in terms of achieving something. When the achieving mind arises, you lose contact with the paradise you are in.
This is one of the most liberating approaches: it liberates you right now. Forget all about sin and forget all about saintliness. Both are stupid, both together have destroyed all the joys of humanity. The sinner is feeling guilty, hence his joy is lost. How can you enjoy life if you are continuously feeling guilty, if you are continually going to the church to confess that you have done this wrong and that wrong? And wrong and wrong and wrong…your whole life seems to be made of sins. How can you live joyously?
It becomes impossible to delight in life. You become heavy, loaded. Guilt sits on your chest like a rock, it crushes you; it does not allow you to dance. How can you dance? How can guilt dance? How can guilt sing? How can guilt love? How can guilt live? So the one who thinks he is doing something wrong is guilty, burdened, dead before death, has already entered into the grave.
And the person who thinks he is a saint cannot live, cannot delight either, because he is afraid if he delights he may lose his saintliness, if he laughs he may fall from his high posture. Laughter is mundane, joy is ordinary; the saint has to be serious, utterly serious; he has to be a long face. He cannot dance, because dance may distract him. He cannot hold the hand of anybody; he may fall in love and attachment may arise. He cannot look at a beautiful woman or a man – who knows, somewhere lurking in the deeper layers of unconsciousness there may be a desire, a lust. He cannot relax, because if you relax, your repressed desires will start surfacing. He has to repress them continuously. A saint is never on a holiday, cannot be, because the holiday means he will have to allow all that he has been controlling. A saint cannot relax, and if you cannot relax, how can you enjoy, how can you celebrate, how can you be grateful?
The sinner loses because of guilt and the saint loses because of the ego, the pious ego. Both are losers. And both are parts of the same game, partners in the same game, and the game is created by the goal. Give a goal to humanity and humanity will remain in misery. Goals are misery-creating.
The achieving mind, the constantly achieving mind, is the original source of all illness, of all disease.
Buddha says: There is nowhere to go – relax. You can’t miss in the first place – relax. How can you miss? There is no target! Wrong has never been done, and right has never been done. There is nothing right, nothing wrong. In fact, there is no doer – how can you do wrong or right? There is no doer – how can you be a sinner or a saint? Deep inside you are just a hollow bamboo and existence flows through you for no other motive than the sheer delight of flowing.
Existence flows because it delights in flowing. There is no utilitarian goal.
That’s why I say religion can only speak the language of poetry. It cannot speak the language of arithmetic, it cannot speak the language of logic – it can only speak the language of love. Logic is always goal-oriented; arithmetic is always goal-oriented. Watch the roseflowers and the grass leaves and the rivers and the mountains, live with nature, and slowly, slowly you will see nothing is going anywhere. Everything is moving, but not in any particular direction to a particular goal.
Movement is delight.
That’s what William Blake, one of the great mystic poets of the West, says: Energy is delight.
If there is no way to lose yourself, no way to sin, no way to become a saint and no way to feel guilt, the so-called religion disappears, the church becomes meaningless, the dogmas and the rituals lose all significance. Then life becomes religion, and then there is no other religion beyond life, other than life. Then life becomes the only scripture, then life becomes all that is there.
Live and know, live and feel, live and be.
The religion of Buddha is a religionless religion, and Zen is its culmination, Zen is its fragrance. What was a seed in Buddha has become a fragrance in Zen. Zen is the pure essence of Buddha’s heart. What this man, Gautam Siddhartha, realized, what this man came to see, has been expressed by Zen in its uttermost beauty. It rarely happens.
Ordinarily what happens is… Jesus comes and he himself is the greatest expression of what he has experienced. Slowly, slowly, the followers are less intelligent, more mediocre. And by the time the church has become established, it has become part of the mob, of the crowd, of the lowest – the lowest in intelligence, awareness, love. It has lost its glory. It has lost its snow-capped peaks. Now it moves in the dark valleys.
With Buddha, a totally different phenomenon happened. He was one of the most fortunate masters of human history, because what he found has been going on higher and higher in its expression, in its poetry, in its rhythm. In Zen it has come to its uttermost flowering. Zen is pure essence, just fragrance. Only those who are really intelligent will be able to understand it; otherwise, the mediocre will feel offended – even mediocre Buddhists feel very offended.
Just listen to Ikkyu’s words… The mediocre man cannot find any security in them. He lives through goals – the mediocre sinner and the mediocre saint both live through goals. Only an absolutely intelligent person can live without goals; only intelligence can live herenow. Only intelligence can live in the moment without bringing anything from the outside.
Jesus says to look at the lilies of the field. They think not of the morrow, they toil not. And yet even Solomon, attired in all his costly clothes, was not as beautiful as these poor lily-flowers.
What is so beautiful in these lily-flowers? Solomon is not so beautiful with all his kingdom and riches. Even he was not attired in such grandeur, in such splendor as these poor lily-flowers. What is so beautiful in these flowers? They live in the moment, they think not of the morrow.
A man of absolute intelligence becomes a flower. He lives herenow. He has no past and he has no future. And because he has no past and he has no future, you cannot say that he lives in the present either, because present is just a midway station between the movement that happens from past to future. The present is just a station on the way. When past and future disappear, present also disappears. What is left is timelessness. Now is a timeless moment. It is eternity – and Buddha calls it meditation.
If guilt disappears, religion disappears. And guilt disappears if the goal disappears. Guilt is a shadow of the goal.
Now, Christianity won’t like it, Islam won’t like it, Hindus won’t like it – they all live on the goal. They will not like this flight to the beyond; they will not like this poetic, aesthetic religion. They have become accustomed to a very ordinary religion, businesslike; it is part of their marketplace.
Buddha is very wide-winged. He goes to the farthest sky. He wants you to come to those heights of being, depth of being – and they are all available now. So remember again and again: he is not giving you a goal somewhere in the future, he is simply making you aware that all that you need is available now. Nothing more is needed. Nothing more will ever happen, nothing more can ever happen. If you want to live, all is happening now. Become part of it, dissolve into it. And to help you dissolve into it he emphasizes that there is no self – because if there is a self you cannot dissolve. You can dissolve only if there is no self.
With one stroke of his sword, Buddha makes all religions disappear – the priest, the saint, the sinner, the commandments, Adam and Eve, disobedience, the original sin. With one stroke of his sword they all disappear, they are annihilated. Man is left alone – and nature. And because there is no self inside you, there is no division between inside and outside, there is no boundary between outside and inside. Outside is inside, inside is outside.
That’s why a strange paradoxical statement has been made by Zen people: Samsara is nirvana – this very world is enlightenment, this very earth is the lotus-land of buddhas, and this very body the Buddha.
Second thing: this understanding has not to be practiced. You cannot practice it, because practice implies the goal. This understanding either is there or is not there. There is no methodology to practice it.
Practicing means you are again thinking to do something tomorrow, or at least you can do it tomorrow and you can reap the results tomorrow. But the tomorrow has entered somewhere deep in your unconscious, it has come back. No practice can give you this understanding. This understanding is not a question of practice; this understanding is only a question of understanding.
So it was not accidental that Buddha and his teaching were destroyed in India, because the mediocre mind could not tolerate him, his insight: it was too much. They could not understand it. They wanted some methodology to be given, to be practiced, and Buddha was talking of pure essence. And he says: Right now is deliverance.
And a very strange phenomenon happens: if there is no sin and no saintliness, whatsoever you have been doing starts changing. Not that you change it, in fact, to commit a sin, first it has to be a sin. Go deep into it. The temptation of a sin is because of the denial, the joy of committing it comes because it is a sin. If it is no longer a sin, the very temptation disappears.
If Adam had not been told, “Don’t eat from this Tree of Knowledge,” he would have never bothered about it. The very commandment created the temptation.
Watch your own mind, how it functions. If it is said about something, “Don’t do it!” a great desire to do it arises. One feels offended by the commandment. One wants to rebel; one wants to assert oneself. One wants to say, “I am myself, and I will do my own thing, and I am not going to listen to anybody.”
Each child passes through that stage, and each man and woman is stuck in that stage. Whatsoever your parents have been telling you not to do you have been doing. In fact, by their telling you constantly not to do they are creating temptations. Freedom is very non-tempting, remember it. If the world has freedom to do things, sins will disappear of their own accord; there will be no need to make them disappear.
And man has tried down the ages to make them disappear and has not succeeded. But the same stupid, vicious circle continues. Again and again man has tried to force laws on people, and the more those laws are enforced, the more people become rebellious. They have to become rebellious, because that seems to be the only way to protect their freedom, their being. Otherwise, they will be turned and reduced to slaves.
Adam did well; otherwise he would have been in paradise, but a slave. What is the point of being in a paradise and a slave? That doesn’t appeal to the dignity of your inner consciousness. It is better to be in hell but to be oneself; it is better to suffer but to be. It is better to suffer and to go to the very end of suffering, but not to lose one’s ground, one’s freedom, one’s dignity.
Adam did well. If he had lived in paradise and had not rebelled and had not eaten the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, he would have been an impotent person, he would have been spineless, he would have been bloodless, he would have been dead. He did well. He came out; he risked, he was courageous. It was worth losing that paradise for freedom’s sake.
And this happens to everybody, and the society has not yet understood this simple phenomenon. People go on prohibiting: “Don’t do this!” “Don’t do that!” And the same commandment creates a great urge to go against it. Sins exist because of the saints.
I have heard…

A small boy saw a small girl carrying an apple. He told the girl, “Would you like to play a game with me?”
The girl asked, “What game?”
He said, “Adam and Eve.”
The girl said, “Good – what has to be done then?”
The boy said, “You tempt me, you say, ‘Don’t eat this apple!’ and I will eat it.”

The human mind functions that way.
Buddha says: If goals disappear, virtues and sins will automatically disappear. And people will be transformed, because there will be no temptation to do anything, because there will be no commandment. Just see the point of it. Just watch that inside you. What have you been doing?
My own observation of thousands of sannyasins is that they are still fighting with their parents, continuously. Their deep problem is their parents have told them not to do something: if they do it, they feel guilty, if they don’t do it, they feel they are not free. Either way they are in a trap, and they go on fighting.
A man becomes free only when he is no longer reacting to his parents, when those parental voices have disappeared from consciousness, when they have no more impact this way or that, when they no longer create for or against in you. When you are almost able to ignore them, to be indifferent to them, you have become a mature person.
People ask me: “What is the definition of a mature person?” The person who is free of his parents is a mature person.
Jesus is right when he says to his disciples that unless you hate your parents, you will not be able to follow me. Now, a man who preaches love saying that looks very absurd – but he is right.
My own feeling is that the word hate is a mistranslation from the Hebrew. I don’t know Hebrew, but I know Jesus. That’s why I say it must be a mistranslation. He must have said: Be indifferent, ignore. Don’t be attached anymore. He must have used some term which means “be detached” from your parents, because the word hate cannot be used for many reasons.
One thing: if you hate your parents, you are not yet detached, you are not free. Hate means you are against, so they will control you still. They will control in a subtle way: you will go on doing things that they wanted you not to do because you hate them. Your parents were saying, “Don’t smoke,” and you will go on smoking because you hate them. This is the way you show your hatred. But you are attached, you are still connected. You have not been able to disconnect yourself. You are still tethered; you are still holding the apron string of your mother. You are still childish.
Neither love nor hate – the parental voice has to disappear. You have to just watch it disappearing.
Buddha goes even further. He says: Unless you kill your parents… “Unless you kill your parents” – he does not mean that you have to actually murder them, but deep inside you have to murder them. You have to drop them. You have to forgive and forget. Don’t react to your parents’ voices inside you.
And a modern trend in psychoanalysis – transpersonal psychoanalysis, transpersonal psychotherapy – will agree perfectly with Buddha and Jesus. Once you are free from the goal, the guilt, the ego, you suddenly lose all temptation.
It happened once…

A young man wanted to commit suicide. He was my friend. His parents were very worried. He closed himself in a room; his father came running to me. First they tried to persuade him to come out of the room, but he wouldn’t listen to them, he wouldn’t answer. The whole neighborhood gathered there; they were all trying to persuade him. He stopped talking to them; he became quiet, absolutely quiet. They would knock on the doors and he would not answer. There was great fear: “Has he committed suicide? Is he going to commit? What is happening?” There was a panic.
The father came to me and said, “You come – something urgently needs to be done. His life is in danger.”
I went there and they were crying. The mother was crying – he was the only child. The father was crying and the friends had gathered. The whole neighborhood was there. I went to the door, I knocked on the door and I said, “Listen, if you really want to commit suicide, this is no way. Why gather such a crowd? Why make so much fuss? I have brought my car. I will take you to a beautiful place on the Narmada River. You can jump from there.”
He opened the door; he looked at me with very suspicious eyes. He could not believe it. I said, “You come with me.”
He came with me. I asked him, “Would you like to do anything before you commit suicide? Would you like some food – some Italian dish, spaghetti, or something else? Would you like to go to a movie? Would you like to see your girlfriend, or anything? – because this is your last chance. And I have other things to do also, so you just finish soon. I want to be back home by twelve o’clock at night. So eleven we will leave, you take the jump, I say goodbye to you – and it is finished! Why make so much nonsense? And this is not a place to die, in the marketplace.”
And the place where I used to live, Jabalpur, has a beautiful spot. If anybody wants to commit suicide, I have never come across a more beautiful spot. For three, four miles, marble hills, just marble hills, and between those hills flows the River Narmada. People say there is no other place in the world so beautiful. The Taj Mahal is nothing compared to it. It is unbelievable. When you go into it on a full-moon night on the boat, you cannot believe your eyes that such a thing can exist.
Many times when I took people for the first time, they could not believe it. One of my old teachers went with me, and he started crying and he said, “I would like to touch and feel the rocks, because I cannot believe that they are real. This is more beautiful than any dream I have ever seen.”
So I said, “In such a marketplace, trying to die? Come on!”
By and by – and he was just listening to me and he was not saying yes or no – he said, “I have nothing to do, but I am very tired. I would like to sleep for a few hours.”
I said, “Okay, you sleep in my room. I will also sleep and we can fix the alarm and we will go.”
So I fixed the alarm, and I saw he could not sleep. He was turning and tossing, and when the alarm went off he immediately put it off. And I said, “What are you doing?”
He said, “I am very tired!”
I said, “I am not tired, that is my problem because I will have to come back, too. You will be finished once and forever. These are not questions a dying man has – tired, this and that. What is the point of being tired or rested? Just get into the car!”
He became very angry and said, “Are you my friend or my enemy? I don’t want to commit suicide! Why are you forcing me to commit suicide?”
I said, “I am not forcing – you wanted to commit. I am simply a friend and helping; I am simply cooperating. If you don’t want to commit, that is your business. But whenever you want to commit, come and I will be here!”
And he never came. Not only that, he started avoiding me. I have not seen him for years.

Temptation comes out of denial. All those people clamoring and shouting and crying and weeping would have helped him to die; they were tempting him. He was getting more and more into the idea. When so many people are saying no, it is very natural to get tempted.
Just watch inside yourself: what have you been doing? Are you still fighting with your parents, going against them, doing something that they never wanted you to do, doing something that they were very angry with? Are you fighting with your priest and your politicians? Then you will remain in their power.
Buddha says: Once the denial disappears, the temptation also goes with it. Temptation is a shadow of the denial.
So remember, don’t think that Buddha is saying: Go on committing suicide, go on committing sins, go on doing this and that. He is simply saying: Understand it. And through understanding you will simply see that life takes a new turn, a transformation happens. You start living in a totally different way than you have ever lived before. You start living silently, joyously, celebratingly.
The second sutra:
That mischievous creature,
Having appeared in the world,
Misled, alas,
How many people!
This can be said only by a Zen master. It is said in utter respect and love. Sakyamuni is the Japanese name of Gautam Buddha. Now, Ikkyu is a follower of Gautam Buddha, in tremendous love with Gautam Buddha, a Buddha himself. Now, very jokingly he says:
Sakyamuni, that mischievous creature, having appeared in the world, misled, alas, how many people! What is he saying? Christians can’t understand it, Hindus can’t understand it. This is a totally different language – a language of love, a language of understanding. Buddha will understand; Ikkyu knows that. Others who are buddhas will understand it; Ikkyu knows it. It can be said.
He is saying: There is no goal, there is no way, then what were you teaching to people? If there is no goal and nobody can go astray, then what were you doing for forty years continuously, guiding people? You mischievous person, having appeared in the world… In the first place there was no need for you to appear in the world, because Buddhists say – traditional Buddhists, not Zen Buddhists – Buddhists say Buddha appeared in the world to guide people to salvation. Ikkyu is referring to that.
Buddhists say Buddha appeared in the world to guide the ignorant toward enlightenment. Ikkyu is saying: “What nonsense! Buddha says there is no goal, there is no enlightenment, there is nowhere to go – why did he appear in the first place? And for forty years teaching people, naturally, is mischievous – because all guidance is misguidance. There is nowhere to go, then what is the point of guiding?”
Sakyamuni, that mischievous creature, having appeared in the world, misled, alas, how many people! And millions and millions of people have been following Buddha. They have not understood. If they had understood they would have become buddhas, not followers.
And, being with me, you have to remember that. Become enlightened, don’t try to become enlightened. Trying is missing the whole point. I am not here to guide you. I am here to take all guidance away. I am not here to lead you into some other world. I am here to make you aware that there is nowhere to go and there is nobody to lead and nobody to be led.
Seeing the point, laughter arises, and that laughter is enlightenment. Seeing the point, one relaxes – that relaxation is enlightenment.
Jokingly, Ikkyu is teasing the master. He is saying: Sakyamuni, that mischievous creature, having appeared in the world, misled, alas, how many people! See the beauty of it, the love and the tremendous respect. If some Christian says such a thing about Jesus – “mischievous creature” – all Christians will be very offended. That person will be immediately excommunicated from the church; he will be condemned as a sinner. You can’t call Jesus a mischievous person – because you have never loved him so deeply. You are afraid. Love is not afraid. You have not really respected Jesus. You are afraid if you say such things, your respect will be destroyed. But Ikkyu knows the respect is so deep that it cannot be destroyed by anything. He can burn Buddha on a cold night, and no fear arises. No Christian can do that, no Hindu can do that, no Jaina can do that. That simply shows there is some fear: you are afraid it may be disrespectful. But the fear arises only if you have some disrespect somewhere.
Ikkyu is so certain, so absolutely certain, so unhesitatingly certain – that’s why he can burn Buddha, and he can tie Buddha to a pole and can say to him, “Now you cool yourself.”
There is no goal, there is no way – and Buddha taught the way? There is no way to be there, but to be there. And, moreover, there is no there either, but only here. All leadership is misleading, and to guide is to misguide. Buddha was not a guide and Buddha was not a leader.
Neither am I a guide; I am simply sharing my understanding, not guiding you. If you love me, if you love this moment of sharing, you will see a few things immediately. You need not wait for tomorrow, because all that happens, happens now. The trees are green now, and the birds are singing now, and the rivers are flowing now, and I am speaking now. And you are thinking to get enlightened tomorrow? Now or never!
It is a sharing. It is not guidance. There is no way, so there cannot be any guide, and there cannot be any guidebooks, either.
The master is one who guides without guiding and leads without leading – who simply shares his understanding, his being, his love; who makes himself available to people who are ready to see, who are ready to open their eyes, who are ready to open their hearts. I am available. If you are also available to me, then something is going to happen this moment. Then something is already happening. In that availability between the master and the disciple, something is immediately transferred, some transformation happens.
One cannot get out of illusion, because illusion is that which is not. You have never been in it. See the point and you are out of it – the goose is out! The great illusion is to think that there is illusion.
The mind –
What shall we call it?
It is the sound of the breeze
That blows through the pines
In the Indian-ink picture.
Ikkyu has expressed it perfectly well. What is this mind, this illusion in which we are living? What to call it? The mind is not something and it is not nothing. It is something between the two. It is not real, otherwise you could not get out of it. It is not unreal either, otherwise it would not have been there. Then what is it?
The mind – what shall we call it? It is just in between the two; it is unreal and appears as real – it is an appearance. You see…
One evening, the sun has set and it is darkening. The night is descending, and on a footpath in a forest you come across a rope. But you don’t see the rope, you see a snake. The rope is there, but the rope has triggered the idea of a snake in you. Many things must have contributed to it. You were afraid; it was getting dark and you are not yet home and the forest is dangerous, and the animals and snakes and lions and – who knows? – and ghosts. And when you are alone in a forest all kinds of things start becoming, taking shape in your mind. And out of that fearing mind you see a rope, but you can’t see the rope. Your eyes are so full of fear, ideas, imaginations, you see a snake. And maybe the wind was blowing and the rope had shaken a little bit, was trembling. And you start running away, and you scream, and you are in danger.
Such is the mind! A rope not seen as rope, a rope seen as a snake, is the mind. One has to come closer to the snake to see what it actually is.
That’s what meditation is all about. Come closer to the mind, become a witness, watch it. Watch silently. Don’t analyze – just watch. Look into it, what it is, what is happening. And sooner or later you will see there is only a rope, no snake. The moment the rope is seen, the snake has disappeared. Then you will not ask, “What am I going to do with the snake now? Should I kill it?” That question is meaningless.
This is the situation of the mind. We have not seen it clearly, we have not seen it from a closer viewpoint. We have not seen it through awareness, alertness. We have not watched it.
The mind – what shall we call it? It is the sound of the breeze that blows through the pines in the Indian-ink picture. A beautiful illustration: fragile Indian-ink on a fragile Japanese rice-paper, and pine trees and wind blowing.
Have you seen Zen paintings? No other style of painting can paint breeze. For that, that fragile rice-paper is needed and the fragile Indian black ink, and a Zen master to paint it because he knows the mind. Just an idea – but you can see in the painting the breeze blowing and the trees bending and the river has ripples. And a small, small human figure, and his clothes are also showing the wind; you can see the flow of the wind. The wind can’t be seen, but you can see the impact of the wind. It is not unreal, it is not absolutely unreal, otherwise how can you see it? It is not real either, because how can it be real? – it is just an ink painting. So it is somewhere between the two; it is maya, it is magic, it is illusion, it is dream.
So don’t fight with the mind and don’t flee from the mind either. In both cases you have taken it for granted that it is real. There are two types of people: those who follow the mind – they have taken it as real – and those who either fight or flee; they have also taken it as real. There is no need to follow it, there is no need to fight or flee. All that is needed is to look deep into it.
A deep look, and you see the pine trees bending in an ink painting. The breeze is just a painted breeze; nothing is real there, nothing is really happening there. Have you not seen your mind as just a movie, millions of pictures moving?
Aldous Huxley has imagined in some future century that movies will change into feelies. It is possible, and it is going to happen, because whatsoever a man once imagines sooner or later becomes a reality. A feelie is going to happen. A feelie means you will be sitting in a movie house, but you will not only see, you will also feel.
For example, it is raining…then you will feel the wetness in the air, the wind blowing, even a few drops of water coming to you. You see on the screen a rose garden and the whole house will become full of rose fragrance. If the film is three-dimensional and creates all the sensations that are moving in front of you, it will create more illusions.
And it can be done in such a way… That too is possible. In Disneyland they have some place like that, where the screen is not only in front, but the screen is all around you. You are sitting just in the middle, just as you are sitting here in the middle. If you look at the back, you see the trees. If you look at me, I am here; if you look at the side, the people. You are sitting in the middle and the screen is all around.
They have made a few films, experimental. For example, you are flying in an airplane and you look out of the window this side and you see the clouds and the sun setting, and you look from the other side and it is darkening, and you look at the back and you see the clouds going further away, back, and you look ahead and you are reaching into something else. And if you can also smell, then the reality will become more and more real. It can almost grip you absolutely; you can forget for a few moments that what you are seeing is just a movie or a feelie. You can be lost.
And this is the situation we are in; this is what mind is. Mind is a feelie. It is simply making many dreams available to you, but in three dimensions, with all the feelings.
Just think: it is possible one day, sitting glued in the chair before your TV, you see a beautiful woman walk out of the TV, hug you – and you know this is just a feelie. This is possible! This is going to happen. And you know deep down that this is just nonsense, there is nobody, but still, you can smell the woman, the French perfume. You can even touch her, the curves…
How can you protect yourself? This is possible; this is not impossible. This is going to happen. Theoretically it has become possible; now practically it is going to become possible. Then you may be lost for a few seconds in a great love affair. You will forget – you would like to forget. Who wants to remember the truth when such a beautiful woman is there? You say, “Okay, let it be a dream or whatsoever it is, but let me enjoy right now.” And she is hugging you and you can feel her all over your body. And still deep down somewhere a consciousness goes on saying that this is just a feelie, there is nobody.
This is what happens to a meditator. A meditator will still love a woman, but he knows this is a feelie. He will hold hands and will know. Who knows whether there is anybody or not? There is no way to prove that somebody else exists outside you. In a dream you think whatsoever you are seeing is true; in the morning it is not true, no longer true. Now, is there any way to say, right now, whether you are seeing me in a dream or in reality? It may be just a dream! You have fallen asleep and you are dreaming the morning talk. Is there any way to distinguish whether it is real or unreal? There is no way. It may be just a dream; you may be just seeing things and they may not be there.
And the problem becomes very, very deep, because in a dream you forget that it is a dream. And you have seen the dream so many times, millions of times, and always in the morning you find it was all unreal. But the next day again you see the dream and it is real again.
The day-dream becomes unreal in the night, and the night-dream becomes unreal in the day. Now what is the way to decide which is which, and which is really real and which is only apparently real?
Buddha says it is all a mind game. Closely watch the mind, and slowly, slowly you can start seeing the mind game. Not that you need not be there anymore, because it is all a mind game – where are you going, where can you go? There is no need to go anywhere, but just to know.
You can enjoy this picture all around you in Disneyland: you are flying in an airplane, and you can see Niagara Falls and the mountains receding back, and you can see from every side…and then you are disillusioned for a moment. There will be a continuous shifting of consciousness: one moment you will think it is real, one moment you will think, “It is not real; I am just in Disneyland.”
Mind is a Disneyland.
The mind –
What shall we call it?
It is the sound of the breeze
That blows through the pines
In the Indian-ink picture.

The mind remaining
Just as it was born –
Without any prayer
It becomes the Buddha.
A very revolutionary statement: the mind remaining just as it was born. If the mind remains just a mirror and reflects nothing, is not conditioned by anything, has no content… The content-less mind is the only reality we can be certain about and certain of.
That’s why Zen people say: Look into the original mind. “Original mind” means when there was no impact of anything on the mind: before conditioning started, before you were told who you are, before you were taught, before you learned, before your mind started collecting contents. Just go deep down into that first moment where there was no content but only the container, just the mirror reflecting nothing. That is real. The witness is real.
The mind remaining just as it was born – without any prayer it becomes the Buddha. Then there is no need to pray, no need to do anything; no methodology, no technique is needed. Just go deep down and see the original mind, the contentless mind – the mirror without dust, the mind without thoughts, without clouds – and you have arrived, and you are a buddha.
The difference between you and Buddha is only this: you have more than Buddha. Buddha has less than you, because Buddha is just a pure mind and you are a thousand and one things added to that purity. So remember, Buddha is poorer than you, I am poorer than you. You are far richer than me. I am lacking many things, missing many things: misery, meaninglessness, frustration, anger, passion, greed…and a thousand and one things you can count. You are really rich!
When Buddha attained enlightenment, somebody asked him, “What have you gained?”
He laughed. He said, “I have not gained, I have lost much. I am far poorer than I used to be. I have lost all ignorance, all illusions, all dreams. Now I am just my originality.”
Tell a lie,
And you fall into hell.
Then what will happen to Buddha
Who contrived
Things that don’t exist?
Again, Ikkyu is again and again teasing Buddha. He says: Tell a lie… Buddha has said: Don’t tell lies. Buddha says: “Tell a lie and you will fall into hell.” “Then what about Buddha himself?” Ikkyu asks. “He has been telling all kinds of lies.”
In the first place, truth cannot be said, so whatsoever you say about it is a lie. And Buddha talked for forty-two years, day in, day out, morning, evening, he was talking and talking. And he says truth cannot be said! Then for forty-two years, what was this man doing? Was he crazy? Truth cannot be said, and he went on saying and saying…and that’s what I am doing.
I say truth cannot be said, never has been said, will never be said – so whatsoever I am saying cannot be true.
Ikkyu asks:
Tell a lie, and you fall into hell. Then what will happen to Buddha who contrived things that don’t exist? And Buddha not only says a thousand and one things about truth, he also goes on devising methods, meditations – vipassana, anapansatiyoga. And he says there is no way to do anything, there is no need to do anything, and still he teaches people what to do, how to do. He says there is no goal and he talks about the path. He says there is nowhere to go and he says: I will teach you the right path to it. Now what kind of nonsense is this? It is nonsense, but still of great significance.
Through talking for forty-two years continuously and saying again and again that truth cannot be said, he made many people aware of the phenomenon that truth cannot be said. He made many people realize the phenomenon that truth cannot be said – that truth can only be experienced. By devising methods, meditations, he helped many people to come to a point where one knows no meditation is needed and no meditation was needed in the beginning, either.
But people are such that even if they come to truth, they come very, very slowly, very grudgingly, very hesitatingly. Inch by inch they have to be pushed. The phenomenon can happen in a single jump, but they have to be pushed inch by inch. And to push them, a thousand and one lies have to be invented by the master, have to be invented. I go on inventing lies – and just have mercy on me, otherwise I am going to hell!
Listen and understand what I am saying, otherwise I will have to invent more lies. If you don’t listen then there is no other way than to go on inventing lies. It is like this – Buddha has told a story:

A man returns home – he has been to the market. When he comes home, suddenly he sees the house is on fire. His children are playing inside, and he calls them and he shouts, “The house is on fire. Come out!”
But the children don’t understand what it means that the house is on fire. In fact, they become very intrigued, and they jump and shout and they enjoy the flames all around the house. They have never seen such a beautiful scene. Children are children. And the father is very worried. He cannot go in; the whole house is surrounded by fire. He can simply shout.
He devises a method. The children are not ready to understand. They don’t understand that the fire is dangerous – they can’t understand, they have no experience of it. He simply remembers that when he was going to the market they had said, “Bring some toys for us.”
So he shouts, “I have brought those toys for you. Come out!” And they all come rushing out. He has not brought the toys, but the children are out – that is the point.

That is the whole work of a master. You come to me and I give you toys: go to the Encounter group, go to Tao, go to Tai Chi, or – if you are a little toughie – then to go to the torturers, Rolfing, etcetera. These are toys. You don’t want to come out of the house; I have to create toys. But these are all lies.
Ikkyu is just jokingly saying this: Tell a lie, and you fall into hell. Then what will happen to Buddha who contrived things that don’t exist? If you meditate over these sayings, great will be the revelation out of them. All teaching, the teaching of Buddha included, the teaching of Ikkyu included, my teaching included, all teachings included, are lies, false, as far as words are used in them – because the moment truth is said it becomes a lie. It can be experienced but not expressed.
The Buddha tells us the way to salvation, but there is no way and no salvation! Then what is he saying? He is simply saying there is no way and no salvation. See it, and the salvation has happened. There is nowhere to go – see it and you have arrived. It is a question of seeing it.
And if you start seeing, your whole dream-life disappears.
I was reading…

Tucker N. Callaway has written in his memoirs: It was twilight as I wandered through the spacious grounds of a Zen temple, Nanzenji, in the ancient city of Kyoto. Overhead the rush of water through the brick trough of the ivy-covered aqueduct mingled with wind sighs from boughs of gigantic pines. Tasting the fragrance of burning needles, I moved toward the red glow of a tiny fire deep in the shadows. A black-robed monk was at his task of raking clean the sand. After timeless moments of pregnant silence, I spoke: “What is your intention in Zen?”
“To be this smoke,” he replied.
All had been said.

If you understand what Ikkyu is saying to you, your dream-life will disappear like smoke. You will disappear like smoke. And then what is left is truth. And then what is left is nirvana. One never becomes enlightened. When one is not, there is enlightenment.
Enough for today.

Spread the love