This A Thousand Times 03

Third Discourse from the series of 15 discourses - This A Thousand Times by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

Hyakujo had a unique way of guiding monks. From morning till night he kept on saying, “Work for me in the field, and I will teach for you.”
He thus made his disciples work on the field all the time; but he did not seem to be prepared to give any lectures or sermons.
Finally, the monks, not able to stand it any longer, went to the master and asked: “Would you please be gracious enough to give us an edifying sermon?”
The master’s unwavering reply was: “Work for me on the field, and I will teach for you.”
Several days passed, and the impatient monks went to the master again and urged: “Please give us a sermon.” This time, he quite readily agreed to do so.
After a while all the monks gathered together in the hall. The master quietly appeared before them, walked up to the pulpit, spread out both his arms, and without a word immediately returned to his room.

One day Nansen was working on the mountain with a sickle. A monk came up the mountain path and asked, without knowing to whom he was talking: “How can I get to Master Nansen?”
The master raised his sickle in front of the monk, and said: “I paid thirty cents for this sickle.”
The monk retorted: “I did not ask you about the sickle.”
“What, then,” queried the master, “did you ask me?”
The monk repeated: “How can I get to Master Nansen?”
The master said, “Oh, yes! This cuts well!”
Maneesha, this is the greatest sermon that has been delivered in the whole history of mysticism.
Just preparing his people, he used to say, “Go and work in the field. You cannot work with the trees and with the grass and with the roses for long without yourself becoming as silent as they are.”
The people who live with nature naturally find a synchronicity between themselves and the rivers and the mountains. They are closer to the earth and its heartbeat.
Hyakujo first tried to bring the disciple close to nature, close to silence. Unless the disciple is prepared, the great sermon cannot be delivered. A great sermon needs great disciples, and a great disciple is exactly one who is silent.
Before I enter into the tremendously beautiful story of Hyakujo I would like to tell you something about a contemporary master, George Gurdjieff. He used to use – without knowing Hyakujo – the same method, and the people who came to him were very different than the people who came to Hyakujo.

Gurdjieff was working in the West. And intellectuals would come and Gurdjieff would ask them to go and dig a ditch in the field, but they would say, “We have come here to learn something, not to dig a ditch.”
Gurdjieff was very hard. He would say, “First do what I say if you want to hear the answer.”
In one particular case, Bennett reached Gurdjieff. Highly educated, cultivated, he had come to ask about God and the meaning of life – and the answer was the same. Gurdjieff said, “Leave these things for the moment. Just go and dig the ditch in the field.”
Bennett hesitated for a moment, but then thought, “I have come from so far, let us see what happens. What am I going to lose?” He started digging the ditch; Gurdjieff came with his cigar, watched him digging, and told him, “Before sunset this certain area has to be prepared.”
The sunset came, Bennett was utterly tired – an intellectual who has never worked, and particularly such work. And seeing the sun setting there was great relief: “Now, at least Gurdjieff will start having the dialogue I have come for.”
Gurdjieff was walking just by the side, watching all the time.
Then Bennett said, “The ditch is ready.”
Gurdjieff said, “Now fill up the ditch completely. Bring it back to the state that it was. Throw all the mud back in its place.”
Bennett was so tired, but he was also a man of integrity. He said, “Let us see what happens.”
Without food, without rest, without even a coffee break he filled the ditch again. It was almost the middle of the night and Gurdjieff was standing the whole day just watching and smoking his cigar. The moon was full, at the highest peak of the night. It was a beautiful silence.
And Bennett remembers: “I was so tired. I don’t know from where – a tremendous silence descended over me.”
In his autobiography he says, “I was simply astonished.”
Gurdjieff laughed and said, “Have you heard? Now go and rest.”

But what was said? Nothing was said. The question is not that the master should speak. The question is that the disciple should be so silent… And he was silent because he was so tired that he could not even think. The mind became utterly empty. In that silence there is no need for the master to say anything. He can just indicate it as this, and the sermon is over.
But Hyakujo even goes beyond Gurdjieff. He did not even say, “This!” He forced his disciples to work to the optimum – where their energy is completely absorbed by the work and the mind has nothing, no energy to continue its chattering.
Again and again disciples reached him, but he would simply repeat, “Go and work in the field.”
But one day, those who had remained with this strange man who teaches nothing, who simply says, “Go back to the field and work as hard as possible…”
He was known to be one of the great masters who knows the secret. Many came, but only a few remained. He was a difficult man.
When only those few remained who had become silent working in the fields, who had come to a deep harmony with nature, whose minds had settled down, he accepted the invitation.
This time – after many efforts of the disciples to invite the master and getting the same reply, “Go back and work in the field” – this time, when they came and asked,
“Please give us a sermon.” This time, he quite readily agreed to do so.
After a while all the monks gathered together in the hall. The master quietly appeared before them, walked up to the pulpit, spread out both his hands, and, without a word, immediately returned to his room.
This is known in the history of Zen as the greatest sermon. It is, because he said nothing and yet he said everything. Those two hands spread like a bird’s wings opened the whole sky to the silent disciples, a transmission without words.
We have become too much accustomed to words. We don’t know the beauty of wordlessness. Even if you see a beautiful rose, immediately your mind repeats, “How beautiful,” and you have missed. If you had simply seen the rose and absorbed its beauty, felt it in your heart without uttering even a simple word – even in appreciation – you would have become enlightened.
Even just a rose could have functioned as a great master to you.
The question is not that you don’t know, the question is that you are too full of gibberish, you know too much. Because of your borrowed knowledge and too many words moving inside you, you cannot see the wordless beauty that can be only experienced in silence.
Just listen to the bamboos, and you will find what Hyakujo has said without saying it.
Zen is not an intellectual effort to understand reality, it is an intuitive approach to drown in the mystery of existence, to open your wings and fly like an eagle across the sun.
Language is a very small phenomenon, limited to humanity. The stars don’t speak, nor the flowers, but they still express, they transmit their very being without any language. Zen is just a wildflower, spreading its fragrance to whomsoever it may concern. Those who have the sensitivity will understand it.
Nothing is being said and everything is understood. Just drown yourself into thisness, the tremendous silence of the moment, and you will feel freedom from the mind. And that is the only freedom, the first and the last freedom – freedom from the mind.
It is your own mind that is covering you like a cage. Once the mind is left behind and you are just a watcher, far away, suddenly the doors of all the mysteries open.
Zen does not talk about God, it gives you God; it does not talk about paradise, it pushes you into paradise.
The second story Maneesha has brought…
A few minutes jabbering nonsense, a few more minutes of silence, and then just totally relaxing. This simple meditation or exercise puts me in a state of such delicious, irrational joy that for several moments I am utterly content, absolutely happy to be myself as I am, in a world exactly as it is. This is what most people spend their entire life pursuing.
Presumably, this is why people take drugs, have love-affairs, marry and have children; just for this, that we renegades experience at the feet of the most dangerous man in the world. Anything to say?

[Osho spreads out both his arms and remains silent.]
Remember the two hands of Hyakujo. Nothing to say.
Your silence is enough unto itself. It does not need anything more. It is more than you could have ever dreamt of.
One day Nansen was working on the mountain with a sickle.
Nansen was one of the greats. I count him with Gautam Buddha, Mahakashyap, Bodhidharma, Joshu, Hyakujo. There have been thousands of masters, but Nansen will still stand out in his beauty, uniqueness. He became so well-known to the people that the very mountain where he had a small cottage is now called Mount Nansen.
One day Nansen was working on the mountain with a sickle. A monk came up the mountain path and asked, without knowing to whom he was talking, “How can I get to Master Nansen?”
The master raised his sickle in front of the monk, and said: “I paid thirty cents for this sickle.”
The monk retorted: “I did not ask you about the sickle.”
“What, then,” queried the master, “did you ask me?”
The monk repeated, “How can I get to Master Nansen?”
The master said, “Ah, yes! This cuts well!”
You see the effort of bringing the monk to the present. It does not matter what it is, it may be the sickle – at this moment Nansen is trying to bring the monk, the stranger, to the present moment, but he goes on asking about something far away.
Zen is not a philosophy for faraway things, it is a very realistic approach to the present – and every means and method is being used to bring seekers to the moment. Ordinarily, intellectually, the story will look absurd. That’s why people like Nansen and Hyakujo have disappeared from the world. We have become too intellectual, and they were non-intellectuals – innocent, tremendously present, integrated, but always here. You cannot push them anywhere else; you cannot take them out from this moment.
Now Nansen is working with the sickle. You cannot make him talk about anything else, even about himself.
I hope you will understand the point. The monk missed.
It is easy to miss Zen. It is so obvious that if you simply don’t start your mind, just for a moment it is in your hands. It is neither difficult nor simple. It is just the case. It is your very being. You may be acquainted with it or not. It is there, just like your shadow.
But the shadow is outside; your being is your inner center. And except to be present, here and now, there is no way to it. This is the only path that leads to oneself.
Maneesha is asking again:
You speak so highly of the Zen masters, their ingenious and yet simple methods, and the innocence of the kind of people who could become realized through them. Yet while I do sometimes see you as a Zen master, I would not say your approach is characteristic of theirs. Is that because the kind of people you have are too cerebral, are so much out of contact with innocence and spontaneity, or is it that you have a different understanding of what is most effective? Or both?
[Osho spreads out both his arms]
Both. I am myself a category in itself. I will not stand in any queue, even with Gautam Buddha. I love my aloneness, my own spontaneity. That makes a difference.
Secondly, the people I am with are totally different from the people the Zen masters had to deal with. The Zen masters, if present here, would look simply insane to you. I am trying to make their insanity as sane as possible so that you can understand.
You are different, you are more in the head than the people Zen masters were dealing with. So my effort is first to bring you to your heart, and only then can I have a silent dialogue with you. I have to speak to create silence in you. It is a very contradictory way.
But before you fall into a deeper silence, throbbing with the joy, peace, contentment which Maneesha has been speaking of… That is not only her experience, that is the experience of most of my people here and around the world.
The bamboos will also be happy to hear you laugh a little.

Seamus is leaning on the bar in the pub, when Paddy comes in with a perfect black eye.
“Hey, Paddy!” says Seamus, “That’s a beautiful black eye you have there. Who hit you?”
“As a matter of fact,” says Paddy, after ordering a beer, “Fergus O’Reilly hit me.”
“My God!” says Seamus, “With what?”
“Well, as a matter of fact,” replies Paddy, “he had a wooden stick in his hand.”
“And I suppose,” remarks Seamus, “that you did not have anything in your hand?”
“As a matter of fact,” says Paddy, sipping his beer, “I had in my hand Kathie O’Reilly’s left breast, an object of great beauty – but no use in a fight!”

One day, Kowalski walks into the circus manager’s office and says,
“I have got a great act to show you. I can do a swallow dive from one hundred feet onto solid ground.”
The circus manager is skeptical but agrees to see the act. So they go into the big tent and Kowalski climbs up the ladder to the top. Then he does a perfect dive to the ground. He lands on his head with a terrific crunch, but then gets up, rubbing himself and groaning softly.
The manager runs over to him and says, “That was amazing! The most incredible act I have ever seen! I will give you five hundred dollars a night!”
Kowalski shakes his head. So the manager says, “Okay, just name your price and I will pay it!”
“I am sorry,” replies Kowalski, “I don’t want to do it again. I had no idea it would hurt so much!”
Now enter into real Zen.

First beat the drum, Nivedano, and everybody gets into gibberish.





Everybody gets into absolute silence.
No movement, gather your energy inward and look within.

This is the no-word answer of Hyakujo.
And this is the sickle of Nansen that cuts really well.






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