The White Lotus 09

Ninth Discourse from the series of 11 discourses - The White Lotus by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

Question: Are there fast and slow ways of attainment?

Answer: If one sees that endless time is the mind, he will attain quickly, but if he makes a point in his mind and aims at his destination, he will attain slowly. The wise one knows his mind is the path; the stupid one makes a path beyond his mind. He does not know where the path is nor does he know that mind itself is the path.

Question: Why does one attain quickly?

Answer: Because mind is the body of the path, therefore, is quickly reached. Stupid ones mark their own time starting according to that standard, therefore they must make their own destination according to their own delusions.

Question: What part of the mind is the body of the path?

Answer: Mind is like the wood or stone from which a person carves an image. If he carves a dragon or a tiger, and seeing it fears it, he is like a stupid person creating a picture of hell and then afraid to face it. If he does not fear it, then his unnecessary thoughts will vanish. Part of the mind produces sight, sound, taste, odor and sensibility, and from them raises greed, anger and ignorance with all their accompanying likes and dislikes. Thus is planted the seed, which grows to great suffering. If one realizes that from the beginning mind essence is empty and quiet, he should know no specific time or place. Instead he makes an image of a tiger, lion, dragon, demon, warrior or other monster, recognizes them by comparison and produces likes and dislikes. If he knows that from the beginning there is no such thing, then he should know that mind essence is not formed, therefore these images are nothing but illusions. When he realizes this fact, he will be emancipated at that instant.

Question: What is the natural, simple mind, and what is the artificial, complicated mind?

Answer: Letters and speeches come from the artificial, complicated mind. Both in the material and immaterial world a person stays or goes, sits or lies down, and moves innocently, or, it can be said, in the natural, simple mind. When one remains unmoved by pleasure or suffering, his mind may be called the natural, simple mind.
The mind is the problem and the mind is also the solution.
The mind as an ego is the problem. The mind without any ego is the solution. The mind with a lower case m is the problem. The Mind with a capital M is the solution. The mind with a lower case m is part of the personality. The Mind with a capital M is universal. It is not yours, it is not mine. It is nobody’s or it is everybody’s. The universal mind contains all consciousness.
The other way to say it – that is the Zen way – is that the mind is the problem and no-mind is the solution. No-mind is simply another way of saying the cosmic mind, the universal mind. The “no” denies the ego not the mind, remember. The “no” denies the personal not the universal. The “no” simply denies all limitations and helps you to become as infinite as you really are.
This is the most fundamental truth about the buddhas. Their work consists of helping you to dissolve the personal mind, which is like a dewdrop, into the universal, which is the oceanic.
A few people have called that oceanic mind, God. The name is beautiful, but it has created its own problems. The moment you call it God, the idea of worship, churches, temples, rituals, arises, and the lower mind comes from the backdoor. You become a Christian or a Hindu or a Mohammedan, and you are again trapped in the same chains – maybe colored differently – and you are again imprisoned. Again you become defined and limited. Again you lose contact with the whole.
The personal is the illusory. It is the personal that makes you an idiot. The universal is the truth. Unless one is ready to die into the universal, one cannot attain truth.
Truth is a death: the death of the egoistic mind, although it is also a resurrection: a resurrection into the universal. You die as a person and you are reborn as a god, as a buddha, as a christ. Hence the path consists of understanding the mind and its functioning. The egoistic mind wants to constantly keep itself occupied. That is one of its ways to deceive you. It keeps you so occupied that you don’t have any time to look in. All occupation is extrovert. To look in means to be unoccupied. There is no inner occupation as such. And if you are occupied in an inward way too, then you are deceiving yourself.
You may be chanting a mantra inside, but chanting a mantra inside simply deceives you because you are not the mantra and the mantra is still outside you. It may not be outside your body, but it is outside your consciousness. You can witness your chanting, you can see your chanting, you can observe it. That means you are outside it and it is outside you. All occupation is non-meditative.
Hence Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Transcendental Meditation is a false phenomenon. It is neither transcendental nor meditation. It is simply changing one occupation for another occupation. Somebody is singing a film song and somebody is chanting the name of God. No difference in essence: both are occupied.
This is the first thing to be understood if you really want go to beyond the mind, the so-called ordinary mind, and reach the universal. And to reach the universal is enlightenment. To remain confined to the lower is ignorance.
The first lesson is: learn how to be unoccupied, even for few moments. Just no occupation, inner or outer, because all are outer occupations, even the so-called inner ones. No occupation, and immediately you are beyond the ordinary mind. You go beyond limits, you go beyond boundaries. Suddenly you become the ocean, the dewdrop disappears. In that oceanic experience one is freed, liberated.
The ordinary mind always wants business. Any kind of business is okay. Give it business. Have some target, some goal: money, power, prestige. And if you are tired of all that, then meditation, God, paradise, truth. But again you are substituting old goals with new goals, old ambitions with new ambitions. Nothing is radically changed. You remain the same, your gestalt remains the same, just the object is changed. And because of the change of object you can feel very spiritual, very holy.
The mind is cunning. Be aware that it can exist only when you are in business, when you are busy. When you are not busy it evaporates, it cannot exist without business. Hence people are busy even without business.

The co-ed was lying with her boyfriend and was trying to make an impression on her eager young date. “So you’re named Tom. I know George means lover of horses, and Philip means beloved, and Don means chief. Do you know what Tom means?”
“Business, baby, business.”

But that’s exactly what the mind means: constant business, day in, day out. If you are awake there is business, if you are asleep there is business. You may be dreaming, but it is business.
The mind does not leave you even a few moments of open sky, unclouded, so that you can see the reality as it is. It keeps your eyes clouded, full of dust: the dust of desire, the dust of thought, the dust of memory, imagination. And these layers and layers of dust have completely covered your mirrorlike consciousness which is capable of reflecting all.
It always keeps you somewhere else. It never allows you to be herenow because to be herenow means to be unoccupied. That is the second lesson to be learned.
Hence the insistence of all the buddhas to live in the present, to be present to the present. The mind can only remain occupied either in the past or in the future. How can it become occupied in the present? It is impossible. The present simply destroys the ego. The present takes away all the rubbish from your mind, all junk. It simply leaves you open, available, vulnerable, receptive. Thrilled, ecstatic, of course, but not occupied.
Whenever you are here and now, you are not. Let me repeat it: whenever you are here and now, you are not. God is, buddhahood is. Because here and now, your small mind cannot exist. It melts, it disappears.
The mind can exist only with the nonexistential. A rare phenomenon, a contradiction on the surface: the mind can exist only with the nonexistential – because the mind itself is nonexistential, it feeds on the nonexistential.
Two things are the most nonexistential in the world: one is the past, which is no more. Another is the future, which is not yet. Mind exists on these two props: the “no more” and the “not yet.” And between the two is the small interval, the atomic interval. It is so small that unless you are absolutely alert and aware you are bound to miss it.
To be in the present means not to be. And not to be is the door to godliness, the door to truth, the door to reality.
These are simple statements if understood. But we go on pretending to understand without understanding, because understanding seems to be risky, dangerous, deathlike. And, in a way, it is. To understand rightly how the mind exists is to prepare for your death.
Sannyas is death – has always been so. Hence only the few courageous people can enter the path: people who are so deeply in love with truth that they are ready to sacrifice themselves. Whatever the cost they are ready to pay for it, but they are fed up with the lies of life.

Ginzburg comes home early from work one day, sure that his wife has a lover. He searches the house in a mad frenzy. Sure enough he discovers a little man huddled among the clothes in the closet.
“What the hell are you doing here?” screams Ginzburg.
“Well, we all have to be somewhere,” replies the culprit.

The mind has to be somewhere: either in the past or in the future. If you take those two props away from it, it can’t exist. It simply falls flat on the ground. It dies immediately. It cannot breathe, not even for a single moment.
This is the way of meditation: encountering the present in all its tremendous beauty, just being in the present. Inside, the mind stops. Outside, the world changes totally. It is no longer the ordinary world you have known before. In fact, you have not known it at all.
Your mind was distorting everything; your mind was creating fantasies. Your eyes were full of fantasies and you were looking though those fantasies. They never allowed you to see that which is. If the mind is gone even for a moment, suddenly the whole existence explodes upon you.

Norman lay naked on the grass in a secluded part of the park, a dazed but oddly happy expression on his face.
“What happened?” asked the cop.
“I was – uh – minding my own business,” mumbled the man, “when a gang of sorority girls from Vassar came along and jumped me and – uh – tore off my clothes. And then…”
“And then what?”
“And then all heaven broke loose!”

That may have happened to Norman or may not have happened, but it happens when the mind is absolutely unoccupied, when the mind is utterly in the moment, when it is nowhere else but here and now. And to be here and now, let me remind you, means it is no more. Yes, then all heaven breaks loose.
Suddenly white lotuses start flowering on you. Your whole life has a totally different quality to it. Then whatever you touch becomes gold, and whatever you see is simply incredible, unbelievable.
The mind goes on giving you ideas about reality, but those are the mind’s ideas and the mind is utterly idiotic. To believe in your own mind is the most foolish thing in the world one can do, but because you want to believe in your own importance, you go on believing in your own mind. And the mind is very clever at arguing its case. Even if it doesn’t argue…because you want to believe that you are someone special, extraordinary, superior, holier. The mind knows your weaknesses.
Just the other day I was reading a statement of Idi Amin’s. He says he is the most beautiful man in the world. Just think of Idi Amin’s face. But he says, “Because the journalists are against me, they print my pictures as if I am a monkey.”
The person who was interviewing him asked, “On what grounds do you say that you are the most beautiful man in the world?”
He said, “My mother says so, my wife says so, and my other wives also” – because he has many wives – “my girlfriends say so, that ‘I am the most beautiful man in the world,’ and why should they be lying?”
You see the argument! Every mother says to her child, “You are the most beautiful person” – and every wife and every husband and every friend. But if you want to believe…and we want to believe! Now, even Idi Amin can believe that he is the most beautiful man in the world. Then anything can be believed.
And I agree with him that he does not look like a monkey. He looks like a gorilla. Or even worse – because in the same statement he says that he has tasted human flesh. And he can say with authority that it is the most delicious thing he has ever tasted. The deliciousness of human flesh is such, he says, that to express it is impossible. It is an inexpressible experience. Now, this man thinks himself to be the most beautiful man in the world. But everybody thinks so. Don’t laugh at Idi Amin: that is everybody’s mind. He is foolish enough to make such statements. People don’t make such statements, but deep down they know…

A certain rich American lady was visiting an Indian guru who accounted himself as the greatest of all. He had been told in advance that she was thinking of making a very large donation to his work.
When the time came for the guru to appear at his darshan – reception time – he saw this visitor in the crowd which had come to pay respects.
“Yes?” he said to her at once.
“Who is the greatest man in the world?” she asked.
“Coca-cola,” answered the guru without a moment’s hesitation.
Afterward his chief assistant asked him why he had given such a strange answer. “What secret wisdom is this, oh great master?”
“Well,” said the mahatma, “I, of course, knew that the greatest man in the world is me. But when I saw from the inscription on her T-shirt that she respected someone else, I said to myself, ‘Business is business. After all, he’s probably dead, so there’s no harm in honoring him!’”

Everybody knows deep down in his self that he is the greatest. It is not only Idi Amin or Muhammad Ali who think they are the greatest. Every idiot thinks like that. That is the very essence of the idiotic mind.
Buddhas think themselves to be just ordinary. The really great think of themselves as being just ordinary. There is no inferiority complex in them and no superiority complex either. The really great is without inferiority–superiority complex, because those two complexes are not two, but two sides of the same coin.
It is the inferior man who pretends to be superior. It is the inferior man who pretends to be superior who comes against so many problems that he cannot prove his superiority – he fails so many times that inferiority arises in him. They are not different: inferiority projects superiority. When you cannot prove your superiority you fall into a deep depression and you start feeling inferior. But a really alert man is neither. He simply is, and that is more than enough.
Don’t listen to the mind, to what it says to you. It is going to give you wrong information. It is bound to give you notions which are not real. It creates hallucinations around you. It does not create dreams only in the night; even in the day it keeps you dreaming. Any moment close your eyes and you will see subtle dreams passing as an undercurrent underneath you. On the surface you remain occupied with things, doing your business, but deep down the mind goes on creating its own dreams. It is constantly keeping you unconscious, sleepy. Beware of these simple facts, and then Bodhidharma’s words will be very clear to you.
The first question:
Are there fast and slow ways of attainment?
Bodhidharma has said to the inquirer that there is no attainment. All that is attained is already contained by you. It is only discovered, not attained – or, not even discovered but only remembered, recognized, because you are carrying everything that you can ever be. And if you are not that, that simply means you are trying to be somebody else.
And that’s how you have been taught. You have been taught to be like Christ, to be like Buddha, to be like Krishna, to be like Mohammed. And you have been trying – and very religiously, very sincerely – and all that has happened through that effort is that you have become pseudo, false, phony. You can’t be Christ, you can’t be Buddha, you can’t be Krishna. You cannot imitate anybody else. You can only be yourself. And that is more than enough – you are God! You have only to accept your reality as it is, without distorting it, without painting your face like a buddha: that won’t help. Real life is not a drama. You need not rehearse it, you need not practice it.
Bodhidharma has said there is no attainment as such. Nothing has to be attained because you have not lost anything at all. You are already that which you want to be, which you long to be. So it is not a question of attainment, it is just an inquiry into your own being: “Who am I?” That’s enough.
But the questioner brings the question from another angle. Now he asks: Are there fast and slow ways of attainment? If there is no attainment, how can there be slow or fast ways? But he has missed that ultimate truth.
Seeing that he has missed it, Bodhidharma gives him something less than the ultimate. The masters have to look at you. They can’t give you that which you cannot absorb. Their first effort is always to give you the purest truth, the absolute truth – truth and nothing else – but when they see it is impossible for you to receive, then they have to come down a little bit to become more available to you.
Their compassion is such that if it is needed they will come down to the very level where you stand so that they can talk to you as friends, so that you can understand.
You can understand only that which is given to you on the same plane that you exist on.

A Zen master was again and again caught stealing small things, so small: a button, somebody’s needle, one shoe, somebody’s cap. And he was such a respected master that his disciples said, “Why do you go on doing such ridiculous things? What is the purpose of it all? We are ready to give you whatever you need. You need not steal!”
But the master used to laugh and would not say a thing. Again and again he would be imprisoned for a few days, would come out, would steal again, would be imprisoned again.
When he was dying, the disciples asked, “Sir, now please tell us the secret.”
He said, “The secret is very simple. I wanted to help the prisoners in the jail, and they could understand me only if I was also a prisoner. There was no other way to help them. I had to fall to their level so that I can help them to rise to my plane.”
He must have been a tremendously compassionate buddha, falling to the level of the prisoners to help them because they will not understand a saint, they will not understand a Zen master. They can only understand a thief. They know the language, and with a thief they can communicate. And the Zen master really transformed many. He continued to come to the jail again and again, but the people with whom he communicated in the jail never came back again. He liberated many people.
And, dying, he said, “The same is the case with the world too. A buddha is born, just like everybody else, from the same womb. Grows in the same way, eats, sleeps, lives in the same way. Because this world is a big prison, he comes into this prison to help other prisoners to escape. You can’t help the prisoners to escape unless you become friendly with them. And they will be friendly only if you exist on their plane, otherwise they will always be suspicious of you. You will remain an outsider and they will not take you inside their hearts.”
Bodhidharma has said the ultimate truth: There is nothing to be attained, no goal to be reached, no target. Life is a playful creativity with no goal as such. It is not going anywhere, it is not moving in any direction. It is playful energy. It is just energy dancing for no purpose, for the simple joy of dancing. Existence is a dance.
But that has not been understood. The question has come again. Now he has to answer it on a lower plane.
Bodhidharma says:
If one sees that endless time is the mind, he will attain quickly, but if he makes a point in his mind and aims at his destination, he will attain slowly. The wise one knows his mind is the path; the stupid one makes a path beyond his mind. He does not know where the path is nor does he know that mind itself is the path.
Although he speaks in the language of the inquirer, he still goes on giving hints of the beyond. It is not pure, uncontaminated truth. The sun is there, but the clouds are also there. If you are intelligent enough you can look at the sun and you need not be occupied with the clouds, but if you are not so intelligent then this is the only way. You are interested in clouds, then the clouds have to be given to you. Maybe through the clouds, one day accidentally you will become aware of the reality of the sun.
If one sees that endless time is the mind… This is something to be understood. Buddha says so, Bodhidharma says so, I say so: the mind and time are not two things. Your mind, the finite mind, the mind that we know as the ego, is nothing but time. Hence, when the mind disappears, eternity opens up, timelessness opens up.
If one sees that endless time is the mind – that it is mind that creates endless time, that it is the mind’s creativity, innovation. Why does the mind create time? Because it cannot exist, it needs time to exist. The past is time, the future is time, the present is not time. The present is not created by the mind. The present is the nature of universal mind, of cosmic mind. It has nothing to do with your mind. Your mind fabricates future, fabricates past.
You will be surprised that whatever you remember about the past is not factual, it is very fictitious. Every person in his old age starts thinking that his childhood was very beautiful: “My childhood… Those were the days, real days, golden days.”
But ask any child, and no child is going to say to you, “These are the golden days.” Every child wants to grow up quick, soon, because he can see grown-ups are enjoying life. He can see that grown-ups are powerful. He can see that he is being dominated, pulled, pushed, forced to do things that he does not want to do. He wants to be grown up as soon as possible. All his prayers are that this childhood should finish. He wants to be powerful, dominating.
And small children try in every possible way, at least to pretend to themselves, that they are grown-ups. If the father is not at home, they will sit in his chair with the same gesture. They may smoke his cigar the same way the father does. They may not be able to read the newspaper. They may be holding it upside down, but they will hold the newspaper the same way the father does, because these are signs of grown-up people.

One day, twenty years ago, I went for a morning walk and I saw a child, not more than six or seven years old, with a false mustache. And he was walking with such grandeur. Seeing me he became ashamed and ran away inside his house. I followed him; he closed the door. I knocked on the door. His father opened the door, then everything was plain. His father also had the same type of mustache – real, of course.
I asked, “Where is your son? I want to see him.”
He brought the son out. He had taken off the mustache. I asked him, “Where is the mustache, and why were you wearing it?”
He said, “I was pretending to be my daddy, and I enjoy it. I have to go very early in the morning so nobody sees.”

Small children are always trying to become bigger. But later on these same people will say that the real golden age was their childhood. It is a fiction. They are creating it, it is not real memory.
Hence, I don’t believe in autobiographies, not at all, because people write autobiographies in their late seventies, eighties. And they are reporting about seventy years before. Seventy years have passed and now they are reporting. That whole report is false, fictitious.
They are creating their childhood as they would have wanted it to be, although they do it very unconsciously. Not that they are consciously trying to cheat anybody.
They brag about their childhood and their achievements and their schooldays and university days, and they go on bragging. Sometimes the bragging can take the form of condemnation too. That too is a way of bragging.
Saint Augustine writes about his childhood and his youth in such a condemnatory way that you will be puzzled. You will think at least he must be right because he proves himself to be the greatest sinner possible. But that is just a strategy of the mind. First he proves that he was such a great sinner, and then he transforms. Naturally, when a great sinner is transformed he becomes a greater saint. If you are an ordinary sinner and you become transformed, your saintliness also is going to be ordinary. It will be in the same proportion.
Mahatma Gandhi writes about his childhood and youth in a very derogatory sense. He follows Saint Augustine because everything depends on that. He paints it so dark and dismal and black, and with that background, just a little white paint will show and shine like silver. To prove that you are a great mahatma, the only way is first to prove that you have been a great sinner – the greatest. But the ego is such that even when you are talking about sin you cannot be moderate, you have to be the greatest sinner. The greatest saint or the greatest sinner: nobody wants to be mediocre. If you are a sinner, just an ordinary sinner, it hurts.
People create their past. I don’t think there is a single autobiography which is really true. It can’t be, because our later experiences go on interpreting, reinterpreting our past. We go on touching up the pictures so much that the original pictures are lost completely, something else appears. We have painted those pictures so often with new insights, new experiences, that they are no longer true. We create the past and we live in the past, and that is one dimension of time.
The other dimension is the future; we create the future and we live in the future. Of course, we have more freedom with the future because there is nothing there, it is all empty. We can make anything out of the future.
Hence, just sit silently any day and think of your future, and you become the president or the prime minister. Just allow the mind a free flow and you will be surprised: soon you are Alexander the Great, you are the greatest emperor of the world. You will laugh later on, but the mind was doing it and the mind is constantly doing it. Everybody imagines his future, everybody creates his past.
Time has two dimensions, not three: the past and the future. The present is not part of time; it is the penetration of eternity.
Bodhidharma says: If one sees that endless time is the mind, he will attain quickly… If you can understand that time is mind, then attainment can be very quick, can be immediate, because then you stop creating the past and you stop creating the future. Both are false, imaginary. Suddenly you are thrown into the present, and that’s from where you become aware of the truth.
…but if he makes a point in his mind and aims at his destination, he will attain slowly. But if you make a goal, a destination to attain, out of buddhahood, christhood, godhood, if these are the aims, the targets in your mind, then these are again new tricks, new ways of the mind to create another future: a spiritual future, a sacred future. It is far more dangerous because when the poison is thought to be holy, sacred, there is every possibility you will drink it wholeheartedly, without any hesitation.
To think, “I am going to become a buddha tomorrow” is more dangerous than to think, “Tomorrow I am going to become a great emperor.” That is not so dangerous because the very idea of becoming a buddha tomorrow is so alluring, so enchanting, so hypnotizing. But it is the same poison. “Tomorrow” is the poison. So what you want to become tomorrow does not matter.
If you make it a point in your mind, says Bodhidharma, and your mind starts working toward the future for a certain destination to be achieved, then the growth is going to be very slow. Maybe it is going to take lives and lives. And the mind is so clever and so cunning that whenever you become fed up with one object it immediately gives you another toy, more complicated than before, more difficult than before, so it takes a longer time for you to see that this again is a toy. And the best toys are spiritual goals.

Since by definition you cannot pass on the incommunicable, a certain dervish cast about him for a way to convey, by demonstration, something of the wonders which he had experienced.
“Analogy is the answer,” he said to himself, and put his mind to it. He learned, after a great deal of trial and error, how to walk on water.
Then he called all the local villagers together, headed by the mayor, and paced slowly across a lake.
“What do you think of that?” he asked them as he arrived at the other side.
“One thing puzzles me,” said the mayor: “why didn’t you learn to swim, like everybody else?”

But your so-called spiritual, holy people have all been doing the same thing down the ages. They create some kind of stupid goal: walking on water, reading somebody’s thoughts, producing things out of nowhere, out of nothing, and they think these are spiritual things. They are not. It is again the same ego pretending, trying to prove something, that “I am superior.”
The so-called spiritual people have been fasting and destroying their bodies, or doing yoga and distorting their bodies in every possible way, just to prove to other people that “We are special.” Somebody stands on his head for hours and thinks that he is special, and people also think that he is special.
I have seen a man who has been standing on his feet for ten years, who has not sat down. Now he cannot even if he wants to. His legs have become so thick, his whole body has become thin. All the blood and everything has gathered in his legs. He is a very ill person, those legs are also dead. He cannot move, he has to be moved by people. But he does not sleep, does not sit. He remains standing. People have to support him in the night so he does not fall. And the whole night there is singing; kirtan, bhajan, goes on around him to keep him awake. He is in such a mess that when I saw him I really felt sorry for him. But he is worshipped by thousands of people for the simple reason that he has been standing for ten years. Now, what kind of achievement is this?
But this type of phonies attract the attention of people easily, because people are also too much identified with their bodies. These things seem to be very superior powers. They are nothing.

Thus it happened one day that when two pseudo-masters of the mystical path met, one said to the other, after the customary exchange of compliments, “I have a disciple who constantly asks for tasks and illumination. Have you any idea what I might do with him?”
The other illuminate replied, “It is interesting that you should say that: I have had a similar case myself. I had him drink a cup of kerosene.”
They parted and, after some months, met again.
The first mystic said, “I tried your idea on my disciple. He lit a match to have a cigarette, burst into flames and was completely consumed!”
“That’s right,” said the other, “the same thing happened to mine!”

There are people who go on advising others, not knowing anything about true spirituality. But because they can stand on their heads for hours and they can distort their bodies in many ways, they seem to be yogis, mahatmas. Because they can fast for months… It is a simple practice: if a man is healthy he can fast for at least ninety days without dying. You accumulate so much extra food in your body that you can live on it for three months. You will go on becoming thinner and thinner, but you will not die. So it is not much of an achievement. You have simply become a cannibal; you are eating yourself, that’s all. You are digesting your own blood, your own flesh.
In fact, fasting should be thought of as a very violent practice, ugly. Maybe once in a while, for medical reasons, a person should be told to fast, but for no other reason.
And standing on the head is dangerous, destructive. Have you ever seen any yogi who stands for hours on his head showing any kind of intelligence? I have known so many yogis, but never with a ray of intelligence in their eyes: dull, stupid, very mediocre. It is bound to be so because standing on the head is destructive to intelligence. It destroys the very subtle nervous system in your brain. Too much blood going into the brain is destructive. And it keeps your brain too tense, it does not allow it to be relaxed.
That’s why you need a pillow at night, because with the pillow the blood is not going toward the head. If you try to sleep without a pillow, you can’t sleep because the blood is coming into the head and it keeps your head restless, functioning. The pillow helps. The head becomes a little higher and less blood reaches it.
In fact, man became man only because he dropped walking on all fours and stood up. Standing means the blood will reach your brain in the minimum possible way because it will have to move against gravitation. No animal is intelligent for the simple reason that so much blood is going into the head: intelligence is not possible.
Yoga is falling back. It is not helping you to grow in intelligence, in genius, in awareness. Yes, it may give you a very strong body; that is possible. Animals have strong bodies. It may have the quality to impart a longer life to you, but whether you live long or not does not matter in the end.
All that matters is your intensity of life, not the length: your intensity, your passionate attunement to life, not how long you go on dragging and vegetating.
Bodhidharma says: The wise one knows his mind is the path… Don’t be too concerned with the body. There is no need to go into so many yoga postures. Yes, a little bit of exercise is good. And the best exercise is something natural: walking, swimming, running, jogging. Yoga exercises are complicated and dangerous. They may suit one person, they may not suit another at all. What was right for Patanjali may not be right for you. But running, swimming, jogging, are simple exercises. They suit everyone. They are not complicated, and you need not go to anybody to learn them. They are so simple, you know them already.
You will be surprised to know that swimming is a natural exercise. One psychologist in Japan has tried it with such small children, six-month-old children, and they learn it immediately. Six-month-old children start swimming. In fact, the child swims in his mother’s womb. He lives in liquid for nine months, because a child starts his life in the mother’s womb as a fish.
That’s how humanity started: we all started in the beginning as fish in the ocean. Every child repeats the whole history. Of course, in a very fast way; in nine months he repeats millions of years of history. But each time a child is in the mother’s womb, he starts from the very beginning, as a fish.
If man started as a fish, if every child starts as a fish, then swimming is a natural phenomenon. You just need to be helped a little. In fact, you do not need to be taught swimming. All that is needed is some courage, somebody to stand on the bank of the river so you need not be too worried and afraid. If six-month-old children can learn to swim… And now the psychologist is trying to teach three-month-old children and he says he will succeed. If six-month-old children can swim, then why not three-month-old children?
Running is natural, jogging is natural. A little exercise is good, but don’t make much fuss about it because the real way is the mind. The real way is not the body.
…the stupid one makes a path beyond his mind. The stupid one directs his mind to something far away, beyond his mind. The wise one watches his mind, has no destination: observes his mind, its ways of functioning, its ways of deceiving, its ways of creating hallucinations, and in watching them slowly, slowly becomes so alert, so full of light, that the mind disappears like darkness.

Madame: “Mona, just how accomplished are you?”
Mona: “I don’t like to brag, but I can make love standing on my head!”
Madame: “Then you’re the one I want. There’s a yogi waiting downstairs!”

You can make love standing on your head and it may look like an accomplishment, but it is simply keeping yourself occupied with something utterly nonsensical. Beware, your mind can lead you astray very easily.
And as you become more and more concentrated on a certain goal, a few energies are released inside you by your mind that are not ordinary energies. You become capable of doing things which ordinary people are not capable of doing; that gives you great ego. Yes, there is a possibility you can read people’s thoughts. There is a possibility you can create some illusions for people. There is a possibility you can hypnotize people very easily, and make them see and feel and realize a few things which are not there.
Thirty-three percent of people are so suggestible, so gullible you can manage anything with that thirty-three percent. They are ready to believe it. These are the thirty-three percent who gather around people like Sai Baba. These are the people who help the so-called miracle doers because they are ready to believe in anything. They are hankering to believe, they are starving; they want to believe, so anything will do. They want to cling to some belief, to somebody extraordinary.
The man who is a little intelligent, wise, alert, will not fall into such traps. His only effort will be how to be absolutely aware of all the ways, gross and subtle, of the mind because that is the only way to be free from it. And when you are free from your mind you become available to God’s mind and God’s mind becomes available to you.
The second question:
Why does one attain quickly?
Seeing the questions, I again and again feel that Bodhidharma must have been in a really deep compassionate mood. This man needs a good beating! What is the matter with Bodhidharma? That’s what I am puzzled about. This man is not known that way. Has he forgotten his staff, and it is not with him? It is very rare for Bodhidharma to go on answering such questions.
With Emperor Wu he was so hard, and with everybody he has been hard.
Maybe the inquirer is so stupid that he feels really sorry for him. The inquirer may be so stupid that it is pointless to hit him. He won’t understand it. Hence he goes on answering.
Why does one attain quickly? the questioner asks.
Bodhidharma says:
Because mind is the body of the path, therefore, is quickly reached. Stupid ones mark their own time starting according to that standard, therefore they must make their own destination according to their own delusions.
You cannot make a goal because if you make a goal, you will be making it out of your own delusions. It will be part of a dream and hence will be very difficult to arrive at. In fact it is impossible to arrive at, it is a dream. You can go on and on, but the dream will go on receding like the horizon. You will never reach it. Hence, it will take infinite time and yet you will be as far away as ever.
Don’t make a goal because right now all that you can do will be illusory. With your mind functioning, whatever you do is going to be wrong. First wake up. Then things start happening quickly.
The third question:
What part of the mind is the body of the path?
Bodhidharma says:
Mind is like the wood or stone from which a person carves an image. If he carves a dragon or a tiger, and seeing it fears it, he is like a stupid person creating a picture of hell and then afraid to face it.
But that’s what we have all done. We are all doing it. We impose our projections and then we start reacting to our own projections.
A Zen story says…

A man’s wife was dying. The wife had controlled the man like anything. He was the most perfectly henpecked husband. And he was feeling a little happy that the wife was dying. His day of freedom was not far away.
But the wife was not going to leave him so easily. While she was breathing her last she said, “Look! Don’t feel so happy, because I am going to become a ghost and I will haunt you and I will see that you don’t do anything wrong. Never fool around because I will catch you every night!”
The wife died. The husband was very much afraid, but after a few days he thought, “Now she is dead. Who knows whether she has become a ghost or not? Why not be really free now?
I have always wanted this woman, that woman. I have wanted to go to the pub. Now is the time. And so many days have passed and she has not come.”
That night somebody knocked on the door. He opened the door and the wife was there. And she said, “So, you have started dreaming, you have started thinking about and planning such things. Beware! I am not far away, I am always here. You may see me, you may not see me. Don’t think of your freedom, etcetera, stop all that nonsense.”
And she said everything that he had thought, every single word that he had thought – going to the pub, thinking of the neighbor’s wife – she said everything. Now it was absolutely clear that she knew. But it was very difficult. His life became that of great misery. He was free and yet not free.
From that day, the wife started coming to him almost every night and she would tell him what he had been thinking in the office, what he had been thinking about the typist girl: each single thought.
He became so tired that he went to a Zen master and asked him, “Help me! She tortured me my whole life, now she is dead and she is killing me. I have no peace of mind. I cannot even dream freely. At least while she was alive I used to dream freely. Now she even reads my dreams. In the morning she shakes me up and says, ‘So you were having a sexual dream.’”
The Zen master laughed. He gave him a small bag and told him not to open it. “It contains a few pebbles. Take it home and when your wife comes, ask her, ‘How many pebbles are in the bag?’ If she can give you the right number – count them immediately – if she can give you the right number then come to me. If she cannot give you the right number then she is just a fantasy of your own mind, your projection. Then too come just to tell me.”
The man went home. The wife was waiting already. When he entered the room she was sitting in his chair. She said, “So you went to that phony, that Zen master? I know him well. And he has given you a bag – it contains pebbles – and he has told you to ask me how many pebbles it contains.”
The man became so frightened that she knew everything already! But still, the master had said she would. So he remembered, he said, “Okay, you know everything. Now just tell me how many pebbles.”
And the wife disappeared. Because he himself did not know the number, he could not project it. The chair was empty. He looked around, she was not there. Since that day the wife stopped coming.
He went to the Zen master. He asked, “What trick did you do? What magic is in this bag?”
The master said, “There is no magic.” He opened the bag; there were only a few pebbles in it. He said, “There is no magic, nothing. It is a simple process. You were projecting her because you were the projector. Your projection was reflecting your dreams, your ideas, your thoughts. Now, because you did not know how many pebbles this bag has, how could she know? She was your projection! If you had known… She knew that you had been to the Zen master because you knew. She knew what I told you because you knew, but she could not tell you the number of pebbles. Now she will never come back. Be finished with her.”

We can create a thousand and one hallucinations about ourselves, and they can look so real. We can pour our reality into them. There are many people who are afraid of hell, and we have created hell. There is no hell. And there are many people who are so greedy for paradise, and we have created paradise. There is no paradise. Our projections. And we become burdened by them: afraid, greedy, frightened.
We have created our gods in the temples, in the churches, and we are the worshippers. We go on worshipping our own creations! This is the way of the stupid mind.
The intelligent person stops creating, stops projecting, watches the mind so clearly that the mind cannot project anything. As the projections disappear, the world disappears. One day, when the mind is no longer there to project anything, all is transparent.
Mind is like the wood or stone from which a person carves an image. If he carves a dragon or a tiger, and seeing it fears it, he is like a stupid person creating a picture of hell and then afraid to face it. If he does not fear it, then his unnecessary thoughts will vanish. Part of the mind produces sight, sound, taste, odor and sensibility, and from them raises greed, anger and ignorance with all their accompanying likes and dislikes. Thus is planted the seed, which grows to great suffering. If one realizes that from the beginning mind essence is empty and quiet, he should know no specific time or place. Instead he makes an image of a tiger, lion, dragon, demon, warrior or other monster, recognizes them by comparison and produces likes and dislikes. If he knows that from the beginning there is no such thing, then he should know that mind essence is not formed, therefore these images are nothing but illusions. When he realizes this fact, he will be emancipated at that instant.
Emancipation is emancipation from your tiny mind and its games. You are not really chained, you only believe. You are not imprisoned, it is only your idea. You think you are a Christian? That is only your idea. You can slip out of the idea any moment. So many people here have slipped out of their Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Jainism, Buddhism. That’s why all the religious priests are against me. Their fear is that if people go on coming to me, those people will go on slipping out of their power, their domination, their fold.
This may be the only place on the whole face of the earth where nobody bothers about whether you are a Christian or a Hindu or a Mohammedan. You are simply human beings.
You have slipped out of your cages so easily because the cages are not real. You have to support them. You are the prison, you are the imprisoner, and you are the imprisoned. You are all in all. Nobody else is there. So the moment you decide to come out of your prison, nobody can prevent you; there is nobody to prevent you.
You believe, then you are caught. Your belief is your problem, there is no other problem. A man without beliefs, a man without prejudices, is a free man. And to be free is to be intelligent.
Bodhidharma says that our mind creates both fear and greed. These are the basic instincts, hence hell and heaven. You are afraid to lose something which you don’t have in the first place, and you want to gain something which you already have from the very beginning. Now, you are creating such unnecessary trouble for yourself.
How can you get that which you already have? It is impossible. And why should you be afraid that you may lose that which you don’t have? People are afraid of losing things which they don’t have at all, and people are greedy for things which have been given already from the very birth. They are intrinsic to your being.
Seeing this, one has a good laugh at one’s own self. The fools laugh at others. The wise man laughs at himself and his own past ridiculousness, absurdity.
The fourth and the last question:
What is the natural, simple mind, and what is the artificial, complicated mind?
Bodhidharma says:
Letters and speeches come from the artificial, complicated mind.
Language is the world of the complicated mind. Silence is the world of the simple mind. A real meditation is not verbal, a real meditation is utterly silent. A real prayer is not verbal, a real prayer is an absolute silence in the heart. Nothing stirs, but deep gratitude is felt. It is a feeling, not thinking.
Letters and speeches come from the artificial, complicated mind.

A tired Joe entered a busy restaurant in the Latin Quarter of Paris one afternoon.
“Toc?” said the hurried waitress. Finding Joe completely blank she explained that she was extremely busy. Is it tea or coffee for him, the abbreviation being T.O.C. – toc?
Joe asked for coffee.
When the waitress passed by again he caught hold of her hand and said, “Piss.” Seeing a blank look on her face he explained, “Put in some sugar.”
When the bill was produced he took it to the counter with the waitress following him. He looked at her and whispered, “Cunt.” Finding her puzzled he explained, “Cash up, no tip.”
The waitress stood gaping at the exit. Said Joe, “Cock.”
“And what does that stand for?” asked the waitress.
Joe smiled. “It stands for anything wearing skirts, but not for you.”

The mind is very cunning with words. It can fabricate, it can go on fabricating. All your philosophies are produced that way: endless fabrications of words, complicated words, difficult words. And the more meaningless a philosophy is, the more it depends on complicated, big words.
If you want an example you should look in Hegel’s books. The sentences go on and on. You will find half-page sentences, full-page sentences, with so many clauses coming in that by the time you reach the end of the sentence you have forgotten the beginning.
Hegel was thought to be one of the most profound thinkers of Europe. He was not. His profundity was based on his linguistic jugglery. He was a juggler. He was playing with words and making such complicated sentences that nobody was able to make any sense out of them. And people are such that if they can’t make any sense out of something they think it must be profound.
In fact, truth is very simple. It is so simple that it can even be communicated by silence. In fact, it can be communicated only by silence.
Letters and speeches come from the artificial, complicated mind. Both in the material and immaterial world a person stays or goes, sits or lies down, and moves innocently, or, it can be said, in the natural, simple mind.
To be simple means to be nonverbal, nonlinguistic. Your approach toward reality should not be through language. But we have become so mechanically accustomed of language that the moment you see a rose, immediately your mind says, “What a beautiful flower.” Is it needed? Does it in any way help you to appreciate the rose? Why repeat this in the mind? Can’t you simply see the beauty of the rose and absorb it and drink of it? Is language needed?
It happened…

A man used to go for a morning walk with Lao Tzu. Lao Tzu said to the man, “Remember one thing – no talking. Then you can come with me.”
The man knew Lao Tzu, and when he said something he meant it, so he kept quiet. Many times he would have liked to say something about the weather and the sunrise and the beautiful flowers and the birds, but he repressed.
One day a guest was staying with the man and the guest was also interested to come along, just to accompany Lao Tzu. He had heard much about the man. So they both accompanied Lao Tzu.
The guest was unaware of what the condition was, and his host had not told him. He had completely forgotten to tell him. For hours they went silently into the hills. Then the sunrise, and the guest said, “What a beautiful sunrise.”
Lao Tzu stopped then and there and said to his neighbor, “Finished! No more coming with me. Take your guest away immediately. He talks too much.”
After three hours of walking, just one sentence: “What a beautiful morning. What a beautiful sunrise.”
And Lao Tzu says that he talks too much and that it is absolutely unnecessary: “I have eyes, I can see the beauty, I can feel the sunrise. Why should he say it? Does he think I am blind? This is very insulting!”

And Lao Tzu is right. What is the need? Can’t you simply feel the warmth of the sun rising? Have you to say something?
Even if you are alone you go on talking to yourself. You can’t stop this constantly chattering mind. And it has to be stopped, otherwise it won’t allow you to see things as they are.
To be simple means to be nonlinguistic, to be full of sensitivity but without words. Words are inadequate to express the truth. Only silence can contain it. To be silent is to be simple and to be silent is to be innocent. To be silent is the bridge from the ordinary mind to the cosmic mind, from the mind to no-mind. Learn silence and the ways of silence.
But we are so hypnotized by language and words that if you love a woman you have to repeat again and again, “I love you.” Are you suspicious? Are you afraid that if you don’t say it, it won’t be understood? If your love is not capable of communicating without words it is not much of a love at all. When you really love a person you cannot utter the words, “I love you.” It will look so inadequate, so useless, so superfluous!
When you don’t love a person, only then can you say, “I love you,” and you can go on repeating it again and again. Through language you will convince the other person also that you love them, and the other person will also convince you through language.
True love needs no language. It overwhelms both the lovers. True experience of beauty leaves you in such awe that you cannot say a single word; it makes you dumb.
Bodhidharma is right: to be silent is to be innocent. And to be silent is the natural way, the spontaneous way. Then you act out of your spontaneity, not out of your knowledge.
When one remains unmoved by pleasure or suffering, his mind may be called the natural, simple mind.

Joe entered a monastery where the rule of silence was very strict. Only once every seven years was a monk allowed to speak briefly to the father abbot.
Joe had been a monk for seven years. His time came to speak.
“Have you anything to say?” asked the abbot.
“Yes,” replied Joe. “Bed is too hard!”
Seven more years passed, and again Brother Joe was permitted to speak.
“Anything to say?” asked the abbot.
“Food is terrible!” said Joe.
After seven more years of silence, he came once more before the Father Abbot. “Anything to say?”
“Yes, I am leaving!”
“Well,” said the abbot, “I’m bloody well glad to hear it. You have done nothing but complain since you’ve been here.”

Now, a person who after seven years of silence simply comes to say, “Bed is too hard,” or “Food is terrible,” can’t be silent. For seven years he is continuously thinking, “The bed is too hard, and the food is terrible. Let the time come and I will say so.” Day and night he must be obsessed with it.
Otherwise, after seven years of silence, there will not be anything to say. One will bow down. One will not even say, “Thank you” because that is too small, not worth saying. But this is how it is. At least Joe was a man of great control for seven years.
I have heard…

Mulla Nasruddin and three of his friends went into silence. Hearing so much from me about silence, that silence is the golden bridge, the rainbow bridge to God… They retired to a cave for a seven-day experiment in silence.
But after one hour they all came back.
I asked, “What happened?”
They said, “Everything failed. We four sat in silence with closed eyes. After ten, twelve, minutes, one of us said, ‘I wonder whether I have left the electricity on or not.’ And the second one said, ‘Have you forgotten that we have taken a vow of silence for seven days?’ And the third one said, ‘You fool! You have also spoken!’ And then Mulla Nasruddin said, ‘Thank God! I am the only one who has not spoken yet!’”

Enough for today.

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