This Very Body the Buddha 06

Sixth Discourse from the series of 10 discourses - This Very Body the Buddha by Osho.
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The pure land paradise is not far.
When in reverence this truth is heard even once,
he who praises it and gladly embraces it has merit without end.
How much more he who turns within
and confirms directly his own nature,
that his own nature is no-nature –
such has transcended vain words.
The gate opens, and cause and effect are one;
straight runs the way – not two, not three.
Taking as form the form of no-form,
going or returning, he is ever at home.
Taking as thought the thought of no-thought,
singing and dancing, all is the voice of truth.
Wide is the heaven of boundless samadhi,
radiant the full moon of the fourfold wisdom.
What remains to be sought? Nirvana is clear before him,
this very place the lotus paradise, this very body the buddha.
Man lives in illusion. Man lives through illusion. Man lives for illusion. In short, man lives because of illusion, hence the fear of truth. Nobody wants truth although everybody goes on seeking it. That seeking is a deception, that seeking is an avoidance; to seek truth means to avoid truth.
It has to be understood how the seeker goes on avoiding truth. To seek means to look far away, to seek means to look somewhere else, to seek means to go on a trip. To seek means to postpone: to seek means it will happen tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, it is not happening right now. It is not here, it is there. It is not this, it is that.
Man goes on living in illusion, but to live in illusion one needs to avoid truth because if truth comes, it will shatter all your illusions and all your so-called life and all your so-called love. Truth looks like a calamity. Friedrich Nietzsche is right in a sense when he says: “Please don’t give truth to humanity; otherwise you will destroy people’s joy, you will destroy their enthusiasm, you will destroy their gusto. Don’t give truth to humanity; otherwise all that they have will disappear because all that they have is a kind of dream. Don’t wake humanity otherwise the dreams will be shattered, and they may be seeing beautiful dreams – or hoping to see, somewhere, sometime.”
That’s why Christ is crucified, Socrates is poisoned, Buddha is stoned: they bring truth to people who have become almost illusory, they bring light to people who live in darkness and dream in darkness. And their dreams depend on darkness – when somebody brings light into the darkness, the darkness disappears and the dreams and the desires.
One feels hurt by a Buddha or a Christ. Christ looks not like the savior but like the enemy. Otherwise why should you crucify Christ? There is no other reason. The basic reason is that he uproots you, he shatters you. This has to be understood very deeply. And when you live in illusion, you search for truth. That is a double deception so that you can go on telling yourself, consoling yourself, “I am searching. Look what great efforts I am making, how much I am putting my energy into the search – look!”
The search for truth arises out of your lie. It is the lie that puts you on the search for truth. It is a protection for the lie, it is the way for the lie to survive. It says: “Go and search for truth. It is there far away in some distant land. You will have to travel, and the travel is long and the travel is not going to be finished soon. It will take lives and lives, it will take millennia, but go! Go on searching, one day you will find it.” The lie gives you hope, it gives you a future, it gives you future dreams. Your God is somewhere far away. It has to be far away because close by he will be dangerous.
So you can respect a dead master but you cannot respect an alive master; it is too close, it is too dangerous. Christ is worshipped now; almost half the earth has become Christian. And when he was here no more than twelve people were following him – and they too, half-heartedly. And they too betrayed in the last moment. The day he died he became God, he became divine, and millions and millions started coming to his feet, and down the ages they have been coming and increasing.
Why does a dead Christ seem to be more important than an alive Christ? The reason is: an alive Christ can prove fatal to your illusions. A dead Christ cannot do anything to you, a dead Christ is in your control; an alive Christ cannot be controlled by you. A dead Christ is just a name, a word – empty, impotent. An alive Christ is a fire. You can play with the word fire but you cannot come close to fire itself. It will burn you, it will destroy you.
But in your very destruction is the possibility of a new birth. Out of the ashes the new is going to be born. The myth of the phoenix is not a myth, it is a metaphor for man’s rebirth: you have to die first to be reborn. An alive Christ is like death; a dead Christ is a consolation, a comfort, a security.
Just the other night a woman was here, and she said that she loves my meditations and much is happening through the meditations. Not only that, she has started teaching my meditations to other people, and much is happening to them. But she cannot be initiated by me. I asked why. She said because of “religious reasons” – she may be a Christian or a Jew or somebody. She cannot leave the dead Christ for an alive christ. She calls it for religious reasons. The real reason is that to come close to me can be fatal to her. Christ is perfectly okay; it is just a picture on the wall or a name in the book or a word in your mouth. It means nothing, it is noise.
But if you come close to me – and initiation means coming close, initiation means coming as close as possible – you will be burned. You will be burned to ashes; you will disappear.
But that is the only real hope. If you disappear as you are, you will be born as you really are. Only the disappearance of the lie that you have become can be the birth of truth. And truth is not far away; it is just hiding within you. You are clinging to the lie; your personality is the lie and because of the personality you cannot move toward the essence. The personality is taught by the society; the society creates lies. Lies are very, very convenient. Lies function like lubricants, lies make life smooth. You see somebody and you smile and the smile is a lie because it is not coming from your heart, it is just painted there on the lips. You have created it, you have managed it, it is a kind of exercise of the lips. But it lubricates a relationship, the other man starts smiling.
If you are true, if you are as you are, it will be difficult, the relationship will become difficult. Psychologists say that if every person started revealing what is in his heart, friendship will disappear from the earth, love will disappear from the earth. That is true. It will be impossible to find friends if you simply say what is in your heart. If you say what is in your heart, your beloved will leave you, your lover will leave you.
You go on keeping it in the heart, and you go on playing something which is not really there – you do something else, just the opposite. You may be angry, but you smile. You may be hurt, but you smile. You may be boiling within, but you smile. You may want to scream, but you go on singing. You may want to do something else, but it is not feasible, it is not practical, it is not the right thing to do.
The society creates this persona, this mask around you, this personality. There are three you’s in you. You number one – that is the personality. The word personality comes from a Greek root, persona. In Greek drama they used to use masks, and the voice would come from the mask. Sona means voice, sound, and per means through the mask. The real face you don’t know – who the real actor is. There is a mask and through the mask comes the voice. It appears as if it is coming from the mask, and you don’t know the real face. The word personality is beautiful; it comes from Greek drama.
And that’s what has happened. In Greek drama they had only one mask. You have many; masks upon masks like the layers of an onion. If you put one mask away there is another, if you put that away there is another. And you can go on digging and digging and you will be surprised how many faces you are carrying. How many! For lives you have been collecting them and they are all useful because you have to change many times. You are talking to your servant; you cannot have the same face that you have when you talk to your boss. And they may be both present in the room: when you look at the servant you have to use one mask and when you look at your boss you have to use another mask. You continuously change. It has almost become automatic – you need not change, it changes itself. You look at the boss and you are smiling. And you look at the servant and the smile disappears and you are hard – as hard as the boss is to you. When he looks at his boss, he smiles.
In a single moment you may be changing your face many times. One has to be very, very alert to know how many faces one has. Innumerable; they cannot be counted.
This is your first you, the false you – or call it the ego. It has been given to you by society, it is a gift from the society: from the politician and the priest and the parent and the pedagogue. They have given you many faces just to make your life smooth. They have taken away your truth; they have given you a substitute. And because of these substitute faces you don’t know who you are. You can’t know because the faces change so fast and they are so many, you cannot trust yourself. You don’t know exactly which face is yours: in fact none of these faces is yours.
The Zen people say: “Unless you know your original face you will not know what buddha is, because buddha is your original face.” You were born as a buddha and you are living a lie.
This social gift has to be dropped. That is the meaning of sannyas, initiation: you are a Christian or a Hindu, that face has to be dropped because it is not your own face – it has been given to you by others. You have been conditioned for it and you have not even been asked; you have not even been requested. It has been imposed forcibly, violently.
All parents are violent and all educational systems are violent because they don’t take any note of you. They have a priori ideas; they already know what is right and they put the right on you. You squirm, you scream inside, but you are helpless. A child is so helpless and so delicate; he can be molded in any way. And that’s what society does. Before the child becomes strong enough he is already crippled in a thousand and one ways: paralyzed, poisoned.
The day you want to become religious you will have to drop religions. The day you want to relate to God, you will have to drop all ideologies about God. The day you want to know who you are, you will have to drop all the answers that have been given to you. All that is borrowed has to be burned.
That’s why Zen has been defined as: “Direct pointing to the human heart. Seeing the nature and becoming buddha. Not standing on letters. A separate transmission outside the scriptures.” A separate transmission outside the scriptures: the Koran cannot give it to you, neither can the Dhammapada nor the Bible nor the Talmud nor the Gita. No scripture can give it to you; if you believe in the scripture you will go on missing truth.
Truth is in you; it has to be encountered there. “Seeing the nature and becoming buddha. Direct pointing to the human heart.” You are not to go anywhere. Wherever you go you will remain the same, so what is the point? You can go to the Himalayas; it is not going to change anything, you will carry all that you have with you. All that you have become, all that you have been made, you will carry all your artificiality. Your synthetic faces, your borrowed knowledge, your scriptures, will go on clinging inside you. Even sitting in a cave in the Himalayas alone you will not be alone: the teachers will be there around you, and the priests and the politicians and the parents and the whole society. It may not be so visible but it will be there inside you, crowding you, and you will remain a Hindu there or a Christian or a Mohammedan. You will go on repeating words like parrots. It will not change, it cannot change.
I was reading a beautiful Bavarian story. You may have heard about it. Meditate over it.
An Angel from Munich.
Alois Hingerl, porter no. 172 at Munich Central Station, worked so energetically one day that he just dropped dead. Two little angels carried him to heaven with some difficulty where Saint Peter welcomed him and told him that from now on his name would be Angel Aloysius. He presented him with a harp and informed him of the heavenly house rules. “From eight in the morning until twelve noon,” he said, “you will jubilate. And from twelve noon until eight in the evening you will sing hosanna.”
“What is going on?” asked Aloysius. “From eight in the morning until twelve noon jubilating? And from twelve noon until eight in the evening singing hosanna? So… Hmm… Yes, and when do I get something to drink?”
“You will get your manna in due time,” said Peter slightly annoyed, and left him.
“Hell!” grumbled Angel Aloysius. “That is going to be rather a drag! I should jubilate from eight to twelve? And I thought there was no work in heaven.” But he finally sat down on a cloud and began to sing as he was told: “Hallelujah! Hallelujah!”
A very high-spirited intellectual came gliding by. “Hey, you!” called Aloysius, “How about a pinch of snuff? Come on now, let’s have some!”
But the intellectual angel was revolted by this vulgar idea. He just whispered “Hosanna” and departed.
Aloysius became furious. “What kind of silly idiot is this?” he shouted. “If you don’t have any snuff, you just don’t, right? A man can expect a decent answer, can’t he? You country bumpkin, you! Oh dear, what people they have up here! Ah, what did I get into!” And once more he sat down on his cloud and continued to jubilate.
But his anger showed in his singing, and he was shouting so loudly that the Heavenly Father next door awoke from his afternoon nap and asked with astonishment: “From whence cometh this noise?”
At once he sent for Saint Peter, who came running, and together they heard the scandalous jubilating of Angel Aloysius: “Hallelujah! Scheisse! Hallelujah! Bullshit! Hallelujah! Fuck you! Hallelujah!” Saint Peter hurried away and dragged Aloysius before the Lord.
The Heavenly Father looked at him a long time and then he spoke: “Oh, I see: an angel from Munich. That’s what I thought! Now, tell me, what is all this shouting about?”
That was exactly what Aloysius had been waiting for. He was so furious that he started right out. “I don’t like all these things! I don’t like to have wings! I don’t like to sing Hosanna! I don’t like to drink manna instead of beer! And let me make clear: I do not like to sing!”
“Saint Peter,” said the Lord “this will never do. But I have an idea. We shall employ him as messenger conveying our heavenly advice to the Bavarian government. So he can fly to Munich once or twice a week, and his good soul will rest in peace.”
When Aloysius heard this he felt very happy indeed. Soon he got his first delivery job, a letter, and he flew down to earth.
And when once again he felt the soil of Munich under his feet, it seemed to him that now he was really in heaven. And, following his old habits, he immediately went to the Hofbrauhaus and found his accustomed place empty and waiting for him. And good old Kathy, the waitress, was still there and he ordered another round of beer, and another, and still another one… And he just sat and is still sitting there today.
And that’s the reason the Bavarian government to this day has to do without divine guidance.
Wherever you go you will be yourself; even in heaven or in the Himalayas. You cannot be otherwise; the world is not outside you, you are the world, so wherever you go, you take your world with you.
The real change has not to be of place, the real change has not to be outside, the real change has to be inner. And what do I mean by real change? I don’t mean that you have to improve upon yourself because improvement is again a lie. Improvement means you will go on polishing your personality. You can make it immensely beautiful, but remember the more beautiful it is, the more dangerous because the more difficult it will be to drop it.
That’s why it happens that sometimes a sinner becomes a saint, but your so-called respectable people never become. They cannot become – they have such valuable personalities, so decorated, polished, and they have put so much investment into the personality, their whole life has been a kind of polishing. Now it is too costly to drop those beautiful personalities. A sinner can drop it; he has no investment in it, in fact he is fed up with it, it is so ugly. But how can a respectable person drop it so easily? It has been paying him so well; it has been such a profit. It has been making him more and more respected, he is going higher and higher, he is reaching the pinnacle of success. It is very difficult for him to stop going on this ladder of success. It is a non-ending ladder; you can go on and on forever.

Somebody asked Henry Ford when he was on his deathbed – he was still planning some new industries, some new enterprises – somebody asked him, “Sir, you are dying! And the doctors say you will not survive more than a few days. They are not even certain about that; you may die today or tomorrow. Now, why? You have been doing this your whole life and you have so much money, more than you can spend, more than you can do anything with. It is useless money. Why do you go on increasing your enterprises?
For a moment Henry Ford must have stopped his planning, and said, “Listen, I cannot stop. That is impossible, only death will stop me. I cannot stop. While I am alive, I will go on and on reaching for a higher rung. I know it is meaningless but I can’t stop!”

When you are succeeding in the world it is difficult to stop. When you are becoming richer it is difficult to stop, when you are becoming famous it is difficult to stop. The more refined personality you have, the more it clings to you.
So I am not saying that you have to improve upon yourself. All the great masters, from Buddha to Hakuin – nobody has said to improve. Beware of the so-called improvement books. The American market is full of those books. Beware, because improvement is not going to lead you anywhere. It is not a question of improvement because by improvement the lie will be improved. The personality will be improved – will become more polished, will become more subtle, will become more valuable, will become more precious – but that is not the transformation. The transformation comes not by improvement but by dropping the personality utterly.
The lie cannot become the truth. There is no way to improve upon the lie so that it becomes the truth; it will remain the lie. It will look more and more like the truth but it will remain the lie. And the more it looks like the truth the more you will be engrossed in it, rooted in it. The lie can look so much like the truth that you can even become oblivious of the fact that it is a lie.
The lie tells you to search for the truth. Improve your character, your personality. Search for the truth, become this, become that. The lie goes on giving you new programs. Do this, and then everything will be good and you will be happy forever. Do this, do that. This has failed? Don’t be worried: I have other plans for you. The lie goes on giving you plans, and you go on moving in those plans and wasting your life.
In fact, the search for truth also comes out of the lie. That will be hard to understand but it has to be understood. The search for truth comes from the lie itself; it is the lie’s way to protect itself – it even gives you the search for truth, now how can you be angry with your personality? And how can you call it a lie? It propels you, it enforces you, it pushes you to search for truth.
But the search means going away. Truth is here and the lie pushes you to go there; truth is now and the lie says “then” and “there.” The lie always speaks either of the past or of the future, it never speaks of the present. And the truth is the present – this very moment. It is herenow. That’s what Hakuin means when he says:
…this very place the lotus paradise, this very body the buddha.
So the first you is the lie, the act, the pseudo-personality that surrounds you, the public face, the phoniness. It is a fraud; the society has imposed it upon you and you have become a cooperator with it. You have to drop your cooperation with the social lie because only when you are utterly nude are you yourself. All clothes are social, all ideas and all identities that you think you are, are social – given by others. They have their motives to give those ideas to you; it is subtle exploitation.
The real exploitation is not economic or political, the real exploitation is psychological. That’s why all the revolutions up to now have been failures. Hitherto, no revolution has succeeded. The reason? – they have not looked at the deepest exploitation, which is psychological. They go on changing only superficial things: a capitalist society becomes communist but it makes no difference, a democracy becomes dictatorial, a dictatorial society becomes democratic, it makes no difference. These are just superficial changes like a whitewash, but the structure remains deep down the same.
What is the psychological exploitation? The psychological exploitation is that nobody is allowed to be himself, that nobody is accepted as himself or herself, that nobody is respected. How can you respect people if you don’t accept them as they are? If you impose things upon them and then you respect, you respect your own impositions. You don’t respect them as they are, you don’t respect their nudity. You don’t respect their naturalness, you don’t respect their spontaneity, you don’t respect their real smiles and real tears. You respect only phoniness, pretensions, actions; you respect their acting.
This “you number one” has to be utterly dropped. Freud helped much to make humanity aware of the pseudoness of personality, of the conscious mind. His revolution is far deeper than the revolution of Marx, his revolution is far deeper than any other revolution. It goes deep, although it does not go far enough – it reaches the second you, “you number two.” It is the repressed you, instinctive you, unconscious you. It is all that society has not allowed, it is all that society has forced inside your being and locked in there. It comes only in your dreams, it comes only in metaphors, it comes only when you are drunk, it comes only when you are no longer in control. Otherwise it remains far away from you. And it is more authentic, it is not phony.
Freud has done much to make man aware of it. And the humanistic psychologies and particularly growth groups, encounter and others, have helped tremendously to make you aware of all that is screaming inside you, all that has been repressed, crushed. That is your vital part; that is your real life, natural life. Religions have condemned it as your animal part; they have condemned it as the source of sin. It is not the source of sin, it is the source of life. And it is not lower than the conscious – it is deeper than the conscious, certainly, but not lower than the conscious.
And nothing is wrong if it is animal. Animals are beautiful, so are trees. They still live naked in their utter simplicity, they have not yet been destroyed by the priests and the politicians; they are yet as part of existence. Only man has gone astray; man is the only abnormal animal on the earth – otherwise all animals are simply normal, hence the joy, the beauty, the health. Hence the vitality. Have you not seen it? When a bird is on the wing have you not felt jealous? Have you not seen it in a deer running fast into the forest? Have you not felt jealous of the vitality, of the sheer joy of energy?
Children – have you not felt jealous? Maybe you go on condemning childishness because you feel so jealous. You go on condemning. Montague is right when he says that instead of telling people “Don’t be childish” we should start telling people “Don’t be adultish.” He is right, I agree: a child is beautiful, the adult is what ugliness is. He is no longer a flow, he is blocked in many ways. He is frozen, he is dull and dead. He has lost zest, he has lost enthusiasm, he is simply dragging. He is bored, he has no sense of mystery. He never feels surprised; he has forgotten the language of wonder. Mystery has disappeared for him. He has explanations; mystery is no longer there. Hence he has lost poetry and the dance and all that is valuable and all that gives meaning and significance to life, all that gives flavor to life.
This second you is far more valuable than the first. This is where I am against all the religions; this is where I am against all the priests, because they cling to the first, the most superficial. Go to the second. But the second is not the end. That is where Freud falls short and that is where humanistic psychology also falls short – it goes a little deeper than Freud, but still does not go deep enough to find the third.
There is a third you – you number three – the real you, the original face, which is beyond both you number one and you number two. The transcendental. The buddhahood. It is undivided pure consciousness. The first you is social, the second you is natural, the third you is divine. Or if you want to use Hakuin’s terms, the first you is the physical body, the second you is the bliss body, and the third you is the essential body. These are the three bodies of buddha.
And remember, I am not saying that the first is not at all useful. If the third exists, the first can be used beautifully. If the third exists, the second can be used beautifully, but only if the third exists. If the center functions well, the periphery too is okay, then the circumference too is okay. But without the center – only the circumference – is a kind of death.
That’s what has happened to man. That’s why in the West so many thinkers think that life is meaningless. It is not, it is only because you have lost touch with your source from where meaning arises.
It is as if a tree has lost its contact with its own roots. Now no flowers come. Now the foliage starts disappearing, the leaves fall, and no new leaves arrive. And the juice stops flowing, the sap no longer exists. The tree becomes dead; the tree is dying.
The tree may start philosophizing, the tree may become existentialist, a Sartre or somebody else, and the tree may start saying that there are no flowers in life. That life has no flowers, that there is no fragrance, that there are no longer any birds. And the tree may even start saying that it has been always so, and the ancients were only befooling themselves that there were flowers – they were imagining. “It has always been so, the spring has never come, people have only been fantasizing. These buddhas and these jinas, they have been simply imagining, fantasizing, that flowers bloom and there is great joy and birds come and sunlight. There is nothing. All is darkness, all is accidental, and there is no meaning.” The tree can say it.
And the real thing is not that there is no meaning, not that there are no longer flowers, not that flowers don’t exist, not that fragrance is fantasy, but simply that the tree has lost contact with its own roots.
Unless you are rooted in your buddhahood you will not bloom. You will not sing, you will not know what celebration is. And how can you know God if you don’t know celebration? If you have forgotten how to dance, how can you pray? If you have forgotten how to sing and how to love, then God is dead. Not that God is dead: God is dead in you, only in you. Your tree is dry, the sap has disappeared. You will have to find roots again. Where to find these roots? The roots have to be found here and now. That is the whole message of Hakuin’s Song of Meditation. Before we enter the song, a few things.
A man can seem to be the sum total of his days, of all that he does from the beginning to the end. But this is not the true man. What you do is just on the periphery. What you feel goes a little deeper. What you are is really at the roots. A man is not the sum total of his acts. A politician is the sum total of his acts because he lives only on the circumference; that’s why it is easy to write history about the politicians. It is difficult to write history about buddhas because they live at such a depth where we cannot reach them. They live in such eternity that time makes no record of them. They exist in such a transcendental way that they leave no traces on the earth. They are like birds in the sky: they fly, but no footprints are left.
Politicians leave footprints. They live in the mud, in the dirt; they drag themselves in the mundane reality. They leave many footprints; they leave much bloodshed behind them. A buddha exists as if he has never existed. He exists so absently, he exists like a space, empty space.
Remember, a man is not a sum total of his actions, and if he is, he is not yet a man; he is just a fiction, he is living in illusion. You are not what you do, so don’t be too concerned with your doing. Start going deeper into being. That’s why all meditations are basically a way to sit silently – so silently that all action stops. On the physical plane, on the mental plane, action stops, thought stops. Because thought is also action on the mental plane – you are doing something. When all doing disappears and you are simply there, just there, a presence, then meditation has happened.
Sitting silently, doing nothing, the spring comes and the grass grows by itself.
That is the meaning of the word zazen. Za means sitting doing nothing. And zen means: in that sitting when you are not doing anything, you fall upon yourself, you encounter yourself, you see yourself. That is Zen, dhyana, meditation. The word zazen is beautiful. “Sitting and looking into yourself” – that is the meaning of it.
Man is more than the sum total of his acts, his thoughts, his feelings. Behind the acts, thoughts, and feelings there is another man – that which is, that which essentially is. But most seldom, if ever, show themselves in their essential being. Very few ever reach that point of their essential being-hood, to their very ground of being. Only those who reach know that life is a benediction, a sheer joy, eternal celebration.
But if you remain on the surface you know only misery, nothing else – agony, nothing else. Let me say it in this way: you number one knows only misery and agony. You number three knows ecstasy of being and joy of being. And you number two neither knows ecstasy nor knows agony. It knows pleasure; it is just in the middle. Ecstasy is so much joy without any bounds to it, infinite joy. Agony is infinite misery, no bounds to it. Just between the two exists the animal and the child. It knows pleasure. It knows neither agony nor ecstasy. It is happy as it is. It does not know infinity.
If the child moves toward the first, which society forces him to do, he will know agony. If he finds somebody who can help to move him toward the third, he will know ecstasy. To find a master is nothing but finding a man who has known his essential being, so that he can help you to go toward your own essential being.
A master is not to be followed, a master is not to be imitated – a master is only to be understood. In that very understanding is the revolution.
A man’s true life is the way in which he puts off the lie imposed by others on him. Stripped, naked, natural, he is what he is. This is a matter of being and not of becoming. The lie cannot become the truth; the personality cannot become your soul. There is no way to make the nonessential the essential. The nonessential remains nonessential and the essential remains essential, they are not convertible. And striving toward truth is nothing but creating more confusion. The truth has not to be achieved – it cannot be achieved, it is already the case. Only the lie has to be dropped.
All aims and ends and ideals and goals and ideologies, religions and systems of improvement and betterment, are lies. Beware of them. Recognize the fact that as you are, you are a lie, manipulated, cultivated by others. Striving after truth is a distraction and a postponement. It is the lie’s way to hide. See the lie, look deep into the lie of your personality because to see the lie is to cease to lie. No longer to lie is to seek no more for any truth – there is no need. The moment the lie disappears, truth is there in all its beauty and radiance. In the seeing of the lie it disappears and what is left is the truth.
To see the lie of striving after truth is to fall into an eternal silence. A stillness comes when you see the lie of your personality; there is nothing more to do. Hence the stillness – what can you do?
Just the other night a sannyasin was saying, “What can I do? Whatever I do, I fail. What can I do?” There is nothing really to be done. Doing is not going to help, doing will be again the same rut. Only being is going to transform you, not doing. So when one fails again and again and again, only then does the insight arise that “Doing is never going to lead me anywhere.” The day that sword has hit you – doing is not going to lead me anywhere – what will you do? Nothing is left to do.
In your utter helplessness – the surrender and silence and stillness. This is the silence that transforms, not the silence that somehow you impose upon yourself by repeating a mantra or doing TM; that is not the real silence, it is a created silence. Any silence that you manage to create will belong to the personality. It will not be of much use, it will not go deeper than that – how can your doing go deeper than you? When you have utterly failed, when you have seen your ultimate failure and you have seen that there is no possibility and no hope for you to succeed, what will you do in that silence? You will just be there. All has stopped. The mind no longer spins any thoughts.
And in that very moment the door opens. That silence is being, that silence is buddha.
This stillness is not the opposite of action; it is not brought about by will or by withdrawal from the world. One cannot withdraw from the world, one is the world. The want to escape keeps us imprisoned – because the wish to be without desire is still desire, and the will to be still is disturbance. You cannot will your silence, the will is the base of all disturbance. The will has to disappear. You can only see into the futility of it. Doing, willing, improving, bettering yourself, achieving, reaching – all these words are just projections of the lie.
When the lie has been seen in its totality – the illumination, the enlightenment.
Now Hakuin’s sutras:
The pure land paradise is not far.
Zen people call the state of no-mind: the pure land paradise. So please don’t interpret it in Christian ways. Paradise to a Christian is somewhere there in the sky; for a Buddhist, particularly for a man like Hakuin, it is the state of no-mind.
The Pure Land paradise is not far. Stop thinking and you are there. In fact, that is the Biblical meaning of the parable of Adam’s expulsion: he has not been expelled, there is nobody to expel him, he has only eaten the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge – he has become a mind. The more knowledge you accumulate, the more of a mind you become. Adam has become knowledgeable, he has become a mind, and that is the expulsion from paradise. If he can drop his mind, he will suddenly find himself again in paradise and he will also find that he has been always there. Even when he was thinking he had lost it, it was not lost, it was only forgotten. He became too obsessed with knowledge, that’s why it was forgotten.
The day that the child starts becoming knowledgeable he loses paradise; each Adam loses it again and again. Don’t think that it happened once in history and that we are suffering for that ancient Adam – no. It has happened to our life, to each life, to each child. For a few months the child lives in the Garden of Eden. He knows nothing. Without knowing, he is a no-mind – he simply exists moment to moment, he has no worries. When he feels hungry he cries, when he feels satisfied he falls asleep, when he is happy he smiles, when he is angry he screams. But he has no ideas about anything; he neither praises a smile nor condemns screaming. He neither feels shy about crying and weeping nor feels very good that he has been a good boy today. He knows nothing about all this nonsense. He knows nothing good, nothing bad, he makes no distinctions. He lives utterly one with reality, and whatever happens, happens; there is no rejection.
But by and by he will become knowledgeable, he will start learning things. The day he starts learning things he is trapped by the snake. Now he has started eating the fruit of the tree, sooner or later paradise will disappear. Beaches will be there but no longer beautiful. Butterflies will be still floating in the wind but for the child they don’t exist anymore. What exists is arithmetic, geography, history. Flowers still bloom, but they don’t bloom for the child any more, he is too much in his homework. Once in a while, still he hears the bird singing on the window, but only once in a while, and the whole society tries to drag him away from that.
The teacher will say, “Look here at the blackboard! What are you doing there? Concentrate on me!” The child was concentrating: the birdcall was so beautiful outside the window. The child was in concentration, utter concentration. This teacher has distracted him; now he has to look at the blackboard, and there is nothing to look at it, just a blackboard. But by and by we will manage to distract the child.
The expulsion is not by God but by society. Society drags each Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden. And once you have become too much of the head it is very difficult to enter back into that purity, that: pure land paradise. Zen masters say, just like Jesus said: “Unless you are like small children, you will not enter the Kingdom of God.”

A Christian missionary went to a Zen master and started reading the Sermon on the Mount.
The Zen master listened and he said, “Whosoever has said it must be very close to buddhahood.” The Zen master had never heard about Christ, he had never read the Bible, but he said, “Whosoever has said it must be very close to buddhahood.”
And when the missionary read, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God,” the Zen master said, “Now stop. Now there is no need to read any more. Whosoever has said it is a buddha.”

“Poor in spirit” means empty of mind. “Poor in spirit” means empty – all thoughts have disappeared. Then you are again back in paradise.
The pure land paradise is not far. It is just there, beating in your heart. Your each breath goes and touches the pure land paradise each moment. You live from it. Every night when you fall asleep and dreams disappear, you are in it again. That’s why in the morning you feel so fresh, again young, rejuvenated. You have been on a short trip to: the pure land paradise.
When in reverence this truth is heard even once,
he who praises it and gladly embraces it has merit without end.
Hakuin says: When in reverence this truth is heard even once… The question is not of hearing the truth many times. If you hear it even once, if you have understood it even for a single moment in deep trust and reverence, it is yours forever. Doubt distracts. Doubt does not allow you to understand, doubt does not allow you to see it. Listen in reverence, in love. Be en rapport.
That is the way to be with a master – be en rapport, be bridged. But small things, very small things, distract you; very small things that mean nothing but you are distracted by those small things and doubt arises. Doubt becomes a cloud and you become blind.
…in reverence this truth is heard even once… It is enough.
How much more he who turns within…
Even hearing the truth is a deliverance: How much more he who turns within – who not only hears it but looks within and sees it.
…and confirms directly his own nature,
that his own nature is no-nature…
When you look deep into yourself you will not find anything there obstructing your vision. It is pure space. Your nature is no-nature; it is emptiness, shunyata.
…such has transcended vain words.
Only when you look into your nature and find nothing – you only find an empty infinity there. Words will not have any meaning any more, you have transcended words. You have looked into your nature and now you know that no word can explain it, no word can define it, no word can even indicate it. All scriptures become meaningless.
The gate opens, and cause and effect are one…
When you look inside yourself and there is no content, and the no-nature has been felt and you have seen your inner sky: The gate opens, and cause and effect are one. The source and the goal are one. Now you are not to go anywhere, you have come to your source, and to be at the source is to be at the goal. To be at the beginning is to be at the end.
…straight runs the way – not two, not three.
Taking as form the form of no-form,
going or returning, he is ever at home.
And once you have seen …the form of no-form… Once you have seen the thought of no-thought, once you have seen the nature of no-nature, you are a totally new being. What happens: …going or returning, he is ever at home.
Then wherever you are, you are at home. In prison you are at home, in the temple you are at home, in the shop you are at home, in the Himalayas you are at home, in the marketplace you are at home. You are simply at home. Once you have seen your center, your essential being, your buddhahood has been glimpsed. Then wherever you are, you are at home because all is your home. Then there is no need to leave the world.
Zen people are not against the world. They say that to be against the world is still to be attached to the world, to go to the opposite extreme is not transformation. When you no longer choose between two extremes, you settle in the middle. And the middle is the way.
Straight runs the way – it is not two, not three. It is a simple way – one.
…going or returning, he is ever at home.
Taking as thought the thought of no-thought,
singing and dancing, all is the voice of truth.
Then whatever you do, you express truth. Whatever. Eating, you express truth. Walking, you express truth. When a Zen master hits a disciple, he is expressing truth. When Kabir sings, he is expressing truth; when Meera dances, she is expressing truth. Jesus expresses truth dying on the cross, and Krishna expresses truth singing on his flute. Whatever you do, there is no way to avoid expressing truth. You are truth. The lie has been dropped.
…singing and dancing, all is the voice of truth.
Wide is the heaven of boundless samadhi,
radiant the full moon of the fourfold wisdom.
What remains to be sought? Nirvana is clear before him,
this very place the lotus paradise, this very body the buddha.
Remember the word this. …this very place the lotus paradise… And once you have known your source, wherever you are, you are in: …the lotus paradise.
…this very place the lotus paradise, and this very body the buddha. And whatever you do – whatever, without any conditions – is the expression of truth.
I have heard a beautiful story about Roshi Taji, a great Zen master.

As Roshi Taji approached death, his senior disciples assembled at his bedside. One of them, remembering that the roshi was fond of a certain kind of cake, had spent half a day searching the pastry shops of Tokyo for this confection, which he now presented to him. With a wan smile the dying roshi accepted a piece of the cake and slowly began munching it. As the roshi grew weaker, his disciples leaned close and inquired whether he had any final words for them.
“Yes,” the roshi replied.
The disciples leaned forward eagerly, “Please tell us.”
“My, but this cake is delicious!” And with that he died.

Meditate over it. What a man! What manner of man? – a buddha. Each act and each word and each gesture becomes the expression of truth. In that moment only that was true, the taste of the cake. In that moment, anything else would have been false, untrue. If he had talked about God, that would not have been true. If he had talked about nirvana, that would not have been true. In that moment the taste on his tongue was still alive. In that moment that was his authentic gesture.
He said, “My, but this cake is delicious.” This cake. …this very place the lotus paradise, this very body the buddha.
Zen people talk about four wisdoms: Wide is the heaven of boundless samadhi, radiant the full moon of the fourfold wisdom.
The first wisdom is called the wisdom of the mirror: when there is no thought, you become a mirror. This is the first wisdom, becoming like a mirror. The second wisdom is called the wisdom of sameness. When you become a mirror without any thought, all distinctions in the world disappear. Then it is all one; then the rose and the bird and the earth and the sky and the sea and the sand and the sun are all one, it is one energy.
When you are a mirror – the first wisdom – the second wisdom arises out of the first: the wisdom of sameness. Duality disappears. And out of the second arises the third wisdom, the wisdom of spiritual vision. When you have seen that all over the world it is one energy, only then can you see inside yourself that you are also that energy. Then the seer and the seen become one, the observer and the observed become one. That is the third wisdom, the wisdom of spiritual vision. Buddha has a special word for it, he calls it dhamma chakkhu – the eye for truth, or the truth eye. The spiritual vision opens – what yogis call the third eye. What Christ also calls the one eye, when two eyes become one. Dhamma chakkhu opens, the wisdom of spiritual vision is attained.
And out of the third arises the fourth, the wisdom of perfection. When you have seen that all is the same, and when you have looked within and seen that without and within are also the same, you have become perfect. In fact to say that you have become perfect is not true – you have always been perfect. Now it is revealed to you; it is only a revelation. In that moment one knows: …this very place the lotus paradise, this very body the buddha.
Enough for today.

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