The Great Zen Master Ta Hui 24

TwentyFourth Discourse from the series of 38 discourses - The Great Zen Master Ta Hui by Osho.
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The Inescapable

Whenever you run into something inescapable amid the hubbub, you’ve been examining yourself constantly, but without applying the effort to meditate. This very inescapability itself is meditation: if you go further and apply effort to examine yourself, you’re even further away.
Right when you’re in something inescapable, do not bestir your mind and think of examining yourself. The Patriarch said, “When discrimination doesn’t arise, the light of emptiness shines by itself.”
Again, layman P’ang said:
In daily activities without discrimination,
I alone naturally harmonize.
Not grasping or rejecting anywhere,
Not going with or going against.
Who considers crimson and purple honorable?
There’s not a speck of dust in the mountains.
Spiritual powers and wondrous functioning:
Hauling water and carrying firewood.
Just when you can’t escape, suddenly you get rid of the cloth bag (of illusion) and without being aware of it you will be clapping your hands and laughing loudly.
The inescapable…it is one of the most significant problems for every meditator.
There are things which will disappear as your meditation deepens. All that is false will be gone, all that is illusory will no longer exist; all that you have projected, expected, or dreamt will have no reality. But still there will be something left which is not your dream, which is not your projection, which is not the creation of your mind: this is called the inescapable. In other words, the real will remain – only the false will be gone.
The meditator has to learn two things: first, to be capable, powerful enough, to allow the false to disappear. But this is not a great problem. Every morning when you wake up you allow the dreams to disappear. You don’t hanker for them, howsoever sweet they may have been, you don’t even think about them. Just within two or three seconds you start forgetting, and after a few minutes it as if they had never existed at all. You don’t cry because in your dream somebody died, and you don’t feel very sad because in your dream you became bankrupt. Whatever has happened in the dream, the moment you wake up it becomes meaningless.
So the false known as false is immediately no longer a problem. Now another problem arises which is far bigger, far more profound: the real remains. Up to now, because you were lost in the illusory you were not aware of the real. Suddenly you become aware of the real; now you have to come to terms with the real.
The world remains outside – the same world, the same people, although your projections will not be there. You were thinking of somebody as immensely beautiful, somebody a great wise man, somebody the most religious person: if these were your projections, they will disappear, but the person whom you were thinking beautiful or religious or enlightened will remain. Now you will have to cope with his reality. And the only way to cope with reality is to create a tremendous harmony with the real. You cannot avoid it, it is inescapable, there is no way to disperse it.
That which was dispersible, you have dispersed; almost ninety percent of your world will have disappeared, and this ninety percent was your projection. But ten percent is not your projection, and you have to be with it in total harmony.
Ta Hui makes a very remarkable statement. Ordinarily to be in harmony means to go with, not to go against. But Ta Hui makes harmony something far deeper – neither to go with, nor to go against. Even in going with, there is some reluctance: you are still thinking of yourself as separate, that you are going with the current, you are no more fighting with the current. But you are there – and your very being is a resistance. The very idea that you are going with the current is enough of a disturbance in the harmony.
Ta Hui is making an immensely important point, and only a man who has come to this experience can make that statement. Otherwise it is very simple, ask anybody: to go with means to be in harmony, and to go against is to be in discord.
But Ta Hui says, “Even to go with is a discord, very subtle, very hidden, but you are keeping yourself separate. Real harmony is neither to go with nor to go against. Let reality possess you. Just be overwhelmed by that which is inescapable, and you will find immense peace.”
These sutras are important for every meditator on the path.
Whenever you run into something inescapable amid the hubbub, you’ve been examining yourself constantly, but without applying effort to meditate.
The first point: your meditation has to be without any effort on your part, because all effort is of the mind, and mind has no way of reaching to meditation. So if you are making some effort, your very effort is the barrier to reach to the space you want to reach.
Meditation is simply a pure understanding that if you can watch the mind without making any effort – and remember, watching is not an effort, watching is your natural capacity. Effort is something that you have to do; watching is something that you don’t have to do. It is already there. It is your very breathing, it is your very heartbeat, just you have never looked at it.
Ta Hui is saying that meditation has to be without any effort, and that is an agreed point among all the meditators of the world. Still, effort will disturb and bring the mind in, so with effort there is no meditation, only mind. No effort, no mind…and a spontaneous awareness that is not your work. You simply discover it as your intrinsic nature.
So this is the first thing about meditation. And the second thing he wants to remind you of is that your meditation should not be something where you put aside one hour every day in the morning, or as Mohammedans do, five times a day. Different religions have different special times for meditation, but the idea of having a special time for meditation means the remaining time you will remain non-meditative.
One hour of meditation and twenty-three hours of non-meditation…do you think there is any hope that meditation will win in the end? Those twenty-three hours will wash out anything that you think you are doing in meditation.
Secondly, a man who is twenty-three hours in a non-meditative state, how can he suddenly become meditative for one hour? It is not possible. It is like a man who is sick for twenty-three hours and suddenly for one hour becomes perfectly healthy and then again sick, as if it is in his own hands – whenever he decides that it is time to become healthy, he becomes healthy, and when the time comes to be sick, he becomes sick.
Meditation is your inner health. Twenty-three hours a day sick, spiritually sick, full of anger, hate, jealousy, competition, violence, and suddenly for one hour you become a Gautam Buddha – how can you manage it? This is not possible.
All the religions have been deceiving people. Because people want to have something spiritual, they have given a toy – one hour do this and you are doing meditation – but they have not looked at the psychology of it. It is just not in the nature of things, you cannot do it this way. Either you have to be meditative twenty-four hours a day or you have to be non-meditative twenty-four hours a day, the choice is yours. But you cannot divide your life into two parts – in the temple you will be meditative and in the shop, in the office, you will be non-meditative.
Gautam Buddha and the people who have understood him down the centuries insist on a meditation that goes with every action, with anything you do. It follows you like a shadow. It runs within your consciousness like an undercurrent. You may be in the market, you may be in the temple – you may be anywhere, and your inner silence remains undisturbed, unperturbed. This is the only true meditation.
So first, no effort has to be made, only understanding has to be awakened. If anger is there, watch. Don’t make any effort to push it away, just remain a spectator, as if it is not your business to be involved. If hate is there, watch. And these are very thin clouds; if you can just remain watchful, within minutes they will be gone. They will be gone on their own accord.
Don’t push them, because the more you push them, the more you accept their reality. The more you push them, the more you fall to their standard. The more you push them…they have a strange habit. Have you seen insects? – you throw away an insect, and it will immediately turn and run toward you. A very strange idea: the whole world is available, but it will not go anywhere else. It takes the challenge, “Who are you…?” Any small insect, any cockroach – just throw it away and watch what happens: it comes back immediately with tremendous force.
The same is the situation with your mind. In fact, the mind of the cockroach and the mind you have are not very different. Their basic structure is the same. Their mind is a little smaller, a miniature; yours is a little bigger, but they have the same capacities as you have.
Scientists have been very much puzzled that wherever man is found, cockroaches are always found, or vice-versa: wherever cockroaches are found, man is always found. They have simply never lived separately; they are the ancientmost colleagues in existence. Man is thought to be capable of adapting to any situation – cold, heat, rain – and cockroaches have the same capacity.
Even when man went to the moon, cockroaches were found in the rocket. They could not believe this strange fate. They were going to the moon and they were well-prepared, they had had a long training, and the cockroaches were going without any training. But they managed; they came back with the people in the same rocket, without any training. They proved far superior! They had no training, and they managed a situation which no cockroach before them had ever managed.
You don’t realize…the situation was very new: no gravitation, and cockroaches were flying. The men at least had belts on their seats, but the cockroaches had no belts, so they were really flying, and for the first time. They were not puzzled by the non-gravitation; they lost all weight, but they did not make any fuss about it. And on the moon there is no oxygen, but the cockroaches managed perfectly well. They have a miniature mind, but the same model as man’s.
The moment you make any effort to throw away your mental stuff, it simply runs back. You can try it. Just sit for five minutes and try not to think of monkeys and then see what happens. All the monkeys of the world will become interested in you. And you had not even told them; you were just sitting in your room with the idea that you are not to think about monkeys – and that’s enough. It has been broadcast to all the monkeys, and whatever you do they will be there till you say, “Now five minutes are over. Now if you want you can remain, if you don’t want to remain it is up to you. I am no longer interested.” They will be gone…but if you want them to go that is against their pride.
Every single thought, every single emotion, feeling, has its own ego it seems. That’s why people who try to fight with them get defeated. Don’t fight, just watch. There is no harm if they are there. Anger cannot do any harm unless you become identified with it – then you may do something which can be harmful to somebody. Anger itself cannot do anything; it is absolutely impotent, just an idea. Let it be there, and watch, watch joyfully, and see how long it can last without your support. It won’t even last for a few minutes. It will be gone.
Meditation has to be only a watchfulness, then it is possible to have it twenty-four hours a day. Even while going to sleep, be watchful. To the last moment, when you see that now sleep is taking you over – the darkness goes on growing, the body is relaxing and the point comes when suddenly from wakefulness you move into sleep – watch up to that moment. And first thing in the morning, as you become aware that the sleep is finished, immediately start watching; soon you will be able to watch even while you are asleep. Watchfulness will become a lamp that goes on burning day and night inside you.
This is the only authentic meditation. All else that has been told to you in the name of meditation is simply a toy to play with, to deceive yourself that you are doing something spiritual. With this meditation you will come across the inescapable. Everything illusory will disappear.
But everything in existence is not illusory. That which is not illusory is inescapable, and what are you going to do with the inescapable? Perhaps you have never thought about it.
This very inescapability itself is meditation.
If you go on watching even the inescapable, you will be able to see clearly that that which disappears while watching is illusory; that which becomes even more clear, more crystal clear, which was before hidden behind the cloud of your illusory dreams, desires, now stands absolutely clear….
Ta Hui is saying,
This very inescapability itself is meditation…
The moment you see that this is the real there is no question to be with it or to go against it. The real is vast, immense; in fact we are simply dewdrops in the ocean of the real. There is no question of us going with it or not going with it – watching silently you will see a deep harmony arising between you and the real. So meditation does two works: one, it destroys the unreal, and second, it creates a harmony with the real.
…if you go further and apply effort to examine yourself, you’re even further away.
There is no need to go further. You have come to the place where merger can happen. Going further is dangerous. You may start again from the back door bringing thoughts, projections; all that you have rejected at the front door will start entering from the back door.
It is necessary to remember that the moment you come across something that becomes clearer in meditation, truer, more solid, then it is time to allow harmony to happen. There is no need to think what to do about it. Neither do you have to think about the false, because the false disappears with meditation; nor do you have to think about the real, because the real becomes so crystal clear, so certain, so categorical that there is no doubt in you. There is no need to go on. It is time, the right moment to allow the merger to happen.
Right when you’re in something inescapable, do not bestir your mind and think of examining yourself.
Because that will be going backward.
The Patriarch said, “When discrimination doesn’t arise, the light of emptiness shines by itself.”
So don’t still the mind again, don’t start thinking whether it is real or unreal, don’t bring in discrimination again, because with discrimination the mind comes back. Simply remember the symptoms: that which is unreal will be immediately gone, just like dreams go in the morning when you wake up.
In sleep you may have been sleeping in a palace; when you wake up, of course the palace is not there, just your old poor house. The unreal has disappeared, and the real – which was completely forgotten because of the unreal – is clear. When you were in the palace you did not even wonder what happened to the house. It was completely covered by the illusory.
Once you see the real, then just remember one thing: Bodhidharma says, “When discrimination doesn’t arise, the light of emptiness shines by itself.” Just wait…don’t start stirring your mind again, which is your old habit. There is every possibility you may have the temptation to bestir your mind. If you don’t stir your mind, “…the light of emptiness shines by itself.”

– and he has said tremendously beautiful things – In daily activities without discrimination, I alone naturally harmonize. Not grasping or rejecting anywhere, not going with or going against. Who considers crimson and purple honorable? There’s not a speck of dust in the mountains. Spiritual powers and wondrous functioning: hauling water and carrying firewood.
…layman P’ang said:
– and he has said tremendously beautiful things –
In daily activities without discrimination,
I alone naturally harmonize.
Not grasping or rejecting anywhere,
Not going with or going against.
Who considers crimson and purple honorable?
There’s not a speck of dust in the mountains.
Spiritual powers and wondrous functioning:
Hauling water and carrying firewood.
Each sentence of Layman P’ang is significant: In daily activities without discrimination – just remaining silent and doing whatever is needed to be done – I alone naturally harmonize. Because there is no discrimination, there is no barrier to prevent one from harmonizing. Carrying water or chopping wood or cooking food, there is no mind between the activity and your consciousness. A totally new kind of activity arises – that of harmony. You act in harmony and it does not matter what kind of activity….
One of the greatest dancers, Nijinsky, was asked by scientists again and again, “We cannot believe it. How do you manage?” – because his dance was a miracle. When he would come to the peak of his dance he would take such long jumps that are not possible according to gravitation. Even the people who compete in the Olympics for long jump could not jump the way Nijinsky used to jump.
Nijinsky jumped so high that it was simply not possible according to the laws of science. Looking at his weight and the force of gravity, one should only be able to jump so far and not more – there is a certain limit – but he broke all the records. This was the first problem for the scientists.
The second was even more difficult. When things fall, they fall with a speed; gravitation pulls things fast. You see in the night what you call a falling star. Stars don’t fall – a star is too big. If they fell we would have been finished long ago. Our planet is so small that even if a star passes by without hitting us, we will be finished – just its heat will be enough to burn everything that is alive.
What goes on falling – and it is not a small number, at least six thousand stars fall every day, twenty-four hours, around the earth – are not stars, they are small stones. These stones happened because…it is conceived by scientists that some time back – nearabout two million years back – a great star passed near the earth, and because of its passing, it pulled out the moon.
The moon was part of the earth, but the star’s gravitation was such that where the Pacific Ocean exists now was once filled by the material that is now the moon. It was pulled away. The star went by, but because a star moves with the speed of light, it pulled out a great chunk which became the moon. When such a great chunk is pulled out of the earth, millions of small pieces of earth also go into the sky, beyond the two hundred miles’ scope of gravitation.
Those millions of pieces of stone and earth are still roaming around in space. Whenever by chance they come close and fall within the limit of gravitation – that is if they come as close as two hundred miles – then earth immediately pulls them back. But the force with which they are pulled back is such that the heat from friction with the air burns them up. You see them burning with light, and it is just the friction from the speed at which they are falling.
Most of them disappear in the air, they never reach the earth. A few do manage to reach if they are big enough – they are a different kind of stone. Because they have existed in space outside of the earth’s gravitation for two million years, they have developed different characteristics.
In Mecca, what the Mohammedans worship as Kaaba is a big stone that has fallen from the sky. Those stones can be recognized – they have grown different characteristics – and they are called asteroids.
So whenever a thing falls it falls with great speed – but Nijinsky used to fall just like a feather, wavering, coming slowly this way and that, not in a direct line pulled by gravitation. This was almost magic, and Nijinsky was not able to explain it because it was not something he was doing. Finally he accepted that “Whenever I have tried to do it I have failed. Whenever I forget myself completely, whenever the dancer is forgotten and the dance alone remains, it happens. Not only are you surprised, I am also surprised. I did not do it; I was no more, only the dance was there.”
A meditator naturally harmonizes. All his activities are a kind of dance, he is one with them. Carrying water he is not separate from the water he is carrying; chopping wood he is not separate, he is simply chopping. Each action is no longer of the old quality, where you were the doer.
Now the doer is gone, only the doing is left.
And because only the doing is left, the dancer is no more, only the dance is left, and there arises a natural harmony – not grasping. Although it is tremendously blissful, no desire comes to grasp it, no fear that “I may lose it.” One is so filled and so aware that it is natural, there is no need to grasp it. It is your own nature. You grasp other things; you don’t have to grasp your own nature.
Not grasping or rejecting anywhere, not going with or going against – all these questions of for and against belong to the mind. When the mind is no more there, you are neither for nor against: you are simply there, and a natural harmonizing happens. It is not your doing.
Who considers crimson and purple honorable? P’ang is a Buddhist – just as Bodhidharma is a Buddhist and Ta Hui is a Buddhist – and in Buddhism, the colors purple and crimson are traditionally accepted as holy colors.
P’ang is saying, Who considers crimson and purple honorable? There’s not a speck of dust in the mountains. All that could prevent your vision, all that could prevent your clarity exists no more – not even a speck of dust in all the mountains.
And who cares what is holy and what is unholy? – because the mind that used to discriminate is no longer there.
Spiritual powers and wondrous functioning are no more different than hauling water and carrying firewood. So whether you are worshipping in the temple or carrying firewood it is all the same, because both are done in a deep harmony and meditativeness. Both have the same fragrance and the same music and the same dance.
Just when you can’t escape, suddenly you get rid of the cloth bag (of illusion) and without being aware of it, you’ll be clapping your hands and laughing loudly.
He’s saying that the moment somebody becomes enlightened – just when you can’t escape, just when you are so one with reality that there is no escape, when you cannot find any separation from the ocean of existence – suddenly you get rid of the cloth bag of illusion. You are only separated by a cloth bag, and that too is illusory – it is just an idea. …and without being aware of it, you’ll be clapping… – and you will not be aware what you are doing, you will be clapping your hands and laughing loudly.
I will tell you a small story to explain it.

Two monks, the master and the disciple, are passing through a forest and it is getting late. They have lost their way, and the old man, the master, was continually asking, “How long will it take to reach the next village? It is dangerous to remain in the dark night in this wild forest – there are wild animals.” And he was continuously clutching his bag.
The young man, his disciple, is a little bit concerned: What has happened to the old man? – because many times they had lost their way and many times they had had to stay in the forest, but he was never before afraid of wild animals. He is not afraid of death either, it is something new. And why does he go on clutching his bag again and again? And it seems he tries to feel something in the bag….
The whole day they have been walking, and finally, when the sun is setting, they stop at a well just to take a little shower, wash their bodies which are full of dirt, and then have something to eat before the sun sets.
The master gave the bag to the disciple and told him, “Be careful of it.” This too was new. He had given him that bag many times in their wanderings but he had never said, “Be careful!”
So the disciple said: “Yes, I will be careful” – and he looked inside the bag and found two bricks of solid gold. He said, “Now I can understand what the problem is. When the old man was washing his body the disciple threw those two gold bricks into a ditch thousands of feet down, and placed two stones almost of the same weight in the bag.
The old man finished his bath quickly and the first thing he said was, “Give me the bag.” He took the bag, felt the weight and was satisfied. They ate their supper and by that time the sun was down, so then they moved. But still there was no sign of any village close by, and the old man was very much worried.
Two miles from the well the young man said, “Now, master, drop the worry.”
The old man said, “What do you mean, ‘drop the worry’? What worry?”
The disciple said, “In fact I have dropped your worries in a ditch near the well.”
The old man immediately opened his bag and took out those two stones. He said, “My God, you have thrown out those two gold bricks?”
The disciple said, “Yes, because they were making you for the first time afraid. And the most miraculous thing is that for two miles, although there was nothing to be afraid of, still you were afraid. Just the illusion that there are gold bricks in the bag is enough to make you afraid.” He had been continuously touching the bag and feeling….

All our illusions – our friendship, our family, our society, our money, our power – disappear suddenly the moment you see there is no escape, now the dewdrop has fallen into the ocean.
And in this moment, without your thinking, you start clapping and a loud laughter explodes from your being: “I am the ocean. I have been thinking up to now that I am the dewdrop, and feeling unnecessarily worried that if I by some accident fall into the ocean that will be my death. Now, falling into the ocean, I have found just the opposite. It is my eternal life.”
It is time for the dewdrop to clap its hands and have a good laughter. Anyone who has become enlightened – the first right act is to clap and have a good laughter.
If you can do it even without becoming enlightened, who knows? – you may become enlightened. Just give it a try!

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