This Very Body the Buddha 01

First Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - This Very Body the Buddha by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

Hakuin sings:
All beings are from the very beginning buddhas.
It is like water and ice:
apart from water, no ice,
outside living beings, no buddhas.
Not knowing it is near, they seek it afar. What a pity!
It is like one in the water who cries out for thirst;
it is like the child of a rich house who has strayed away among the poor.
The cause of our circling through the six worlds
is that we are on the dark paths of ignorance.
Dark path upon dark path treading,
when shall we escape from birth-and-death?
The Zen meditation of the Mahayana
is beyond all our praise.
Giving and morality and the other perfections,
taking of the name, repentance, discipline,
and the many other right actions,
all come back to the practice of meditation.
By the merit of a single sitting
he destroys innumerable accumulated sins.
How should there be wrong paths for him?
My beloved ones.
I love you. Love is my message – let it be your message too. Love is my color and my climate. To me, love is the only religion; all else is just rubbish, all else is nothing but mind churning dreams. Love is the only substantial thing in life; all else is illusion. Let love grow in you and God will be growing on its own accord. If you miss love, you will miss God and all.
There is no way to God without love. God can be forgotten – if love is remembered, God will happen as a consequence. It happens as a consequence, it is the fragrance of love and nothing else. In fact, there is no God but only godliness, there is no person like God anywhere. Drop all childish attitudes; don’t go on searching for a father. Divineness is, God is not. When I say divineness is, I mean whatever is, is full of God. The green of the trees, and the red and the golden: all is divine. This crow crying, and a bird on the wing, and a child giggling, and a dog barking: all is divine. Nothing else exists.
The moment you ask “Where is God?” you have raised a wrong question because God cannot be indicated anywhere. He’s not in a particular direction, he’s not a particular thing, he’s not a particular being. God is universality. Ask where God is not, then you have asked the right question, but for that right question you will have to prepare the soil of your heart. That’s what I mean by love – preparing the soil of your heart. If you are full of love, the world is full of God; they are parallel, they are part of one symphony.
God is the echo from the universe. When you are in love, the echo is there; when you are not in love, how can there be an echo? It is only you who are reflected again and again in millions of ways, it is you who are thrown back to yourself again and again. If you are in love, God is. If you are not in love, then what to say about God? Even you are not.
I was thinking what I should give you today – because this is my birthday. I was incarnated into this body on this day. This is the day I first saw the green of the trees and the blue of the skies. This was the day I opened my eyes for the first time and saw God all around. Of course the word God didn’t exist at that moment, but what I saw was God. I was thinking what I should give to you today, then I remembered a saying of Buddha: Sabba danam dhamma danana jnati – the gift of truth excels all other gifts. And my truth is love.
The word truth looks to me a little too dry and desertlike. I am not much in tune with the word truth – it looks too logical, too heady. It gives you the feeling of philosophy not of religion, and the idea that you have come to a conclusion, that there has been a syllogism behind it, argumentation, logic, and reasoning. No, truth is not my word; love is my word. Love is of the heart; truth is partial, only your head is involved. In love you are involved as a totality: your body, your mind, your soul are all involved.
Love makes you a unity – not a union, remember, but a unity. Because in a union those who join together remain separate. In a unity they dissolve, they become one, they melt into each other. That moment I call the moment of truth, when love has given you unity. First, love gives you unity in your innermost core; you are no longer a body, no longer a mind, no longer a soul. You are simply one – unnamed, undefined, unclassified. No longer determinate, definable, no longer comprehensible. A mystery, a joy, a surprise, a jubilation, a great celebration.
First, love gives you an inner unity. And when the inner unity has happened, the second happens on its own – you are not to do anything for it. Then you start falling in unity with the whole beyond you. Then the drop disappears into the ocean and the ocean disappears into the drop. That moment, that moment of orgasm between you and the whole, is where you become a buddha. That moment is the moment buddhahood is imparted to you. Or, better, revealed to you – you have always been that, unaware.
My word is love. So I say: my beloved ones, I love you. And I would like you to fill the whole world with love. Let that be our religion. Not Christianity, not Hinduism, not Islam, not Jainism, not Buddhism, but love. Love without any adjective to it. Not Christian love, because how can love be Christian? It is so stupid. How can love be Hindu? It is ridiculous. Love is simply love. In love you can be a christ. In love you can be a buddha – but there is no Buddhist love and there is no Christian love.
In love you disappear, your mind disappears. In love you come to an utter relaxation. That’s my teaching to you; I teach love and there is nothing higher than love.
Then I thought I should give you something beautiful on this day. And I remembered Hakuin’s Song of Meditation. It is a very small song, but a great gift. Hakuin is one of the greatest Zen masters. His song contains all: all the Bibles, all the Korans, and all the Vedas. A small song of a few lines, it is like a seed – very small, but if you allow the passage of it to your heart, it can become a great tree. It can become a bodhi tree – it will have great foliage and much shade and thousands of people can sit and rest underneath it. It will have big branches and many birds can come and have their nests on it.
See: I have become a tree. You are the people who have come to make their nests on my tree. You can also become this. Everybody should become this – because unless you become this you will go on missing your fulfillment. Unless you become a great tree which has come to its foliage, flowers and fruits – which is fulfilled – you will remain in discontent. Anguish will go on gnawing in your heart. Misery will linger around you. Bliss will be only a word, signifying nothing. God will be just gibberish.
When you have fulfillment, there is grace and there is God. In your fulfillment you come to realize the benediction of existence.
This is a song of meditation. Hakuin has called it a “Song” – yes, it is a song. If meditation is without song it is dull and dead, it does not beat, it does not breathe. It is a song and a dance: sing it and dance it. Just don’t think upon it – then you will miss the message, you will miss its content. You will find this song and its meaning only when you are singing and dancing, when the music of life has overtaken you, has possessed you.
Hakuin’s song is so small and yet so vast, it is unbelievable. How can a man condense so much truth and so much love and so much insight into so few words? But Hakuin was a man of few words, a man of silence. For years he did not speak at all, and then later he would speak only a word or two.

Once, the emperor of Japan invited him to deliver a sermon in the palace. The queen, the king, the prime minister, the ministers and high officials and generals all gathered with great respect to listen. Hakuin came, stood there for a single moment, looked around, and left the hall. The king was puzzled. He asked his prime minister, “What is the matter with this man? We had come to listen.”
The old prime minister said, “This is the greatest sermon that I have ever heard – he has said it! You had asked him to come and teach you about silence and he has taught it. He stood there in silence, he was silence. What more do you ask for? What more do you demand? He was pure silence standing there for those few seconds, utter silence. He was silence, throbbing, pulsating. But you wanted to hear some words.”

About silence nothing can be said, all that is said about silence will be wrong. How can you say anything about silence? To say something will be falsifying it. That’s why Lao Tzu says that nothing can be said about Tao and that if something is said, in the very saying of it, it has become untrue. Tao is silent, but that silence is not the silence of a cemetery. It is the silence of a garden where trees are alive, breathing, and yet there is utter silence. It is not a dead silence, it is an alive silence. Hence Hakuin has called it, The Song of Meditation.
Buddha says: “My approach to reality is not that of belief but of seeing.” His religion has been qualified as, ihi passika – come and see. Not come and believe. Buddha says: “Come and see. Ihi passika. It is here, present – just come and see.” He does not require you to believe. He is the only great teacher in the world who dropped belief and with dropping belief, he transformed religion from a very low childish stature to a very mature thing. With Buddha, religion became matured, otherwise it was childish. It was a kind of belief – belief is superstition, belief is out of fear. And belief is blind. Buddha has given eyes to religion. He says: “See,” and there is no need to believe. And when you have seen, it will not be a belief, it will be knowing.
In this song of Hakuin you will see the way of seeing – how to open the eyes. Because truth is always there, has been always there. It is not that the truth has to be produced. Buddha says: “Yatha bhutam – It is!” It is already there, it is confronting you. It is in the east, it is in the west, it is in the north, it is in the south, it surrounds you – it is without and it is within. But you will have to see it: ihi passika. Your eyes are closed, you have forgotten how to open them. Meditation is nothing but the art of opening your eyes, the art of cleansing your eyes, the art of dropping the dust that has gathered on the mirror of your consciousness.
It is natural that dust gathers. Man has been traveling and traveling for thousands of lives – dust gathers. We are all travelers, much dust has gathered – so much so that the mirror has completely disappeared. There is only dust upon dust, layers and layers of dust, and you cannot see the mirror. But the mirror is still there; it cannot be lost because it is your very nature. If it can be lost then it will not be your nature: it is not that you have a mirror, you are the mirror. The traveler is the mirror. He cannot lose it, he can only forget it – at the most, forgetfulness.
You have not lost your buddhahood. Buddhahood means the mirror clean of dust. The mirror again fresh, again reflecting, again functioning – that’s what buddhahood is. Buddhahood means a consciousness that has become awakened: the sleep is no more, the dreams are no more and the desires have disappeared. The dust gathers, it is natural. But you cling to the dust; your desire functions like glue.
And what is your desire? That has to be understood. If you have understood your desire, you have understood all, because in the understanding of desire, desire ceases. And when desire ceases, suddenly you have a totally new feel to your being; you are no longer the old.
What is the desire? What are you searching? What are you seeking? Happiness, bliss, joy – that’s what you are seeking. You have been seeking for millennia, and you have not yet found it. It is time, the right time to think again, to meditate again. You have been seeking so hard, you have been trying so hard – perhaps you are missing just because you are trying? Maybe it is trying that keeps you away from happiness? Let us think over it, brood over it. Give a little pause to your search – recapitulate.
You have been searching for many lives. You don’t remember other lives, no need – but in this life you have been searching, that will do. And you have not found it: nobody has ever found by searching. Something is wrong in the very search. In the search, naturally you forget yourself. You start looking everywhere, everywhere else. You look to the north and to the east and to the west and to the south, and in the sky and underneath the seas, and go on searching everywhere. The search becomes more and more desperate because the more you search and don’t find, great anxiety arises: “Am I going to make it this time, or am I again going to miss it?”
More and more desperation, more and more misery, more and more madness – you go nuts. And happiness remains as far away as ever, in fact it recedes farther away from you. The more you search, the less is the possibility to get it because it is inside you.
Happiness is the function of your consciousness when it is awake, unhappiness is the function of your consciousness when it is asleep. Unconsciousness is your mirror burdened with much dust and luggage, and the past. Happiness is when the burden has been dropped and the mirror is found again; your mirror can again reflect the trees and the sun and the sand and the sea and the stars. When you have again become innocent, when you again have the eyes of a child – in that clarity you are happy.
I was reading a few beautiful lines of Michael Adam:
Perhaps trying even makes for unhappiness. Perhaps all the din of my desiring has kept the strange bird from my shoulder. I have tried so long and so loud after happiness. I have looked so far and wide. I have always imagined that happiness is an island in the river. Perhaps it is the river. I have thought happiness to be the name of an inn at the end of the road. Perhaps it is the road. I have believed that happiness was always tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. Perhaps it is here. Perhaps it is now. I have looked everywhere else.
So: here and now.
But here and now is clearly unhappiness. Perhaps then, no such thing as happiness. Perhaps happiness exists not, it is just a dream created by an unhappy mind. Certainly it cannot be as I unhappily imagine it. Here and now there is not happiness. So happiness is not. I need not therefore waste myself on what is not. I can forget about happiness then; I can cease to care and instead concern myself with something that I do know, can feel and fully experience. Happiness is an idle dream: now it is morning. I can awaken and stay with unhappiness, with what is real under the sun this moment. And now I see how much of my unhappiness came from trying to be happy; even I can see that trying is unhappiness. Happiness does not try….
At last I am here and now. At last I am what I am. I am unpretending, at ease. I am unhappy – so what? But is this what I ran from? Is this really unhappiness?
Think over it, meditate over it.
And when I cease to try to be happy or anything else, when I do not seek anymore, when I do not care to go anywhere, get anything, then it seems I am already arrived in a strange place: I am here and now. When I see that I can do nothing, that all my doing is the same dream, in the moment that I see this, my mind the old dreamer and wanderer is for the moment still and present.
Naturally. If you are not searching, not seeking, not desiring, not dreaming, for a moment the mind falls into silence, is still. There is nothing to hanker about, nothing to make a fuss about, nothing to expect, and nothing to be frustrated about. For a moment, the mind stops its constant chasing. In that moment of stillness you are in a strange place, you are in a strange unknown space, never known before. A new door has opened and for the moment the mind is still and present.
For the moment, here and now, the real world shows, and see: here and now is already and always all that I had sought and striven after elsewhere and apart. More than that: I have hunted after shadows; the reality is here in this sunlit place, in this birdcall now. It was my seeking after reality that took me from it; desire deafened me. The bird was singing here all the while.
If I am still and careless to find happiness, then happiness it seems is able to find me. It is, if I am truly still, as still as death – if I am thoroughly dead, here and now.
Happiness suddenly jumps upon you. When desire disappears, happiness appears. When the striving is no more, for the first time you see who you are. That knowing is what Buddha means: “Come and see – ihi passika.” Where is he calling you: “Come and see”? He is calling you from your desires. You have gone far away from your home, you have lost your home base and are not where you appear to be. Your dream has taken you to faraway worlds: imaginary, illusory, your own creation.
Zen people have a special word for meditation. They call it fusho. Fusho means unproduced. You cannot produce it; you cannot do anything to bring it. You have to be passive, in a state of non-doing – then it comes. Then it comes suddenly from nowhere, from out of the blue. And in that coming, in that shower of silence and stillness, is the transformation. Zen people say it is nothing special. How can it be special? It is everybody’s nature, so how can it be special? It is utterly ordinary, everybody has it. You may know, you may not know – that is a different thing – but you have it. Not for a single moment have you missed it. Not for a single moment has it been taken away from you. It has been lying and lying there, waiting for you to come back home.
Another word Zen people use for meditation is wushi. It means nothing special or no fuss.
Now this song of Hakuin:
All beings are from the very beginning buddhas.
This one sentence is enough, it is the beginning and the middle and the end. It is all: the alpha and the omega.
All beings are from the very beginning buddhas. You are buddhas. Never for a single moment have you been otherwise. You cannot. You cannot really go away from your buddhahood, you can only dream. You can only dream that you have gone away, but while dreaming you will still remain here now. It is impossible to lose your buddhahood because God is involved in every thing and every being. And when Hakuin says: All beings are from the very beginning buddhas, don’t think that he is talking only of human beings; animals are included, so are the birds and the trees and the rocks. All that is, is included.
The English word being comes from a Sanskrit root bhu. Bhu means “that which grows.” All that grows is God: the trees grow, the birds grow, the rocks grow. All that grows is God and everything grows at its own pace. Remember, the root of being, the word being, is bhu. It simply means that which breathes, that which grows, that which has life – howsoever rudimentary, howsoever primitive, all is included.
All beings are from the very beginning buddhas. And what is the meaning of a buddha? Buddha means a consciousness that has come back to itself: is no longer wandering in dreams, is no longer thinking of the future, is no longer thinking of the past. A consciousness that is not possessed by memories or possessed by imagination, a consciousness that has got rid of the past and of the future, a consciousness that has only the present. A consciousness that lives in the moment, utterly here now: alert, awake, radiant.
All beings are buddhas. Zen people call this single sentence “The Lion’s Roar.” It is. In a single stroke Hakuin has delivered you, has saved you from yourself. There is no more salvation needed; a single statement is enough to release you from all bondage. You are a buddha. But remember you are not a buddha in any special sense. Everybody is: your dog and your cow and your buffalo and your donkey, everybody is! So don’t take it in an egoistic sense, that “I am a buddha.” Don’t make it ambitious; don’t go on an ambition trip. All is buddha: life is buddha, being is buddhahood, existence is buddhahood.
Just think of it, one of the greatest statements ever made: All beings are from the very beginning buddhas. Hakuin has finished in one sentence. The remaining song will be a repetition, really. The remaining song will be for those who cannot understand the first statement. It is said that when Hakuin was writing this song and he wrote his first sentence: All beings are from the very beginning buddhas, one of his disciples was sitting there and he said, “Stop now. There is no more to say.” And he left the room. He said, “Now there is no point. You have finished in the first sentence – this should be the last sentence!”
But still the song is beautiful. It will help you to come to the same truth from different directions, to see the point from different vantage points, from different windows. You will see the same buddha from every window of the temple, but it is good: from one window there may be more light falling on the buddha, from one window the green of the trees may be reflected in the buddha’s face, from another window a star may be looking at the buddha, from another window something else, a bird may be sitting singing a song.
All beings are from the very beginning buddhas. The universe is made of the stuff called God, so God is not in the end. God is in the beginning, in the middle, and the end. Only God is. But let me remind you, when I use the word God I mean godliness.
It is like water and ice:
apart from water, no ice,
outside living beings, no buddhas.
Hakuin says: It is like water and ice… There is no difference between water and ice, and yet a sort of difference. If you had gone to the market to purchase ice, you would not purchase water, you would purchase ice. You would insist. If somebody said, “Take this water,” you would say, “I have come for ice.” There is a sort of difference, but not much, really only on the surface. The ice will melt and become water, and the water can freeze and turn into ice. They are two phases of one phenomenon.
You are like ice and a buddha is like water: you are frozen, he has melted. And let me repeat: there is no other alchemy than love to help you melt. Love melts because love is warmth. People melt only in love. When they are not in love they become cold, and in the cold they freeze. You must have watched it, even in your small ways: when you are loving, you are flowing; when you are flowing, you are glowing. When you are loving, you expand; when you are not loving, you shrink. When you are loving, you have warmth around you; when you are not loving, you are surrounded by a cold wind, you are freezing, and anybody who comes close to you will freeze.
There are some people who, if they look at you with their cold eyes, you will shiver. And there are some people, when they look at you with their warmth, their love, you suddenly feel this is your home. There are eyes which give you the feeling of being at home, and there are eyes which stare at you and make you aware that you are a stranger here.
…apart from water, no ice, outside living beings, no buddhas. So buddhahood is nothing but a state of merger. Frozenness is gone, your definition has disappeared, you are no longer limited, you are no longer confined. At the deepest core, you are no more because if you are, there will be some kind of frozenness in you. If you are, you cannot be flowing – something will be hindering and something will be stuck and something will be obstructing. When you are not at all… That’s why when two lovers are in deep embrace there are not two people, there is only one energy, revolving. When two lovers are in a really deep embrace, there comes a moment when the woman forgets whether she is woman or man and the man forgets whether he is man or woman. If that moment has not yet come then you have not loved.
In deep love you disappear. Still something is there, a kind of presence, but nobody is present. There is no center as frozen ice, there is no self. That’s why Buddha has very much insisted that your self is the root cause hindering you from being a buddha. The feeling “I am” makes you ice – icy and cold. If this feeling of “I am” disappears there is no problem, the ice will melt. It is like water and ice: apart from water, no ice, outside living beings, no buddhas.
The Buddhist doctrine talks about Buddha’s three bodies. They have to be understood: the first body is the physical body. The second body is called the bliss body – the bridge between the first and the third. You can call it the soul. And the third body is called the body of truth, the universal body, the divine body. You can call it God.
You know only your physical body. You have not known your second body, the bliss body, and unless you know the second body you will not be able to know the third, the deepest – your universal body, your cosmic body, your buddha body.
This is the Christian trinity – the father, the son, and the Holy Ghost. Or, this is the Buddhist trimurti – the three faces of God. Buddha says everybody has these three bodies. The first, the physical, is very frozen. The second is in a state of liquidity. And the third is vaporous. First the ice has to melt into water and then the water has to evaporate. Have you seen – ice has definition, boundaries; water has no definition, no boundaries? You pour water into any jug, into any pot, it takes the shape of the pot. It is nonresistant, nonaggressive, it does not fight. It is liquid, it adjusts.
The man of compassion and love is like water, he adjusts. He has no resistance; he does not enforce his form on anybody. He accommodates, he is accommodative, he is spacious.
And then the third, when the water has evaporated and has disappeared and become invisible. Now you cannot even pour it into a pot. It has become part of the sky, moved into the eternal, into the infinite.
These are the three states of water, and these are the three states of consciousness too. You have become too gross because you have become too identified with your first body, as if a man has befooled himself into believing that the walls of his house are his house. The walls of the house are not the house, you have to go in a little. You have to find the innermost core of your being and that innermost core is invisible, that innermost core is almost like emptiness.
The third body is essence, the second body is form, the first body is action. People who live only in the physical body live only in doings: what to do, what not to do; their whole life is just swerving, swaying, between this and that, their life consists of doing and they don’t know anything else.
The second body is of form, man starts seeing glimpses of nonaction. That’s what happens in meditation – when you are sitting silently doing nothing, great joy arises, from nowhere, for no cause. You don’t know from where it is coming, but great joy arises as if out of nothing, miraculously, magically. This is the second, the form; the joy takes form.
And then there is the third. If you go on following, moving inward, one day you reach the essence that Buddha calls the body of truth. There, no action and no no-action. All has disappeared, the whole duality has disappeared. You have come to the very essence of existence. That essence is liberating, that essence is nirvana. You are not to go anywhere to find it; you were carrying it all along.
All beings are from the very beginning buddhas.
It is like water and ice:
apart from water, no ice,
outside living beings, no buddhas.
Not knowing it is near, they seek it afar. What a pity!
If you go on seeking afar for that which is near, you will go on missing. Nobody is at fault. Before you go into the four corners of the world to search for it, first go into yourself. If you don’t find it there, then you can go anywhere you like. But people don’t go within, they start from without. And the without is vast, you can go on and on, you can search all over the earth. People are searching, they come to me and say, “We have been searching for our whole lives, we have been here and there, we have been to Japan and to Sri Lanka and to Burma and to Thailand, and we have traveled all over the East. And we have not found it yet.”
The East is within you. It is not in Thailand, it is not in India, you will not find it anywhere. At the most, if you accidentally come across an enlightened man, he will throw you to yourself. Not that he will give it to you: nobody can give it to you. It is already there, there is no need to give it.
People are becoming even more mad because in the modern world, communication has become easy, traveling has become easy. They go jumping from one city to another, from one airport to another. They are driving themselves crazy. To reach home you need not enter any airplane, any train, any car. You need only to enter yourself. And ticketless – no ticket is needed! Nobody is there to debar you; it is your territory.
I have heard…

A party of American tourists happened to arrive at Mount Vesuvius during one of its more spectacular eruptions. “Say!” exclaimed one of the Yanks in an awed tone, “doesn’t that beat all hell!”
Sapresti!” said the Italian guide. “How you Americans travel!”

Now even hell is in danger, afraid of tourists.
People go on searching and seeking for something that needs no search, which can be found only when searching stops. I am not saying to strive to stop it – then again you have started it. If you strive to stop it, you have missed the point. You have just to see the point, that striving will take you away from you, that striving will create more and more tension. See the fact: ihi passika. Seeing this, striving disappears and there is sudden stillness. In that stillness the first glimpse of bliss will come, you will enter your second body. And when you have entered the second body then it will be more and more easy, very lucid, to slip into the central-most core – the essential body, the body of truth.
Once you have tasted something of your inner bliss then you have the vision where to really search, where to go now. Disappear into your innermost being and you will find it. Seek, and you will miss. Don’t seek, and find.
Not knowing it is near, they seek it afar. What a pity!
It is like one in the water who cries out for thirst;
it is like the child of a rich house who has strayed away among the poor.
And has forgotten that he is rich – may have become a beggar. You are rich, infinitely rich, you are all emperors and empresses, gods and goddesses – just recognize it. Don’t get too much into begging. Desire creates the beggar; even a man like Alexander is a beggar because the desire is there, a man like Napoleon is a beggar because the desire is there. See the richest people of this earth and you will see just beggars and nothing else. And sometimes it happens that you come across a beggar and you see an emperor sitting there under a tree – having nothing, not possessing anything.
Just possess yourself and you have possessed all, be the master of yourself and you have become the master of all. Possessing things, you will remain a beggar. People go on changing, but not really transforming: you possess one thing, then you start possessing another thing, then you possess a third thing. Sometimes you start possessing otherworldly things, but nothing changes, just the form changes. Somebody possesses money and somebody starts possessing virtue. It is the same, not much is different.
I have heard…

Early one Sunday morning, Farmer Giles looked out to see a flock of large black crows devouring his field of prize spring cabbages.
Red with anger, he rushed out and began charging up and down the field manically, shaking his fists, tearing his hair, foaming at the mouth and screaming abuse of every known kind at the gouging birds.
The Reverend Goodbody passing on his bicycle was surprised by the sight, and shocked to hear loud and violent cries of “Piss off you thieving bastards! Piss off you greedy black bastards!” He stopped immediately and beckoned to the angry farmer.
Embarrassed and red-faced, Giles shuffled up with a humble “Good morning Reverend.”
“Now this really won’t do, Giles,” said the good vicar. “So early on the Sabbath, there might be ladies present. These fowl too are God’s creatures. If you wish them to vacate your property do it with love and compassion. Say ‘Shoo, shoo, shoo, shoo,’ then the greedy black bastards will piss off!”

But what difference does it make? You and your priests, you and your so-called religious people, are all in the same boat.
I am not saying start striving to stop striving, otherwise you will simply change the name of your madness and you will remain the same. You will just change the label of your neurosis. There are people who are greedy for money and there are people who are greedy for God. It makes no difference at all, they are the same people. Greed is greed; it makes no difference for what the greed is, greed is greed.
Just see the point: striving is meaningless, going anywhere is meaningless. Not because I am saying it – you have to see it: ihi passika. You have to see it, you are not to believe it. Believing won’t help – believing is just a whitewash on the surface. Seeing brings transformation.
It is like one in the water who cries out for thirst… Hakuin says you are crying out for happiness like a fish in the water crying, “I am thirsty.” You have it! And you are begging everywhere.
It is like the child of a rich house who has strayed away among the poor.
The cause of our circling through the six worlds
is that we are on the dark paths of ignorance.
Dark path upon dark path treading,
when shall we escape from birth-and-death?
What is …the dark path of ignorance? – looking outward. The farther you look, the more darkness because the light burns inside you. Looking closer and closer, there is more light. That’s why we call a buddha “enlightened” – he has come to know and realize his light. It is a perpetual light without any fuel, it cannot be exhausted. Suns will be exhausted and moons will be exhausted and stars will be exhausted, but the light that burns inside you as consciousness is inexhaustible. It is eternal.

Once upon a time there lived an old king in a palace. In the center of a golden table in the main hall, there shone a large and magnificent jewel. Each day of the king’s life, the stone sparkled more resplendently.
One day a thief stole the jewel and ran from the palace, hiding in the forest. As he stared with deep joy at the stone, to his amazement the image of the king appeared in it.
“I have come to thank you,” said the king. “You have released me from my attachment to Earth. I thought I was freed when I acquired this jewel, but then I learned that I would be released only when I passed it on, with a pure heart, to another.
“Each day of my life I polished that stone, until finally this day arrived when the jewel became so beautiful that you stole it. I have passed it on and am released.
“The jewel you hold is understanding. You cannot add to its beauty by hiding it and hinting that you have it, nor yet by wearing it with vanity. Its beauty comes of the consciousness that others have of it. Honor that which gives it beauty.”

That’s why buddhas go on giving you whatever they have attained. Go on sharing because the beauty of it is in sharing. That’s why Hakuin has sung this song. That’s why I am here, sharing my being with you, my joy with you, my celebration with you. It is something that has to be shared to keep it alive. It is something that has to be given. The more you give it, the more you have of it.
Never be a miser with your love and with your understanding. Share it and you will have more and more of it, don’t hoard it otherwise you will miss it – one day you will find it has disappeared and there is nothing but stink left. Instead of fragrance there will be stinking. Share your love with everybody and anybody. Don’t make conditions to your love. And the best way to share is to share your understanding, to share your meditation.
Hakuin is doing that in this song. He’s sharing his buddhahood. He is singing about what he has known; he is praising it, he is making it clear to people who have not yet attained but can attain. Maybe somebody will hear the song, somebody will be struck by it, stabbed in the very heart by it. It is a lion’s roar: somebody may be awakened out of his sleep.
The cause of our circling through the six worlds is that we are on the dark paths of ignorance. Dark path upon dark path treading, when shall we escape from birth-and-death? Birth means getting attached to the physical body, death means the frustration of that attachment to the body. Getting free of birth and death means getting free of the physical body. But how can you be free from the physical body? Unless you know the second body you will not be free from the physical body. So it is not a question of being free from the physical body; the basic question is how to enter the second body. Once you are in the second, you are free from the first. And once you are in the third, you are free from the second too.
That’s why you don’t see Buddha laughing. Not that he didn’t laugh, but he has not been shown laughing because in the third body, the body of truth, even bliss is meaningless. The first body, the physical body, is the body of misery: attached to the physical body you remain miserable. The second body is the body of bliss: once you reach it all misery disappears, you are blissful. But bliss is the opposite of misery – part of a duality. The body of truth goes beyond both, it is transcendental. Misery has disappeared, so what is the point of keeping bliss? When there is no misery, there is no point in bliss. When poverty has disappeared, what is the point in holding richness? Even that can be dispossessed.
When all duality disappears – pleasure and pain, happiness and unhappiness, day and night, life and death – then for the first time you are in God.
The Zen meditation of the Mahayana
is beyond all our praises.
Giving and morality and the other perfections,
taking of the name, repentance, discipline,
and the many other right actions,
all come back to the practice of meditation.
Hakuin says all that has been done in the name of religion down the ages can be reduced to one single thing, and that is meditation – dhyana. And what is dhyana? Becoming aware of your physical body is the first dhyana, the first step of meditation. Become watchful of your physical body: watch yourself walking, watch yourself eating, watch yourself running, talking, listening. Watch. And through watching you will see you are different from the physical body. Because the watcher cannot be the watched, the observer cannot be the observed, the seer cannot be the seen, the knower cannot be the known.
Watch the physical body, and the second body will arise. It is there – but you will start feeling it, you will start recognizing it, it will start penetrating you. This is the first step of meditation: watch the physical body. Then the second step, and the last, is: watch the bliss body. Watch your celebration, watch your joy, watch your silence, watch your ecstasy and then you will suddenly see that the watcher cannot be the watched: “Ecstasy is there, but I am far away from it. Bliss is there, but I am the knower of it.”
Then you start getting into the third body, the body of truth. You become a pure witness – sakshin – and that is liberation. Hakuin says it happens through meditation that you discover, or rediscover, your buddhahood.
By the merit of a single sitting
he destroys innumerable accumulated sins.
How should there be wrong paths for him?
Just in …a single sitting… it can happen. Hakuin does not preach the gradual path, he preaches the sudden path. It can happen in a single moment. It can happen now; you need not postpone it for tomorrow. Who knows? – tomorrow may never come, it never comes, really. It can happen this very moment. If your awareness is lucid, if your awareness is there, clear, crystal clear, it can happen this very moment. This very sitting, and you can become a buddha. Nobody is hindering the path except yourself, nobody is the enemy except you and nobody is the friend either.
By the merit of a single sitting he destroys innumerable accumulated sins. Hakuin says don’t be worried about your sins and past karma, in a single sitting of meditation all that can be burned – the fire of meditation is so potential that it can burn your whole past in a single moment. There is no need to be worried about past karma – “I have done some bad, so I have to suffer. I have done something, so I have to go to hell.” If you want to go, you will have to go! But these are all rationalizations that you are trying to find. If you wish, it is your wish – it will be fulfilled. This existence is very obliging. It goes on obliging; if you want to go to hell, it supports. It says, “Go! I am all with you.”
But if you decide, “Enough is enough, I have suffered enough,” a single moment of meditativeness is enough to burn all your millions of past lives and millions of future lives too. You are released.
Start meditating. First on the body, then on your inner feelings of bliss, joy. Go on moving inward and one day the song of Hakuin will burst forth in you too. You will flower and unless you flower you have not lived, or have lived in vain. You are here to bloom and unless you bear fruits and many flowers you will go on missing the meaning of life.
People come to me and ask, “What is the meaning of life?” As if meaning is somewhere sold in the market, as if meaning is a commodity. Meaning has to be created. There is no meaning in life: meaning is not a given thing, it has to be created, it has to become your inner work, then there is meaning – and there is great meaning.
Love and meditate and you will attain meaning. And you will attain life, abundant life.
Enough for today.

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