The Miracle 02

Second Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - The Miracle by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

Dogen wrote:
Now, when we see the followers of an enlightened Zen master, we realize that they have many difficulties in hearing his true teachings. True aspirants of Buddhism amount to twenty or thirty – nay, to one hundred or to one thousand. In this case, if a master tries to lead every one of them, he will find the days and nights too short. Further, they have no ear for his teachings, however hard he may try to lead them. But when they give ear to him, his sermon is already finished.
When an old Zen master laughs loudly, clapping his hands, beginners and later-day trainees in Buddhism seem to have difficulty even in having a chance to find themselves among the attendants. Some of them realize the innermost depths of the master, and others, not. Some hear the core of the master’s enlightenment, and others, not.
Time flies faster than an arrow; life is more transient than a dewdrop. Some may have the master, but regret that they cannot hear his teachings. Some wish to listen to his teachings, but regret that they cannot see the master himself.

On another occasion, Dogen said:

My own master never easily permitted new monks to stay in his temple, usually saying, “Those, who, lacking in the bodhi-mind, behave themselves merely from force of habit must not stay here.” Having turned them out, he said, “They are lacking in the bodhi-seeking mind. What are they going to do? Such fellows only disturb others. They are not worthy of being allowed to stay here.”
Dogen continued: “Seeing and personally hearing this fact, I said to myself, ‘Living as they are, in this country, what sin or crime in their previous existence, prevents them from living with my master? Under what a lucky star I was born that, coming from a far-distant foreign country, I am permitted to stay here to worship his venerable body and listen to his sermon! Foolish as I am, I have been able to form a good and fruitful connection with him.’”
Maneesha, Dogen is dealing with one of the most important aspects of Zen. His statement is not as exact as it could be, but anyway he comes very approximately near to the truth.
He does not mention, and perhaps no Zen master has ever mentioned, that there are three potentialities. When a seeker comes to a master he may be only a student, most of them are. They are in search of more knowledge because knowledge brings power, knowledge brings respectability, knowledge brings honor and dignity. But these are not the true seekers.
The second category that comes to the master is the disciple. Zen masters have reached very high as far as human consciousness is concerned. But they have stopped at the second category of seekers, the disciple and the master.
There is another category which Zen is not aware of, because it was not needed. To be a disciple was enough…to meditate, to watch the master, and to create a connection of consciousnesses. It has worked well for Zen but I can see that something is missing, and that is the devotee.
The third category of seekers did not happen in Zen. The masters have reached to the highest peak, but the disciple cannot reach to the highest peak unless he becomes a devotee. And the difference is great. The disciple is satisfied if he is connected with the master – watches his movements, listens to his words, listens to his silences. Slowly slowly he starts growing an individuality of his own. He may jump from disciplehood into mastership.
Zen knows disciples and masters. But a more ancient tradition in India, which has almost disappeared, makes it clear that unless a disciple first becomes a devotee there is no way of becoming a master.
And what is the difference between the disciple and the devotee? The disciple seeks connection, the devotee seeks dissolvement; the disciple seeks individuality, the devotee seeks the ocean. Personality is borrowed, it has to be dropped; individuality is your own, but if you can manage to drop it also then the whole ocean is yours. Otherwise, a dewdrop is beautiful in the sunlight or in the moonlight, but the roaring reality of the ocean and the eternity of the ocean are missing. The dewdrop has no song to sing; the ocean has millions of songs to sing and millions remain unsung.
Although the dewdrop can reflect the moon as much as the ocean, the depth of the reflection cannot be more than the circular dimension of the dewdrop. In the ocean the same moon penetrates to the very depths, miles deep.
Being a devotee means dropping even individuality, dropping even the feeling that, “I am”…just merging with the universe. It is the ultimate quantum leap. From personality to individuality is a very small jump, available to many, but from individuality to no-individuality is a very rare occurrence. And that’s what makes a disciple a devotee.
Because Zen tradition knows nothing about the devotee, there is something missing in it. It brings the individual to realize the truth, it brings the individual back home; but the separation of the individual from the master and the separation of the individual from existence still remain in a very subtle form. The disciple still is. He has not forgotten himself completely, he has not dropped even his being.
A devotee is a miracle. He simply disappears into the whole, leaving behind not even a trace.
Gautam Buddha is reported to have said that the authentic seeker is just like a bird flying in the sky, leaving no footmarks behind. When the bird becomes one with the sky…not only in tune, because in tune you still remain separate. The disciple is in tune with the master but they are two different instruments, meeting deeply with each other, but the separation line is still there. The devotee simply disappears, only the master remains. The master himself becomes just a window for him to jump into the beyond.
Because the devotee is not at all a part of the Zen tradition…and there are reasons why the word has not appeared. The reasons are that devotees – the very word devotee has become contaminated with the idea of God, with worship. To devote yourself, to dedicate yourself, to surrender yourself…but all these words are not the essence of the word devotee. Because of these misconceptions about the devotee, Zen has not used the word at all – because there is no God to be devoted to and there is no worship to be done; you have to be just yourself.
My own experience is that just to be yourself is great, but not great enough. There is one step more – not to be. Let the pine trees stand in their beauty under the full moon, let the birds sing, let the sun rise and set, but you will not be found anywhere. You are no more, existence is. This ultimate step makes the disciple a devotee…no worship, no question of any God. And according to me, unless one is a devotee, not in tune with the universe but one with the universe, he cannot be a master.
Hence the master is one of the most miraculous phenomena. He is and he is not. He is to you, from the outside; he is not at all from the inside. Inside is pure space. This you have to remember before I talk about Dogen, because he is talking about the difficulties of the disciple.
Dogen wrote:
Now, when we see the followers of an enlightened Zen master….
In fact a Zen master has no followers. That is the beauty of Zen: he has lovers, he has people as fellow travelers, but not followers. Others have followers – following means imitating, following means preparing oneself step by step in a discipline. It is more or less creating yourself in the image of your master, but that again is hypocrisy.
I will not say,…followers of an enlightened Zen master. If there are followers then the master is not enlightened. If the master is enlightened there are only lovers, fellow travelers. The question of following does not arise.
I make this statement with absolute authority, that Dogen has missed the point.
He says:
… we realize that they have many difficulties in hearing his true teachings. True aspirants of Buddhism amount to twenty or thirty – nay, to one hundred or to one thousand. In this case, if a master tries to lead every one of them, he will find the days and nights too short. Further, they have no ear for his teachings, however hard he may try to lead them.
Dogen does not understand the working of a master. Perhaps these statements were made by him before he himself became a master. There is a difficulty, because in those days there was no printing, no writing, just disciples taking notes. So it is very difficult to know whether it is Dogen’s own mistake or the mistake of the person who was taking the notes.
But anyway we don’t know who took the notes. One thing is certain, that Dogen must have said something to create the fault.
First, True aspirants of buddhism. He is still talking in terms of “isms” and Zen is not an “ism”. Zen is freedom from all “isms” – Buddhism included. And aspirants are for the truth, not for Buddhism, not for Hinduism, not for Christianity. These are not aspirants, these are conditioned people who are following their conditioning. They may find a certain solace, a consolation, but they will never find the truth, because truth is not part of any theology.
Dogen’s statements are very amateurish. true aspirants is enough; don’t say of Buddhism. Why should anybody be an aspirant of Buddhism? Everybody is a buddha himself. So it is better to say: “Seekers, aspirants, searchers of one’s own being.” Why bring theologies in? That is not the Zen way.
And he does not know that a master can have thousands of disciples. He may not know even their names, he may not have even met them – it does not matter. He works in a totally different way than things are done in the ordinary world. He simply creates an atmosphere, he does not work with “A” and “B” and “C”.
Then naturally, according to Dogen, a man’s life is very short; if he becomes enlightened – as Gautam Buddha became enlightened – at the age of forty…. He lived up to eighty-two. In forty-two years, if he had worked day and night without sleeping, without eating…even then, how many people would he have been able to bring to the consciousness that he had achieved?
And that is a very foolish way, there is no need. The very mastery, the art of being a master is to create an atmosphere in which things start happening on their own. What are we doing here? I don’t know many of you, I don’t know your names, I don’t meet you personally. I simply create an atmosphere in which you can drown, in which you can drink the very juice of life. There is no need for me to work on individuals – that is a very poor and primitive way. I work by creating an atmosphere, an energy field, and every day that energy field becomes more and more powerful. Every one of you contributes to it. You are not just on the side of taking; you are also a giver.
Here your presence, your consciousness, certainly creates a chain reaction. Just the man sitting by your side…you may not know him at all, but in your silence you meet with him. When everybody becomes silent there is simply a lake of buddhahood – one consciousness, one existence, one dance. You are not in tune with existence, you are it.
So, for his first mistake, he thinks that life is too short and a master cannot work on many people. That is absolutely wrong. A single master can work on the whole world. And he need not go out of his room; he can radiate enough energy, invisible rays, to surround the whole globe.
Many times it has been reported to me that some sannyasin has come from New Zealand or some sannyasin has come even from the Soviet Union, for the reason that he simply saw my picture. A friend had my picture, and seeing the picture a tremendous longing arose in him somehow to reach me – irrational, but life is irrational.
Somebody has read a few words in a book and those words become a magnetic force so that he has to come here. Somebody has heard how I have been condemned, criticized, and thinks, “If so many people and so many magazines and so many politicians are against this man, there must be something to him.”
Nobody is opposed on such a vast scale. I cannot enter twenty-one countries, their parliaments have passed laws.

Just today I received a beautiful note from Vimal, who has gone to England. He had taken his girlfriend, who is an Indian, to the British High Commissioner’s office in Bombay. They would not give a visa to the Indian woman. They interrogated her for hours and finally refused.
But Vimal is not a person who will accept any refusal so easily. He asked to see the highest authority. He did not want to deal with an assistant commissioner; he wanted to see the High Commissioner himself: on what grounds is he denying a visa just for three weeks?
The High Commissioner said, “To be frank with you, your girlfriend has nothing – no bank account, no home, no particular reason why she should come back to India again.”
Vimal said to him, “Don’t be afraid about that. We have not been saying it to you, but we are Osho’s disciples. She has every reason to be here. She has no reason to be anywhere else.”
And Vimal has written a note to me, “The British Commissioner immediately gave the visa. He said, ‘If she is Osho’s disciple, then there is no problem.’”
It is the first time that my name has been of help – because that makes it certain that she will not remain in England. “She can go have a three week trip, or if you want, three months…any time. We were worried that she may not come back. But if she is a disciple of Osho, there is no worry.”
Life is very strange. They were hiding my name, but they forgot that my name has to be kept secret if you are coming from England. If you are going to England it is a different story. The High Commissioner was perfectly satisfied; there was no question of asking any more about the woman. She will come back to India.

I have come across many sannyasins who just heard my name and something started – a longing, a desire…as if a forgotten language suddenly is remembered. A master does not work on individuals. He creates an atmosphere and that atmosphere itself goes on becoming every day richer, more dense. Its pull, its gravitation, goes on bringing new people from faraway places.
In Rancho Rajneesh in America…now even the Oregon newspapers are accepting the fact that our presence has made Oregon a world-famous place. In fact the news media – television, radio, newspapers, magazines – they all missed. They had a tremendously beautiful story, with all the colors of the rainbow, with all the rumors that you can manage. We gave them so much material and we allowed them to invent whatever they wanted to invent. We enjoy it anyway, we don’t make much fuss whether it is true or not. We kept the whole news media busy.
It is almost unbelievable that I was, for two years, the first man…. I was a tourist whose tourist visa had expired years before, and I was chosen the man of the year in Oregon because I was discussed more than the president himself.
Many times my people said to me, “These allegations…we should drag them to the court.”
I said, “Stop – don’t bother! Let them make as many allegations as possible. Help to create rumors yourself! Let the whole of America be concerned with you.” And we made, within five years, the whole of America concerned.
Now the politicians are missing me. One of my attorneys came a few days ago. He said, “Now, in Oregon, the politicians are missing you very much.”
I said, “Why?”
He said, “Because you were a good reason for them to collect the votes of the Oregonians, because they all were against you. Now there is no reason why they should be chosen.” And he added, “The newspapers are missing you, the television is missing you.”
The man Ed Meese said in a press conference, “All that we want is to silence Osho absolutely. He should not be heard anywhere, he should not be seen anywhere. We will close all the doors to his voice.”
Anando has sent him just now…. Here we are, ten thousand sannyasins, and poor Ed Meese has been kicked out of his Attorney General’s job because he has been found guilty of doing many criminal acts.
And Anando, as my secretary, has written to him – with a photograph of ten thousand sannyasins, that means twenty thousand hands raised – saying, “Osho is still being heard – where are you?” It is only a question….
In the Soviet Union, where it is almost impossible for anybody to enter, I have my sannyasins. They have never seen me. They meet in basements. They have been terrorized, harassed, by the Russian intelligence, their books have been burned. So those poor Russians have to type the books and, from hand to hand, those books are moving around.
Now that America has banned me from entering for five years, Russian intelligence has relaxed. Before they used to think that I must be in favor of America and America’s capitalism. Now at least that much is proved – that America has closed its doors to me.
Now even sannyasins in Russia have started feeling that they can invite me sometime. Things are getting better, the police are no more harassing them.
I am sitting here in my room, and I am being discussed, for and against, in almost all the parliaments of the world. Articles arrive every day from Holland, from Germany, from England, from places of which I have not even heard – small places…Bolivia. And just now I have received their congratulations for my birthday. My sannyasins in Bolivia, in Yugoslavia, in Czechoslovakia…it is a contagious phenomenon.
To be a master is almost like a dangerous disease moving like winds, like clouds…it does not carry a passport, it does not believe in any boundaries. A master’s existence is always universal. His focus cannot be on individuals. That will take ages to bring enlightenment to the world. No, it is not a retail work – it is wholesale. When I make you every night enlightened it is wholesale.
And whatever vibrations you are gathering, you will be spreading without your knowing, wherever you go. I don’t make anybody a missionary. I don’t want you to convert anybody. I want you just to be converted yourself – converted not to any ideology, converted to your own truth. And suddenly you will start radiating a fragrance for which many are thirsty.
Sannyasins have reported to me that, “It is very strange. We have dropped the orange, we have dropped the mala just so that nobody recognizes us,” because the governments, the airports…everywhere the Americans influence, blackmail, because they are all indebted to America. The sannyasins say, “It is very strange. We are immediately recognized, it has made no difference. Even if we say we don’t know who Osho is, they say, ‘We know you are a man concerned with Osho . Your very eyes show it.’”
Now, I cannot take away my people’s eyes. I can give you sunglasses, but then you will be recognized by your sunglasses. Then nobody else in the world will be able to wear sunglasses. We can have a hilarious time: whoever wears sunglasses is a sannyasin.

Dogen does not understand that the work of a master is very subtle, very fine. And it is not in the realm of the visible, it is in the realm of the invisible, so you don’t see it but you know it is spreading.
So much fear in politicians of a man who has no nuclear weapons, not even a vegetable cutting knife…I have not seen with my own eyes a vegetable cutting knife. I don’t know who cuts my vegetables.
Why this fear? It seems the very air is ready for me. The young people around the world are searching for something. They are not satisfied with their own churches, they are not satisfied with their religions or their leaders. There is an immense discontent all over the world. That is the fear of the politicians: that I can catch up with the youth – with the young, with the fresh, with the intelligent. It is better to avoid me. But the more they try to avoid, the more they make it clear to their people that if these politicians are afraid of a man who has not done any harm to anybody, then it is worthwhile to go to that man.
Half of my people here are from Germany. It is because of the German politicians who are working in my favor by making laws against me. The intelligent youth can see that if these politicians are so much afraid of a man, then it is better to go and not to miss the opportunity.
A master functions like free air – it goes on around the earth like radiation.
Dogen must have said these things when he was not himself a master. But a few points of what he is saying are, by chance, important. true aspirants – I drop off the of Buddhism. A true aspirant does not remain stuck being a student because as a student he can only be burdened with borrowed knowledge. He can see that it is not his experience. A true aspirant wants to know things as his own experience. He immediately becomes a disciple.
But the disciple has a few difficulties; it depends on both the master and the disciple how great those difficulties will be. First,…they have no ear for his teachings. According to me, there are no teachings, but only a presence. You don’t need ears, you need a heart which can drink the presence of a master.
And he is saying,…they have no ear for his teachings, however hard he may try to lead them. Sheer nonsense! A master never tries hard. When a thing can be done very easily, only idiots try hard. And when you understand the way an energy phenomenon works it is only a question of triggering. It is not a hard job. It is the most easy job, otherwise I would not have chosen it.
I am myself an example: a lazy man who has never done anything. I saw that it seems enlightenment is perfectly in tune with laziness and I immediately became enlightened. I did not have second thoughts. For thirty years I have been enlightened and not for a single moment I have doubted. In fact I am so lazy I will not doubt; doubting also takes effort. And once I have become enlightened, why unnecessarily bother?
You go on doing hard things. You become enlightened, you become unenlightened. And next day when you see me you again remember that you are a buddha. In this hall only buddhas sit. It is so easy to be silent, it is so easy to be watchful; it is not an arduous thing. But all old masters made it seem like a very arduous thing.
It is true that very few have the courage to open their hearts so the master can pour himself into them. But it is not a question of any teachings; no master worth the name has any teachings. He certainly has some insights to share. He does not argue, he does not want to convince you. He has no investment in convincing you. He is not interested in converting you to be a follower. It is his joy to share the bliss he has, because the more he shares it, the more he has. It is not out of compassion; it is out of a simple understanding that the more you share your joy, the more there is. It is a strange arithmetic: the more you give, the more is received by your heart from the unknown sources of existence.
Dogen is certainly very immature. But when they give ear to him, his sermon is already finished. That is true. If the master is only concerned with teachings, then by the time the person is ready to listen to him the sermon is over. But the authentic master is a teaching himself. He simply provokes in you a synchronicity. He brings you closer to his heart, his being, because that is the door to the universal heart. It is an alchemical transformation; it is not a scholarly job.
When an old Zen master laughs loudly, clapping his hands, beginners and later-day trainees in Buddhism seem to have difficulty even in having a chance to find themselves among the attendants.
When the old Zen master laughs…if you start thinking about why he is laughing you have missed. He is simply enjoying it. And if you understand the point, you should join him in his laughter. You will find that you are laughing in a very fresh and new way. You have laughed before; it was very ordinary. This time it seems to be very precious. It has reflected the laughter of the master also. It has joined hands with a tremendous energy, it has reflected the full moon.
Your laughter has been a laughter in dark tunnels. You have laughed because you wanted to hide your misery. You laughed because you did not want to expose your sufferings to others. Your laughter was a defensive device.
But when a master laughs it has nothing to do with anything to hide. On the contrary, he is laughing because he can see his buddhahood and he can see your buddhahood, and he cannot believe how you buddhas can manage to be in suffering. This is the most unbelievable thing: that a buddha is in misery. Carrying essentially the buddhahood, how can you be in misery? How can you be in suffering? How can you be dry and not blossoming?
Zen is a participation with the master’s being. He laughs and you join in his laughter, not even bothering why he is laughing. The question “why?” is the most stupid question. Why are the roses so beautiful? Why are the clouds today silent? Why do the bamboos go on growing?
Everything simply is. At the moment the master feels like laughing he does not ask himself why. His laughter is just like a flower. The bush does not ask, “Why has this rose arisen in me?” The bush enjoys the dance of the rose, its beauty and its fragrance, without any questioning. Existence has no rationality in it. It is beyond reason, hence there is no question of any teaching. The question is only of sharing.
Some of them realize the innermost depths of the master, and others, not. Some hear the core of the master’s enlightenment, and others, not.
You can see the statement seems to be a footnote by a disciple, because a master does not speak about great things as if he has heard about them. He has seen them. He is talking about things that may be happening. Some people hear the master and some people don’t hear.
Time flies faster than an arrow; life is more transient than a dewdrop. Some may have the master, but regret that they cannot hear his teachings. Some wish to listen to his teachings, but regret that they cannot see the master himself.
Unfortunately, Dogen is still not a master. I have just finished a series on Dogen. Those were the statements when he must have become a master. But these statements, without any doubt, show that he has taken notes but has no authority of his own. A master speaks with authority, the authority that comes out of his own experience.
On another occasion, Dogen said:
My own master never easily permitted new monks to stay in his temple.
Now it is impossible for a master to do such an unkind act. Everybody has to begin someday. Everybody is new…even those who are old disciples started one day as new disciples. Now, not to permit the new monks to stay in the temple is sheer unkindness, and that is not a sign of a master. Perhaps Dogen has stayed with a teacher.

And when he rejected people,
… usually saying, “Those, who, lacking in the bodhi-mind, behave themselves merely from force of habit must not stay here.” Having turned them out, he said, “They are lacking in the bodhi-seeking mind. What are they going to do? Such fellows only disturb others.”
Not only was Dogen not a master at the time these words were written, his master also was not a master.
The very miracle of the master is to transform the disciple. I cannot conceive that a master will reject anyone. The very foundation of Zen is that everybody is a buddha, whether he knows it or not. The function of the master is very easy: just to help the person to remember his self-nature. There is nowhere one has to go, no discipline has to be enforced, no self-torture…just a silent searching within oneself. And the master creates the atmosphere.
You see the miracle every day. The new person comes and as he joins in this energy field he becomes as old as you are. His laughter is as deep as yours. Perhaps one day he may hesitate, but the next day he will see that everybody is laughing – “Why should I hesitate?” Perhaps one day he will not die, but when he sees another day that everybody here dies and comes back, then there is no fear in dying…one can die.
The newcomer becomes very soon an old disciple, just within days. I can see when the newcomer for the first time enters the Buddha Hall he is hesitant, worried what is going to happen, cannot understand how he is going to do gibberish. But any child can do gibberish, it doesn’t need any training. From the very first moment you are almost trained. Gibberish needs no training, nor does laughter need any training.
If you can do the gibberish you are cleansing your mind of all kinds of dust that goes on gathering. And as the mind becomes silent…there is nowhere to go other than inwards. All roads are forgotten, there remains a single one-way traffic.
Just for a day or two you may hesitate to go that much inside. Who knows whether you will be able to come back or not? That’s the whole purpose of creating an energy field – so that you can see that so many people are coming and going, becoming enlightened, unenlightened. It is a playful, joyful exercise; there is nothing to be worried about, you can go as deep as you want. And when everybody else is going, in that tremendous storm it is so easy to join. Alone you may find it difficult to do gibberish, but when ten thousand people go simply with their wings, not knowing Chinese but speaking Chinese, not knowing what they are saying but saying it very emphatically, not bothering at all who is listening….
Nobody is listening, so you can say anything you want, you are not going to offend anybody. There is nobody other than you. Such an absolute freedom you will not find even when you are alone. And everybody helps to trigger everybody else. When you see your neighbor is going nuts the resistance drops. Everybody is going nuts and everybody is enjoying it so much, why not take a little step and be nuts, only for two minutes?
That will make you saner than you have ever been, because you throw so much garbage that you were holding. Do you think your gibberish is coming from the sky? You are carrying all that garbage, throw it! And don’t be worried that, “What will the others say?” They are throwing their garbage, nobody is interested in anybody else. Although thousands of people are doing it, everybody is doing it on his own.
Just one thing I have to warn you: don’t sit silently when people are throwing garbage, because that garbage tends to find new spaces again, some new house. So outdo each other, don’t be worried; it is a great competitive phenomenon. If you are just a little polite you are in a danger. It is not a question of being polite, because people are throwing all kinds of poisons. To keep their poisons from entering in you, you have to be on top of it. Such a joy, and with no ticket! You will not have such a joy even in a madhouse!
Just do it totally, enthusiastically. Don’t be bothered whether it is Arabic or Hebrew or Chinese, you are allowed to speak any language that you don’t know. Just avoid the language that you do know, because the language that you do know will not bring your nonsense out, it will be very grammatical.
Just be careful that you are not writing a meaningful poetry or prose. Meaning is not at all the requirement. Just for two minutes give an opportunity to your existence to be meaningless. And you will be immensely shocked to know that just within two minutes you become so light, so ready to enter into silence.
A master’s function is not to reject anybody, because anybody who is coming is a buddha in disguise, you have just to help him to discover his buddhahood. He knows in his deepest being but he has forgotten the way. Meditation is just to help him to find the way. And the way is not very long, it is very short. From the head to the heart how many inches? From the heart to the being how many inches? And from the being to the universal being…just a single step. The reality is so close to you, you are just standing on the boundary of it.
The master – any master worth his salt – will not reject anybody, because to reject anybody is to reject a buddha. He may be hiding himself, he may be thinking himself somebody else, but it is a great joy to remind him.
The master is just a reminder.
Certainly Dogen was not with a master, because that master used to say, “Because they are not yet buddhas, I will not accept them.” That is almost like telling a sick person, “The doctor will not accept you because you are sick. When you are healthy come back!”
When one is healthy one does not come back to the doctor.
You are all buddhas, whether you know it or not…but I know it, so it is only a question of creating a certain climate in which you also become part of the knowing that I am ready to share with you.
Dogen continued: “Seeing and personally hearing this fact, I said to myself: ‘Living as they are, in this country, what sin or crime in their previous existence, prevents them from living with my master?’”
Now he is thinking that the master is right, and these fellows who are being rejected must have committed some grave sins in their past lives, that’s why the master is not accepting them. The truth is, the master is not the master.

There is a Tibetan story…. An old master refused his whole life to accept any disciple. His name became more and more famous, people from all parts of Tibet used to come to him to be accepted as a disciple. It had become almost a craziness in all the seekers to see who was going to be accepted first. But he never accepted anyone.
But on the day he was dying he simply called his servant and told him, “Just go to the marketplace and tell whoever wants to be a disciple that I am ready, come! – because today I am going to die.”
Even the servant could not believe, “Has he gone insane or senile or what? Because his whole life he has been refusing – even kings had been rejected – and now he is saying, ‘Go to the marketplace…tell anybody!’”
The servant said, “Are you in your senses when you are saying this?”
The master laughed, he said, “Don’t waste time, because this evening is my last evening. I was rejecting the disciples up to now because I was not a master. Just this morning as the sun was rising I became the master, I became enlightened. Now I can see the buddhahood of everyone. So don’t be worried, just go! Go around the town and declare, ‘Whoever wants to become a disciple, come soon, the master will not be available tomorrow.’”
People could not believe the servant, they thought, “It must be some kind of joke – that old fellow has rejected even kings.”
One man’s wife had died and he was thinking, “What to do now?” Getting married again meant getting into another tragedy. Somehow existence has saved him, one tragedy has ended…but sitting without doing anything looks crazy. And he thought, “What is the problem? The old man is going to die tonight. If he can make me enlightened today there is no harm, and tomorrow I will be free to choose whether I want to remain enlightened or not.”
So a few people…somebody was there on a holiday, somebody was unemployed and just sitting because there was no job – thirteen people in all. The servant brought a very strange company. One man was going to commit suicide but he thought, “It is better first to become enlightened, suicide can be done afterwards.”
One man was a known thief; he thought, “It is a good opportunity, it must be a great gathering. In a big gathering you can cut a few pockets, there is no harm in it, and if you happen to become enlightened….”
Nobody thought about it, and nobody took it seriously, but they had some free time…. The servant went inside the cave where the old master lived and he said, “I have brought thirteen people, but I cannot say they are aspirants. They are just a useless lot, I know every one of them. One was determined to commit suicide, I told him, ‘You can commit afterwards, what is the hurry?’ One is a thief at night, so in the day he is free. I am ashamed,” the servant said, “to bring this lot, but what can I do? You told….”
The master said, “There is no problem. Bring each one of them, because they are all buddhas.”
And he called that random selection of thirteen and he said to them, “You are all buddhas. I was refusing up to now because I was not enlightened myself, and I could not accept a disciple because that would be a deception. This morning I have become a buddha and this evening I am going to disappear into the universe. Meanwhile, if any of you want to share my being, just sit silently around me.”
They looked at each other…whether to sit around him or not? But now that they had come so far into the forest, into the mountains, they thought, “It is worth trying, and anyway he is not asking any fee or anything.”
The story is…the man died and those thirteen people became enlightened, because when an enlightened master dies he radiates tremendous energy around himself. They had entered into the cave very ordinary people, they came out of the cave brilliant buddhas.
Dogen must have been in the company of a man who himself was not a master but a pretender. Because he was accepted by the master he thinks,
“Under what a lucky star I was born that, coming from a far-distant foreign country, I am permitted to stay here to worship his venerable body and to listen to his sermon! Foolish as I am, I have been able to form a good and fruitful connection with him.”
You don’t make a fruitful connection with a master. In fact, either you dissolve into the master or you remain yourself. Connection is a wrong word. Connection means that the two remain two; they just found a way of relating to each other that they call a connection. I will not say that you are connected with me or I am connected with you. Here there is only one consciousness!
You have to understand that to be with a master is not to be connected, it is to be dissolved, just like ice dissolves.

Shiki wrote:
Midnight sound –
leap up:
a fallen moon flower.
He must be meditating. These haikus are expressions of certain silences, sounds made out of silences.
Midnight sound –
leap up:
a fallen moon flower.
They are not to be understood the way we understand poetry.

Kikaku has written:
Full autumn moon –
on the straw mat,
pine shadow.
In a certain silence you start feeling yourself part of the world…the autumn moon, the straw mat, the pine shadow. It does not matter what it is, it has become part of you, you have become part of it.

A haiku by Basho:
Harvest moon:
around the pond I wander
and the night is gone.
Have you even seen night going? Very few people even become aware of things which are happening every day. Have you ever seen the evening coming? The midnight and its song? The sunrise and its beauty? We are behaving almost like blind people. In such a beautiful world we are living in small ponds of our own misery. It is familiar, so even if somebody wants to pull you out, you struggle. You don’t want to be pulled out of your misery, of your suffering. Otherwise there is so much joy all around, you have just to be aware of it and to become a participant, not a spectator.
Philosophy is speculation, Zen is participation. Participate in the night leaving, participate in the evening coming, participate in the stars and participate in the clouds; make participation your lifestyle and the whole existence becomes such a joy, such an ecstasy. You could not have dreamt of a better universe.

Maneesha has asked:
You seem to be throwing us back to ourselves more and more lately, reminding us that you have disappeared, so there is no one to relate to.
By what may we gauge if we have a “good and fruitful” connection, when we are connecting with no one?
Maneesha, don’t commit the same mistake that Dogen committed. There is no need of any connection, because connection means you are separate; drop all ideas of connecting. Just like a wave disappears into the ocean, let this place be an ocean where you all disappear.
You cannot have any connection with me, because I am not there. But you can dissolve into the same silence and the same space where I used to be once; where for thirty years I have not been. If you want to enter into an uninhabited house, it is up to you. It is dilapidated, but if you want to enter the space…the walls may have fallen, the roof may have fallen, but the space is still there and has been always there. When the walls were standing, it was there; now the walls are not, it is still there. You cannot connect with it but you can join, you can participate.
Remember, Dogen’s thought was not a mature thought of a master. Your question has arisen out of Dogen’s good and fruitful connection with the master. With the master you don’t have any connection at all, because the master is the name of an absence. He is no more! Just an open sky…what connection can you have with the open sky? You can disappear into it, but it will be participation, and only participation is significant.
Before we enter into this evening’s meditation, into a great participation, dissolving ourselves into an ocean of consciousness…just to make you light, just to make you playful, not serious…

Ronald Reagan has gone deaf, so he calls in the White House doctor.
Doctor Spook immediately looks in the President’s ear. “Why do you have that suppository in your ear?” he asks.
Reagan says nothing.
“Why do you have that suppository in your ear?” shouts Spook.
“What?” replies Reagan.
Doctor Spook pulls the suppository out of the President’s ear and shows it to him.
Reagan’s face lights up. “A-ha!” he says, “now I know where I put my hearing aid!”

Jerry Jablonski, the traveling salesman, phones home.
“How are the kids?” he asks.
“Well,” replies Jezebel, his wife. “I have got some good news and some bad news.”
“So tell me the bad news,” says Jablonski.
“Okay,” says Jezebel, “the bad news is that Jerry junior grabbed your pet Doberman dog, and chopped it up for fishing bait.”
“What?” shrieks Jablonski. “That’s ghastly! What could the good news possibly be?”
“Well,” says Jezebel, “we have got three giant catfish for dinner!”

Rufus, the big black guy, is fed up with living in Mississippi, so he goes to the station to catch a bus north to Chicago.
Looking around the bus station, he suddenly notices a weighing scale that tells your weight and also your fortune.
Rufus goes over to the scale, steps on it, and drops in a quarter. A little card shoots out that reads: “You weigh one hundred and fifty pounds, you are black, and you need to go to the bathroom.”
“Mmm,” says Rufus, “I guess I do.” He goes to the bathroom, but all he does is pass wind.
He decides to try the machine again, so he digs out another quarter and drops it into the slot. The little card shoots out and Rufus reads it. It says, “You weigh one hundred and fifty pounds, you are black, and the waitress in the snack bar would like to meet you.”
So Rufus goes to the snack bar, strikes up a conversation with the waitress, and they end up screwing behind the counter.
Very pleased, Rufus returns again to the machine for another try. This time the card shoots out and reads, “You are still one hundred and fifty pounds, you are still a nigger, and with all this fucking and farting around you have missed your bus!”

Nivedano, just give the beat and everybody goes into gibberish….





Be silent…close your eyes,
feel your body to be frozen.
No movement.
Gather your energy inwards,
deeper and deeper.
You have disappeared,
only the buddha remains.
Just a pure consciousness,
the very origin of existence.
You are not your body,
you are not your mind,
you are this consciousness,
this awareness, this watchfulness.

To make it more clear, Nivedano…


Relax…let go…die completely.
Remember this peace,
this silence, this blissfulness.
These are all your flowers.
You are no more,
but the existence is.
Rich, radiant.
When Nivedano calls you back,
come back with a great splendor,
joy, ecstasy,
and sit down for a few moments,
remembering that you are a buddha.



Come back,
You have been to a new space within yourself.
It makes you a participant
of an oceanic consciousness.
Feel fresh,
unburdened of past and future,
let this moment be just a pure watching.
You are blessed to be here,
you are blessed to enter into your own being.
Remember it twenty-four hours,
not as a thought, but as a heartbeat,
and it will transform your whole existence.
You don’t have to do anything,
just this watchfulness
and you will find everything
slowly, slowly changing.
We have to fill this whole world
with buddhas…not Buddhists, but buddhas.

Can we celebrate the buddhas?

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