Take It Easy Vol 1 09

Ninth 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.

My abiding place
Has no pillars;
It is roofless –
Yet the rain does not wet it,
Nor the wind strike it.

When it blows,
The mountain wind is boisterous,
But when it blows not,
It simply blows not.

Though it has no bridge,
The cloud climbs up to heaven;
It does not ask aid
Of Gautama’s sutras.

Ripples appear
On the unaccumulated water
Of the undug well,
As the formless, bodiless man
Draws water from it.

The mind:
Since there is really
No such thing as mind,
With what enlightenment
Shall it be enlightened?
A story…

Zen master: “I have here a staff, and yet I don’t have a staff. How would you explain that?”
Jewish novice: “I wouldn’t!”
Master: “Now, don’t be impertinent! It is incumbent upon you, if you really wish to attain enlightenment as you claim, to make every possible effort to answer this.”
Novice: “All right, I guess that looked at one way you have a staff; looked at another way you don’t.”
Master: “No, that is not what I mean at all! I mean that looked at exactly the same way, I have a staff and I don’t have a staff. Now how do you explain that?”
Novice: “I give up!”
Master: “But you shouldn’t give up! You should strain every ounce of your being to unravel this.”
Novice: “I won’t argue with you as to whether I should give up. The existential fact simply is that I do give up.”
Master: “But don’t you wish to attain enlightenment?”
Novice: “If attaining enlightenment means considering such damn fool questions, then to hell with it! I am sorry to disappoint you, but goodbye!”
Twelve years later:
Novice: “And so I return to you, Oh master, in a state of absolute contrition. For twelve years now I have been wandering about feeling terrible for my cowardice and impatience. I now realize that I can’t keep running away from life. Sooner or later, I have to face the ultimate problems of the universe. So now I am ready to steel myself and try to work in earnest on the problem you gave me.”
Master: “What problem was that?”
Novice: “You said that you have a staff and yet you don’t have a staff. How do I explain that?”
Master: “Is that what I really said? Why how silly of me!”

Zen has no teaching, Zen has no doctrine; Zen gives no guidance because it says there is no goal. It says you are not to move in any certain direction; it says you are already there! So the more you try to reach there, the less is the possibility of reaching. The more you seek, the more you will miss; seeking is the surest way of missing. Getting it simply means getting the point that it is already available, it has already happened; it is the very nature of existence.
Enlightenment is not a goal but the quality of being herenow. How can it be a goal? A goal is never herenow, it is always there-then; it is always somewhere else. It is like the horizon: it is always distant and yet it looks close by. One feels that “If I travel a little bit, I will reach the horizon.” But one never reaches, because the more you reach toward the horizon, the more the horizon goes on receding. In fact there is nothing, it is just an illusion.
The earth and the sky are not meeting anywhere. They can’t meet because they are not two, they are one. The earth is just a materialization of the space of the sky; it is a wave in the ocean of the sky. How can they meet? At least two are needed for a meeting, and they are not two. The horizon exists only in the mind of man; it has no existential truth in it. But you can go on searching and searching. And the more you feel that you are not getting it, the more anxious you can become to find it. You can become mad searching after it.
Zen says: There is nowhere to go, so no guidance is needed. Then what is the purpose of a Zen master? His purpose is to bring you herenow. His purpose is to hit you so hard that you awake herenow. You have fallen asleep and you have started living in dreams.
Another story…

Zen student: “So, master, is the soul immortal or not? Do we survive our bodily death or do we get annihilated? Do we really reincarnate? Does our soul split up into component parts which get recycled, or do we enter the body of a biological organism as a single unit? Do we retain our memories or not? Is the doctrine of reincarnation false? Is perhaps the Christian notion of survival more correct? And if so, do we get bodily resurrected, or does our soul enter a purely Platonic spiritual realm?”
Master: “Your breakfast is getting cold.”

That’s the way of Zen: to bring you herenow. Breakfast is far more important than any paradise, far more important than any concept of God. Breakfast is more important than any theory of reincarnation, soul, rebirth, and all that nonsense, because breakfast is herenow. For Zen, the immediate is the ultimate, and the imminent is the transcendental. This moment is eternity; you have to be awakened to this moment.
Zen is not a teaching but a device to disturb your dreaming mind, to create such a state that you become alarmed, that you have to get up and see, to create such strain around you that you cannot remain comfortably asleep.
This is the beauty of Zen and the revolution that Zen brings to the world. All other religions are consolations; they help you to sleep better. Zen tries to awaken you; it offers no consolation at all. It does not talk about great things, not because great things are not there but because talking about them is not going to help.
People have a very stupid idea that talking about a problem is doing something about it. That is why psychoanalysis has become so important. It is nothing but talking: the patient goes on talking about his problems and he thinks that by talking about his problems he is solving them.
People ask questions, and get answers, and they think that by asking a question and getting an answer they are doing something about their real problem. Answers that are given by others are not going to help you; they may help you only as consolations.
You ask somebody, “Is there survival after death?” and he says, “Yes.” And you are freed of a fear – the fear of death; you start thinking the soul is immortal. If you look at the people who believe in the immortality of the soul, you will find they are the greatest of cowards. This country, at least for five thousand years, has believed in the immortality of the soul, and for one thousand years this country remained in slavery. People had become so cowardly they could not rebel against it. Not a single revolution has ever happened in India.
People who believe in the immortality of the soul should be absolutely courageous; they can face death because they are not going to die. But the case is just the opposite; in fact, their belief in the immortality of the soul is nothing but a protection, just armor around their cowardice. They are afraid of death; hence they believe in the idea that the soul is immortal. They go on clinging to the idea – against death. They don’t know.
If you ask a Zen master, “Is the soul immortal?” he will not answer, because he knows it is your fear that is asking for the answer. Your fear wants to be calmed; you need a solace. You need somebody authoritative who can say, “Yes, don’t be afraid.” You need a father figure.
It is not just a coincidence that Christians think of God as the father, or the Catholic priest is called “father.” Out of fear, people are searching for the father. They need fathers here and they need a great father up in the heavens. These people are childish, immature; they can’t stand on their own. They can’t live their lives on their own; they need someone to lean on.
Zen does not talk about God, not because God is not, but God is not a father. And neither is God a mother. You cannot conceive of God in any word; all your words are irrelevant. Godliness can only be experienced in utter silence, in absolute silence. But there is no point in talking about it, because in talking about it people start thinking they are doing great work. Then they read the scriptures and they philosophize, and they polish their concepts and doctrines, and go on believing, and nothing ever changes in their lives. Their belief never brings any light to their lives; their belief hinders the light.
Zen is not a belief system: it is a way of awakening. The Zen master is bound to be tough, out of compassion. He has to hit you, and he goes on finding devices to hit you.
Just listen to this story:

A Zen master was worshipping at a statue of the Buddha. A monk came by and said, “Why do you worship the Buddha?”
“I like to worship the Buddha.”
“But I thought you said that one cannot obtain enlightenment by worshipping the Buddha?”
“I am not worshipping the Buddha in order to obtain enlightenment.”
“Then why are you worshipping the Buddha? You must have some reason!”
“No reason whatsoever. I like to worship the Buddha.”
“But you must be seeking something; you must have some end in view!”
“I do not worship the Buddha for any end.”
“Then why do you worship the Buddha? What is your purpose in worshipping the Buddha?”
At this point, the master simply jumped up and gave the monk a good slap in the face!

It looks so wild, unexpected. The monk is not asking any irrelevant question: he is asking a simple human question out of curiosity. He should not be treated like that; there is no need to hit him. No Hindu priest would hit him, nor would a Catholic priest hit him, because their purposes are different. Only a Zen master can hit him – his purpose is different.
Why didn’t the master hit him in the first place? Why did he bother to answer so many questions and then hit him? He created the situation, the right situation. He created heat, he created more and more curiosity. He brought the monk to a state where the hit could simply shock him to a kind of awareness.
He helped the monk to think about it more and more and more, to bring a peak of thinking, because only from the peak can the hit be of any help. But his hitting the monk is neither wild nor arrogant – it is not out of anger, remember. I have found a story in a book written by an American who thinks the master became angry because of the persistent query of the monk, and hit him out of anger. This is stupid, he missed the whole point; it is not out of anger. He is not offended by the question; he is enjoying the question. He is bringing the monk to a more and more feverish state by answering in such a way that the question is not answered, but enhanced. Just see the difference.
Ordinarily, you answer a question so that the question is finished. The Zen master is answering so that the question becomes even more pointed and poignant. He is helping the question to arise with a totality. He is giving the idea to the monk that his question is very important and the master is unable to answer it. He is helping the ego of the monk to become a big balloon so that with just a small prick the balloon bursts.
It is not out of anger; it has nothing to do with anger. He is not angry with the monk, he is not annoyed with the monk. He must be feeling perfectly happy with the monk because he has asked and now is giving a chance for the master. His not answering is a device.
Even the slap is not the answer, remember. A few people think the slap is the answer and it is not. The slap is just to give you a jerk, just to shake your foundations, so if for even a single moment you slip out of your thinking you will have a glimpse of reality. Then you will forget about God and about Buddha and worship and you will just see that your breakfast is getting cold. You will come to herenow.

Zen is not a philosophical approach toward life. It is an existential approach, and it has helped tremendously; it has brought many people to awakening. Zen does not believe in analyzing a problem because it does not believe that any problem can be solved at its own level. No problem can be solved unless your consciousness is raised a little higher than the problem. This has to be understood; this is something very fundamental.
You ask me a question. I can answer it, but you remain on the same level of consciousness. My answer cannot raise your consciousness. You ask, “Does God exist?” I can say yes or no – but you remain the same! Whether I say yes or no, it will not help you in any way to become more conscious. It will not give you more being; it will only give you more knowledge this way or that.
If you are an atheist and you ask, “Is there a God?” and I say no, you will feel very happy. You will say, “So I was right.” Or if I say yes, you will say, “This man is wrong. He does not know anything. He is just a blind person. I have argued, I have looked into the matter deeply, and I can’t find any proof for God.”
Whether I say yes or no, whether you are a theist or an atheist, either you will accumulate the knowledge, receive it if it fits with you, or if it doesn’t fit with you, you will reject it. That’s what you are doing continuously in your mind. But your consciousness is not raised, and unless your consciousness is raised, no problem can be solved. In the first place the problem is created because of your consciousness, and it cannot be solved by any answer; it can only be solved by helping your consciousness to rise a little higher.
That’s the work of Zen. It is not a transfer of knowledge; it is a transfer of consciousness, being. By slapping the monk, the master has simply helped the monk to become a little more alert. And if the monk becomes a little more alert, that slap is not just a slap, it is a leap of the master’s being into the disciple. But for that you need great love for the master, otherwise you will miss the slap. You need great trust in the master.
This happens here every day. If I slap somebody, if I say something hard, if I hit somebody’s ego, then out of a hundred people ninety percent will start reacting antagonistically. They will miss the point; they will miss a great opportunity. If I criticize you, that is a slap on your face. If I am hard on you, that is a slap on your face, a subtle slap.
But humanity is no longer interested in truth as much as it is interested in its ego. Immediately you are ready to leave; this man is not for you. A single slap and you forget all about the search. Rather than becoming aware, alert, rather than receiving more consciousness and being, you simply close up.
Zen needs a particular atmosphere, a milieu of love, trust. That’s why I insist that unless you are a sannyasin, my work cannot start on you.
Just the other day, somebody had written a letter, a beautiful letter that must be from a very good heart. He asked, “Can I not relate to you without becoming a sannyasin? Can I not just be a friend? Is it a must to be a disciple?” The question is relevant. You can be a friend to me; that is not a problem. But you will miss as surely as the foes miss. The friend is going to miss as much as the foe – because when I slap you, you will not be able to awake. You will become angry because you don’t expect that from a friend. When I hit you hard, you will simply be angry; you will retaliate, you will argue, you will fight back. You will simply say, “Then I am going!”
Sannyas means that you are ready to go with me even if I hit you. You are ready to go with me even if I crush you, annihilate you. You are ready to go with me to any limits. Your trust is more in me than your trust in yourself. Then the work starts. “The work” simply means you have become available to the master. Only then can you be awakened, because awakening is going to be painful. It is not going to be very sweet, you have slept so long, and you have dreamed so many beautiful dreams. Awakening is certainly going to destroy all those dreams. They are dreams, but you have thought that they are realities. When somebody starts taking them away from you it hurts. You start feeling that “I am getting nothing – on the contrary, I am losing all that I had before.”
Zen is a particular milieu, a climate between the master and the disciple of trust, of love, of infinite love, so the disciple is ready to go to any end. You will be surprised: sometimes Zen masters have been really wild.

It happened in one Zen master’s ashram: whenever he would talk about truth, he would raise one of his fingers toward the sky. That was his particular gesture. Naturally, it became a joke; anybody who wanted to imitate the master would raise the finger.
A very young disciple became artful in repeating and imitating the master’s gestures: his face, the way he walked, the way he talked, the way he sat. And anywhere and everywhere, whenever there was some serious discussion going on, this young boy would raise his finger toward the sky in the same way as the master.
One day, the boy was standing behind him while the master was talking to people, and when the master raised his finger, the boy also raised his finger. The master called him, then took a knife and cut off the boy’s finger.
Now, you cannot think of cutting off his finger as compassion. The boy screamed out in pain, and the master said, “Don’t miss the point! Now raise the finger.” The finger is gone, there is nothing to raise, and the master says, “Now, raise the finger – don’t miss the point!”
And the boy, with tears in his eyes, raised his cut finger toward the sky; in that very moment the satori happened. The boy was transformed.

On the surface it seems very cruel, violent. If you can only see the surface you will be forever against these Zen people. They don’t look like saints. Saints are not known to do such things. Saints talk to the fish and saints talk to the trees, and birds come and sit on their shoulders. We have known such saints. But saints who cut off the finger of such a simple young boy, who was, out of his innocence, imitating the master? What is the reason? Is the master angry? But if you look deep down, the boy was transformed.
If you see the transformation, then it was worth it; even if the master had cut off the head of the boy it would have been worth it. A finger is nothing. The boy was totally transformed.

It is said about this same Zen master that when he was searching with his own master he became very famous because birds would come and sit on his shoulders and on his head. Once even, while he was meditating under a tree, a bird made a nest in his hair. He had become famous all over the country; people used to worship him like a buddha.
He became very egoistic, naturally with such a great attainment. His own master came and was very angry. He said, “What is this bird doing in your hair? Drop all this nonsense!”
He was hurt, but he understood. And since that day, birds stopped coming to him.
People would come to see, and were surprised that there were no birds. They asked the master, “What has happened to your disciple? First birds used to come, animals used to come and sit by his side, but now they no longer come.”
The master said, “Now he has disappeared, he is no longer special. He has attained. Now birds don’t take any note of him. Animals simply pass by. He is not there. First he used to be there. He was becoming a special person; he was attaining to a specific kind of ego – now even that is dropped – he was becoming enlightened! Now even enlightenment is dropped, so birds no longer come to him. Why should they come when there is nobody? And why should animals come and sit there? They can sit anywhere, it is all the same. There is nobody anymore.”

Now see the point: Zen has a totally different approach toward life. Now the master is happy that the disciple has completely disappeared, because one can even become attached to the idea of enlightenment. You have to be alert about it.
Just a few months ago I told Somendra “You have had a small satori,” and since then I have not seen him laughing. Since then, he has become very serious. He has become enlightened! He has taken it to his heart. He has become special. He cannot laugh, he cannot enjoy, cannot be ordinary.
And now, if this idea gets too much into him it will become a crust around him. He has to drop it. He has to become unenlightened again. He has to forget that satori. Not because it did not happen, it did happen, but many satoris happen before the ultimate satori happens. And the ultimate satori is dropping of all satoris, of all samadhis. The ultimate enlightenment is when you forget the very idea of enlightenment. Then there is innocence, there is just simple nature. I played a joke upon Somendra and he got caught in it.

I am creating here a climate of work: many things are happening, and many are going to happen. You have to be ready, and the first readiness is when I hit you, when I shock you – and now Somendra will be shocked – when I shock you, use the shock to become a little more alert, a little more aware.
Zen is a device, not an analysis of life. And always remember, the universe is unknowable, absolutely, because it is alive. Analysis kills. And remember also: only dead things can be known. Life remains unknown and unknowable. The moment you know, you have killed something, and people go on killing. They kill love: once they analyze it, it is killed. People are so violent that even in love their violence is clearly there, loudly there.
Sending flowers is a form of life sacrifice to show high esteem. When you send a beautiful roseflower to your girlfriend or boyfriend, what are you saying? What are you saying when you say something with a flower? You give a roseflower to your girl, and you are saying: “I will kill for you, baby! I am ready to kill, I can murder. Look, I have murdered this rose.” This is not understanding.
Even your love is nothing but a power trip. Power always kills. Bacon has said knowledge is power, and it must be so, because knowledge also kills. When you can kill something, you feel great power.
I have heard that the most favorite pastime of people around Stalin was hunting. When Brezhnev took Kissinger on a hunting trip, he showed his power. It is said that whenever Tito wants to know that he is still in control, he kills stag and bear. Whenever people want to show that they are powerful, they kill. Adolf Hitler had to kill to show his power. And killing goes on, on many levels. Knowledge is also a subtle way of killing a thing.
Zen people are not interested in knowledge because they are not interested in power. They are interested in life as it is. They are interested in breakfast, not in God, not in heaven, not in the soul, not in past lives, not in future lives, simply breakfast. They are utterly for the immediate.
We know only that which we have killed. So never be a seeker for knowledge, otherwise you will become a killer; you will be a murderer. That’s what science goes on doing. In all the scientific laboratories what is happening is nothing but murder and murder: they have murdered nature. It is a beautiful device to hide violence.
Just go and look in a scientific lab at the many ways they have devised to torture simple, innocent animals in the name of experimentation, in the name of inquiry, in the name of truth – unimaginable torture. But when it is for truth’s sake, it is allowed – nobody thinks of the scientist as violent. Nobody thinks of the philosopher as violent, but he is also violent. He goes on analyzing everything.
Zen is not interested in killing – not even in killing a single word. It is not interested in knowing. It is interested in being. And these sutras will help you to see the point.
My abiding place
Has no pillars;
It is roofless –
Yet the rain does not wet it,
Nor the wind strike it.
Go into each word with deep love, with deep sympathy.
First: My abiding place has no pillars… The inner has no boundaries, no supports, no pillars. It is infinite space, it is pure space. It is nothingness. And there is nobody there. It is utterly silent. Not a single sound has ever penetrated there. Nobody has ever walked on that beach of your inner being, no footprints are there; it is virgin land.
If you look into that inner space, you will start disappearing. The more you look inside, the more you will disappear. That’s why people don’t want to look inside. They talk about self-knowledge, they talk about how to look inside; they talk about techniques, but they don’t look. And there is no technique!
It is a very simple phenomenon to look inside. It is as simple as looking outside. You can simply close your eyes and look inside. But fear arises, great fear arises in looking inside because that emptiness overwhelms you. You start disappearing; you start feeling as if you are going to die. You rush back. You start thinking a thousand and one things.
Have you observed that whenever you sit silently and look inside, the mind creates many thoughts immediately? Why? It is your device. It is just like the octopus: whenever he sees that some enemy is coming around, the octopus releases dark black ink like a cloud around himself. Immediately the ink cloud surrounds him and the enemy cannot see where he is.
When you go inside, immediately your mind starts secreting a thousand and one thoughts; immediately there is a great rush of energy into thinking. This is just like the octopus releasing dark black ink around himself; it is to create a cloud so you cannot see the innermost nothingness. You don’t want to see. To see in, is to commit suicide: to commit suicide as an ego, as a self.
Ikkyu says: My abiding place has no pillars; it is roofless… It is just the vast open sky, no pillars, no roof. It is infinity. …yet the rain does not wet it, nor the wind strike it. How can the rain wet it if there is no roof and no pillar, and no ground either? Do you think when it rains the sky is wet? The sky remains as it is, rains can’t wet it. Do you think when it is cloudy those clouds leave any impact on the sky? Do you think the sky becomes contaminated, polluted by the clouds? Do you think it becomes darkened? Do you think any mark is left on the sky? Nothing is left.
How can you touch pure nothingness? And just as there is an outer sky, there is an inner sky; outer and inner are just arbitrary words. It is all one sky – outer and inner, it is all one. One has to be very courageous to go into it. Once you have the courage to see your reality, all fear disappears, because all fear is for the ego, all fear is because of the ego. “Am I going to survive or not?” is what fear is all about. But once you have seen the inner sky, the fear cannot remain. You are not, so what? You have never been and you will never be, neither born nor dying. And that which is has been always there and will always be there. But you are not that.
It appears only when you are not, when you have disappeared. You are just a dream. The dreamer is also part of the dream, and when the dream disappears, the dreamer also disappears. Living in this inner space, you are not afraid about security. Then insecurity is security.
That’s what Alan Watts means when he says “the wisdom of insecurity.” There is only one way to be really secure and that is don’t have any roof, don’t have any pillars. Just move into the open sky. And then if it rains, let it rain; you will not get wet. You will be the sky, how can you get wet? Then if death comes, let it come, you will not be dying, because how can you die? You were never born. You don’t exist as a thing, as an entity.
Living in insecurity, one is secure. Trying to be secure, one remains insecure. This is the law of reverse effect. If you want something you will miss it just because you want it. The more you want, the more difficulties you create, and then there is a vicious circle. You want to be secure, you don’t want to die. If you don’t want to die, you will have to die a thousand and one deaths; you will have to die every day. If you don’t want to die, then everything will become a death message; then you will be continuously trembling and afraid. You will see death coming from everywhere.
If you forget all about death, and you accept death, then even in death you will not die, even in death you will be a watcher. Death will come and go. You will see it coming, you will see it passing, and you will remain, you will abide. That which abides in you forever and ever is not an entity, it is a consciousness. It is not a soul, it is awareness; it is pure awareness. And that awareness is part of the universal awareness.
My abiding place has no pillars; it is roofless – yet the rain does not wet it, nor the wind strike it. One Zen master was walking with his disciples. They came to a small river which they had to cross. It was not very deep, a shallow river. They started passing through it. The master had always said to his disciples, “When an enlightened person passes through the river, his feet never become wet.” They were all waiting for an opportunity to see. They were puzzled because his feet were becoming wet. They became very confused: “Is our master not yet enlightened?”
And just standing in the middle of the river, the master started laughing an uproarious laugh, a belly laugh, and they asked, “What is the matter?”
He said, “You fools! I had said that the enlightened person’s feet never become wet, and my feet are not becoming wet, and the feet that are becoming wet are not my feet. You need not be confused; you need not look so puzzled and perplexed. This water is not touching me. Nothing can touch me because I am not. This water of the river is not touching the sky, it is not making the sky wet, how can it make me wet? I am part of the sky.”
…yet the rain does not wet it, nor the wind strike it. So when you are communing with a master, remember you are communing with somebody who is a nobody; you are communing with something which is not an entity, but only a presence. Communing with a master is not communing with a person, but with a presence. A person will become wet, but the presence cannot become wet. The presence remains uncontaminated.
That presence is you. One has just to find it out, that’s all. But you have become so entangled with the ideas about yourself – that you are a Hindu, a Mohammedan, a Christian, a man, a woman, white, black, this and that – you have become so entangled with identities that you never look inside to see that you are just a pure sky and nothing else. No Hindu exists there, no Mohammedan, no man, no woman, no black, no white. These are all identities.
Think of the one who is identified with these things, think of the inner sky. These are all clouds – Hindu, Mohammedan, Christian, Communist, capitalist – these are all clouds. Don’t get too obsessed with the clouds. Go on remembering the sky.
When it blows,
The mountain wind is boisterous,
But when it blows not,
It simply blows not.
Once seen, this inner nothingness, a person becomes a suchness. This word suchness is of infinite value in Buddha’s experience, on Buddha’s path – tathata or suchness. When there is nobody, then what happens? A few things happen…
First, if there is nobody, there is nobody to control your life, there is nobody to manipulate, there is nobody to discipline. All control, all discipline, all manipulation disappears. That’s what freedom is – that’s what moksha is. Not something far away in the skies, but something deep inside you right now.
When you are not there, how can you control your life? All control disappears, and as control disappears all kinds of tensions, all uptightness, all anxieties also disappear. You become an open flow, so open that:
When it blows, the mountain wind is boisterous, but when it blows not, it simply blows not. Then whatsoever happens, happens. A man of Zen is totally different from the man of Yoga, and the distinction has to be understood. The man of Yoga is in tremendous control. The whole methodology of Yoga is how to control yourself, how to control absolutely. The man of Yoga cannot be disturbed because he is in such utter control. The man of Zen cannot be disturbed because there is no control. But the difference is great.
The man of Yoga is not absolutely in control, nobody can be. There are possibilities when he will lose his control. You just have to bring about those possibilities and he will lose control, because all control is relative, it is only to a certain extent.
Watch your control: if there is a ten rupee note you may not steal it, but ten thousand rupees? Then you feel a little inclined. And ten lakh rupees? Then you start thinking; then the idea seems to be worth thinking about. You start dreaming about ten lakh rupees. And you start thinking, “Just this once!” People are doing so many sins, you will be doing one and only one. Then you can donate half of the money to the church or to the temple. “And it is not so wrong either, because it doesn’t belong to a beggar, it belongs to some very rich person, and it doesn’t matter to him whether he has ten lakh more or less. And in the first place he has exploited people for all this money.” Now you are gathering energy to do it. But if it is ten crore rupees? Then you will not think twice: you will simply grab it and rush.
There is a certain limit to all control; beyond that you will fall. Nobody can be in absolute control, because control is an unnatural thing and nothing unnatural can ever be absolute. Only nature can be absolute. The unnatural has to be maintained; it takes energy, conflict, struggle, And when you are controlling yourself, there is somebody inside you who is against it, otherwise what is the need of controlling?
Control always splits you: the one who controls and the one who is being controlled, the top dog and the bottom dog. And the bottom dog waits for its own opportunities. There is constant barking and they go on fighting inside you, and you know it. There are moments when you can control your anger, and there are moments when you cannot. There are moments when you can control anything, and there are moments you cannot control. Sometimes the top dog is powerful and sometimes the bottom dog is powerful.
The conflict continues and the victory is never absolute; nobody ever wins it because the other remains there, maybe tired, resting, waiting for its time. Whenever one is in control, the other is gaining power by resting; and the one who is in control is losing power by controlling, because controlling means energy is being lost, dissipated. Sooner or later, the controller becomes weak and the controlled becomes powerful. And this goes on, this is a wheel.
The man of Yoga seems to be in great control, but cannot be in absolute control. He has repressed, and all that he has repressed is waiting there underneath him like a volcano. It will erupt, and when it erupts, he will be thrown into fragments.
The man of Zen cannot be disturbed but the reason is totally different. It is not because he is in absolute control that he cannot be disturbed. He cannot be disturbed because he is not! Then one thing more has to be understood: because he is not, there is no division. He is just a natural man. But you carry the idea of control from the man of Yoga, and that’s why the natural man has always been misunderstood. For example…

A master died and his disciple started crying, great tears started coming, sobbing. The disciple himself was known as an enlightened person. Others said, “This is not right – you should not cry, you should not weep. What will people think? Is it right for a man who is enlightened to cry?”
That disciple said. “There is no question of right and wrong – if tears are coming, they are coming. There is nobody to prevent them.”
This is a totally different vision – this is the natural man.
The people said, “But you have been telling us that only the body dies, then why are you crying and weeping for the master’s dead body? Only the body has died and the body was just material. It was going to die – dust unto dust.”
He answered, “What are you talking about? I am not crying for the soul – the soul never dies, okay, so I am not crying for the soul. I am crying for the body, because it was beautiful, so beautiful. I will never be able to see such a beautiful man walk again. I will never hear his voice.”
And they said, “But you should not be attached!”
But he said, “I am not attached. Just a flower has withered away and tears are coming to my eyes – I am not attached. These tears are not out of attachment.”

This is very difficult to understand, because we know only tears which come out of attachment. We have not known natural tears – we have forgotten all that is natural. We know tears of attachment; we don’t know tears of innocence.
A Zen man is a natural man. When it blows, the mountain wind is boisterous… This is the description of a Zen man. …but when it blows not, it simply blows not. When he laughs, he laughs; when he cries, he cries. It is a simple phenomenon. Just as birds sing, the Zen master speaks; just as flowers bloom, he lives. But his life has no ulterior motive, no goal. His words are not teachings but assertions of joy – hallelujah! It is his celebration of being. And that, too, when it happens, happens; when it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen.
There have been Zen masters who talked their whole lives, and there have been Zen masters who never talked. Sometimes it happens that the song is sung in words, and sometimes it happens that the song is sung in silence. But there is nobody to do anything, whatsoever is happening, is happening.
This is what Buddha called freedom: nobody to control and manipulate. When all control disappears freedom is born: freedom from the self, the true freedom, Freedom for the self is the pseudo-freedom. Yoga tries freedom for the self, and Zen is nothing but freedom from the self. Then one becomes like a tree, like an animal, like a child.
The sage is like a child, not like a yogi, not like a mahatma. The mahatma is trying to control himself continuously: day in, day out, curbing, dropping this, creating that. His whole life is his own effort. And, naturally, the so-called mahatmas look very tired, sad, desperate. Their life does not have the quality of joy. They talk about sat-chi-anand, but their life has no quality of joy.
Zen people have the quality of joy. They don’t talk about sat-chit-anand, they are sat-chit-anand. They are truth, they are bliss, they are consciousness.

Once Ma Tzu was asked, “Why did Buddha never talk about God?”
Ma Tzu said, “He was busy living him, that’s why. He didn’t talk about God because he was too busy living him.”

This state is a simple state, a natural state. You cannot brag about it. No child brags about his childhood, no sage can brag about his sagehood. It is the second childhood; he is reborn, the circle is complete. He has seen the world, he has seen the ways of the world, he has seen all the miseries of it; he has become wise. Now desires no longer drag him away from reality. He simply lives. Feeling hungry, he eats; feeling sleepy, he sleeps. He goes on doing the small things of life, but he becomes absolutely a nobody.
Though it has no bridge,
The cloud climbs up to heaven;
It does not ask aid
Of Gautama’s sutras.
When you become natural, spontaneous, simple, you start rising on your own accord. You need not ask Gautama Buddha for his help. No help is needed.
Though it has no bridge, the cloud climbs up to heaven; it does not ask aid of Gautama’s sutras. There is no need to have any guide. If you are simple, then simplicity is enough. If you are natural, then that naturalness is enough. If you are not natural, you will need the help of a master. And the master is not going to give you anything – he will simply take away all that is plastic in you, all that is inauthentic in you.
The master, the real master, simply throws you back to your own utter naturalness. He does not make you an achiever. He does not give you great dreams that you have to become this and you have to become that. He simply says: Relax, be in a let-go; be – don’t become.
This is one of the basic messages of Buddha: Be a light unto yourself. If you are not, then you need the help of a master, just for the time being. But what is his help? He throws you back to yourself; he goes on throwing you back to yourself. You would like to cling to the master and he goes on throwing you back.
The real master does not allow you to cling to him. He helps you to un-cling, because un-clinging is maturity, clinging is childishness. And remember: to be a child is one thing, to be childish is quite another. To be a child means to become a sage; to be childish means to remain clinging, immature.
Ripples appear
On the unaccumulated water
Of the undug well
As the formless, bodiless man
Draws water from it.
This is the constant refrain of Buddha: all is a dream. Nothing has ever happened, and nothing is ever going to happen. But the mind lives in hope and through hope; it goes on thinking that something is going to happen. Nothing has ever happened; nothing is ever going to happen. All is; hence, the master reminded the disciple about the breakfast.
All is. You have to be reminded constantly of it, because you go on rushing away from it. All seeking is dreaming, whether you are seeking money or God does not matter. Whether you think of the body or of the soul does not matter. Whether you want to become very rich, very famous, or enlightened, does not matter. All is a dream: becoming is a dream.
Look into that which you are, and don’t go on looking for that which you would like to be. Hope is the secret of the mind; the mind lives through hope, nourishes itself on hope. Once you stop hoping, once you relax and just let hopes disappear, suddenly you are awakened to the truth – the truth of your being, the truth of the whole existence.
Ripples appear on the unaccumulated water of the undug well… Such is your life. In your dreams again and again you will see a lake with ripples, and a boat, and you are traveling in the boat, and in the morning you find yourself just lying in your bed: there is no lake and no ripples and no boat and no traveler. There is nothing, but it all had appeared.
Let me remind you of the famous dream of Chuang Tzu:

He dreamed one night that he had become a butterfly. Next morning, sitting among his followers, he started laughing madly. And one disciple asked, “What is the matter? We have never seen you laugh so madly.”
He said, “There is such a trouble, and I don’t think that I will ever be able to solve it. I have fallen into a great riddle.”
They said, “Just tell us – maybe we can be of some help.”
And Chuang Tzu said, “Last night I dreamed that I had become a butterfly.”
So they said, “But that is not a great riddle. We all dream, and we know it is a dream.”
Chuang Tzu said, “That is not the point. Now the problem arises: it may be that now the butterfly has fallen asleep and is dreaming that she has become Chuang Tzu.
“Now who is right? Whether Chuang Tzu was right dreaming that he is a butterfly, or the butterfly is right dreaming that she is Chuang Tzu?
“And who am I? Am I just a dream in the mind of a butterfly? Because if Chuang Tzu can become a butterfly in the dream, then why cannot a butterfly become Chuang Tzu in a dream?”

Just think of butterflies sitting under the shade of a tree taking a good sleep in the afternoon, and dreaming that they are sannyasins, in orange, meditating, doing Vipassana, thinking of great things. And you will also be puzzled, perhaps Chuang Tzu was right.
Who is true? A butterfly dreaming of Chuang Tzu, or Chuang Tzu dreaming of a butterfly?
Buddha’s answer is that neither is true, only the one who has become aware of the problem is true. He is neither Chuang Tzu nor butterfly, he is the mirror in which these dreams are reflected, the screen on which these dramas are played; he is that witnessing.
The mind:
Since there is really
No such thing as mind,
With what enlightenment
Shall it be enlightened?
And now comes one of the most significant sutras, and only those who have followed the sutras up to now will be able to understand it. Now Ikkyu hits hard. He says:
The mind: since there is really no such thing as mind… Mind means nothing but all the processes of dreaming. You call a mind a materialistic mind because it dreams of money; and you call a mind a spiritualistic mind because it dreams of satoris, but mind is only dreaming, mind lives in dreams. It thinks of the faraway, of the distant. It lives in imagination and in memory; both are part of imagination. It never comes to reality; reality is too much for it. Facing, encountering reality it melts and disappears just like dewdrops disappear in the morning sun. Whenever the mind comes to herenow, to the breakfast, suddenly it evaporates.
Try it: eating your breakfast, just eat breakfast and don’t think of God and the Devil and money and the woman and the man, and love and a thousand other things. Don’t think, just eat; just be there, totally there, in it. Don’t go here and there, be utterly present. And where is the mind?
You will not find the mind. Mind has never been found. Those who have looked, they have always found there is no mind.
The mind: since there is really no such thing as mind, with what enlightenment shall it be enlightened? Then the question arises: If there is no mind, then why this talk about enlightenment? If there is no mind, then there is nothing to enlightenment, nobody to become enlightened. If there is no mind, no illusion, then how is it possible to get out of illusion? If there is no mind, then how can we become something which is beyond mind? If mind does not exist, then what is the point of saying that one has to attain to no-mind?
Mind in itself is not; one cannot talk about enlightenment any more. But in fact, this is enlightenment. Enlightenment is not getting out of the mind, enlightenment is seeing that the mind does not exist. Then you are suddenly enlightened; you are a buddha.

There is the well-known incident about the Confucian scholar seeking enlightenment from a Zen master. The student constantly complained that the master’s account was somehow incomplete, that the master was withholding some vital clue. The master assured him that he was withholding nothing from him. The student insisted that there was something the master was withholding from him. The master insisted that he was not withholding anything from him.
Later on, the two went for a walk along the mountain path. Suddenly the master said, “Do you smell the mountain laurels?”
The student said, “Yes!”
The master said, “See! I am not withholding anything from you.”

It is a strange story, but of tremendous importance. What is the master saying? The smell of the laurels… He says to the disciple, “Do you smell the mountain laurels?” Zen masters always bring you to the immediate: to the breakfast, to the mountain laurels. They don’t bother about philosophical things.
And the disciple smells and he says, “Yes!”
And the master says, “See! I am not withholding anything from you. Just as you can smell the mountain laurels, so you can smell buddhahood right now, this very moment. It is in the mountain laurels, it is on this mountain path, in the birds, in the sun. It is in me, it is in you. What keys and clues are you talking about? What secrets are you talking about?”
It is said that Zen has no secrets. Zen is all openness. Zen is not a fist, it is an open hand. It has no esoteric ideology. It is down-to-earth, very earthly, very simple. If you miss, that shows that you have a very complex mind. If you miss, that simply means that you have been looking for complex ideologies, and Zen drags you back to reality, to the breakfast, to the mountain laurels, to…this bird calling.
This is Buddha calling! In this utter silence is Buddha present, in this communion between me and you, in this moment when I am not and you are not. All is open, all is available.

Someone asked a Zen master, “What is the ultimate nature of reality?”
The master replied, “Ask the post over there.”
The man responded, “Master, I don’t understand.”
The master said, “Neither do I.”

It is not a question of understanding. Either you see it or you don’t see it. Either it is there, felt, seen, recognized, or you have missed. It is so simple. There is no complexity in it.
The master says, “Ask the post over there!”
It is very natural that the disciple said, “Master, I don t understand – how is the post going to answer me?” because he had asked one of the greatest questions: What is the ultimate nature of reality? And so he said, “Master, I don’t understand.”
And the master said, “Neither do I.”
There is nothing to understand and nobody to understand. All simply is! Understanding creates problems. You think you don’t understand so you have to understand – then understanding creates new problems, and then you solve them and your solutions again create more new problems…and it goes on and on. One answer creates ten questions, and it is an infinite regress.
Nothing has to be understood! Life has to be lived, not understood. You are buddhas, and so are the posts.
Another time it happened…

The same master inquired of a disciple, “You have come very late. Where have you been the whole day?”
The disciple said, “There was a great polo match going on and I became interested. I was watching.”
The master asked, “The players were tired?”
He answered, “Yes, by the end they were very tired.”
“And the horses were tired?”
The disciple said, “Yes, the horses were also tired.”
The master asked, “And the posts? The posts were tired?”
Now the disciple was puzzled – how can posts be tired? He said, “Sir, give me a little time to think.” He meditated over it the whole night, and only by the morning, as the sun was rising did he get the point.
He rushed to the master’s room and said, “Yes, master, they were tired.”
And the master said, “So you have seen the point.”

All is one, so if the players were tired, the horses were tired, the posts must have become tired. All is one. Nothing is separate. We are not islands. The stones and the stars, all are joined together.
And everything is joined in this moment, is participating in this moment. If you become just this moment, all is attained. There is no other enlightenment.
Zen is a way back home – and the simplest way and the most natural way.
Enough for today.

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