Turning In 04

Fourth Discourse from the series of 7 discourses - Turning In by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

Daikaku said:
This teaching is the school of the enlightened Mind. The enlightened Mind itself basically has no delusion or enlightenment. This is actually the subtle art of those who realize thusness. Even if you don’t become enlightened, when you sit once in meditation, you are a buddha for that sitting; when you sit for a day in meditation, you are a buddha for a day; when you sit in meditation all your life, you are a buddha all your life. The same is true of the future; one who can have faith in this is someone with great potential.
Practicing everything without any sense of attainment is called the exceedingly profound transcendent wisdom. This wisdom can cut off the source of birth and death, like a sharp sword.
To practice virtue in hopes of reward is the illusion of ordinary folk; bodhisattvas do not seek for the resulting rewards as they cultivate roots of virtue, because they cultivate goodness for the sake of impartial love and compassion, and thus it becomes sustenance for enlightenment. As for those who seek rewards as they cultivate virtue and attain the lesser reward of humanity or god-hood, this is surely the work of birth and death.
Enlightenment is the way to extinction. If you take peace and quiet to be bliss, all things are afflictions; but when you are enlightened, all things are enlightenment. People of the world do not understand this basis of delusion and enlightenment. They suppress thoughts of birth and death, and think that this is the non-birth of a single thought, and also consider this mindlessness – but these are still thoughts of birth and death, not mindlessness, not quiescence. When you try to stop thought by thought, birth and death continue.
Maneesha, the whole question for Zen is how not to discriminate. Mind is discrimination, division, duality. The effort of Zen is to bring you to a space where you are simply a watcher, without any judgment. At the moment you are simply a watcher, all that is false disappears on its own accord and all that is real shines forth in its absolute illumination.
This is your home. In this space there is no mind; hence no desire, no jealousy, no anger, no hate. You have become just a mirror. You reflect the tremendous glory and splendor of the whole existence. For the first time you have gone beyond human conditionings. You have become universal.
Obviously, in this moment, in this space, there is no darkness. And remember clearly: darkness and light are two aspects of the same coin. When darkness disappears, light also disappears. What is left is tremendously new, you have not even dreamed of it.
In this clarity, in this silence, the whole existence seems to be exactly what it is, not what it is “supposed to be.” Your enlightenment becomes, suddenly, the enlightenment of the whole universe.
This is one of the most important points that Daikaku is making. And there is a second important point which he is making, which is very rare. Perhaps nobody else has ever made this statement before, but it is absolutely true. While you are in meditation, in silence – even for a single moment – you are a buddha. You can come out, and you can again forget.
You can sit in meditation for one hour, or if meditation becomes your undercurrent of consciousness, you can remain a buddha for twenty-four hours. In other words, whenever you are aware and silent and whenever you feel the whole existence to be enlightened, you are a buddha. You can forget it – it is your freedom to forget or to remember.
A very rare genius, Daikaku, makes this statement: “Ordinary masters will not enter into the lion’s den.” It is a very strange statement, with no precedent. But I can say to you, it is true: every day you become a buddha. I see you coming back from your home, resurrecting. You are a totally different man – so silent, so peaceful, so fragrant, such a beauty to see.
But I know you will forget. Forgetfulness has been your habit for millions of years. So this one moment of buddhahood will become a beautiful memory, and then the forgetfulness comes like a flood of old habit and the whole moon disappears behind the black clouds. But the moon is there; we will discover it again. There is no harm in discovering your buddhahood again and again.
One can hope, one can trust that one day these old habits will become weakened and your buddhahood will become a simple matter, just like breathing.
But nobody except Daikaku has made the point – that even for a single moment, if you are silent and push aside all your thoughts and habits, clearing the space of the mind which has been occupying it for centuries…even though it may only remain for a single moment, you are a buddha. Perhaps you will have to remember again and again till the old habits start dying out. They will die because they don’t have any roots. Unless you support and nourish them, they cannot exist.
It is a strange story that man supports his misery, nourishes it, takes care that it does not leave him, because it is his only companion. People magnify their miseries, if they cannot magnify anything else.

In the university where I was a professor, a woman was also a professor. Her husband was a very prominent advocate of the High Court. Because I used to pass by where they lived, coming from the university or going to the university, the woman was always waiting there for a lift. The husband saw it once or twice and the third time he came to see me in the university and he told me, “I am worried about you.”
I said, “What is the matter?”
He said, “You are giving my wife a lift every day. Don’t believe her – she is such a hypochondriac. Just a small cough and immediately she says, ‘I am suffering from tuberculosis.’ Don’t listen to what she says! It is her habit to enjoy her misery. She paints it as deeply as possible, she is almost a creative artist – suffering and suffering.”
I said, “You don’t have to tell me. I enjoy her and I am not worried about her tuberculosis. She is not an exception, she is the rule.”

Everybody is trying to magnify his sufferings, his miseries. It is a very sad condition that rather than jumping out of this vicious circle, you go on weaving around yourself more and more of the same stuff. But there is a very deep pay-off in it: it brings sympathy to you. It is not for no reason at all that people magnify their misery. It simply shows that they have not received love.
I told the husband, “You think that your wife is wrong. I want to say to you that you have not loved her enough. Seeking shelter in misery comes only when nobody loves you; you can always fall upon your misery as an old friend. When you are miserable everybody is sympathetic to you, when you are not miserable nobody cares about you.”
The whole psychology is upside-down. People should pay attention to others when they are looking radiant, joyful, blissful. That will be giving nourishment, because attention is nourishment. Never give attention to misery, because you are nourishing the misery. You are forcing the person to remain miserable because sympathy is so sweet – but it is a sweet poison. It is not, and cannot be, a substitute for the joy of love.
But people settle at the minimum. If love is not coming their way and they don’t know how to get it, immediately the alternative seems to be misery. Then people pay attention to you. So I told the husband, “Just try to be a little more loving.”
He said, “My God, I hate to go home, and you are telling me to be loving to that woman? As I enter the house she starts her tirade of imaginable and unimaginable illnesses. And she goes on reading medical encyclopedias, finding out what kind of misery would be good. She knows great names. In the beginning she used to freak me out, that ‘My God, I have never heard of this disease!’ And she would give the whole description of what was happening. Only later on I found the encyclopedia and the exact description, and she had marked it. At first I used to take it seriously and take her to the doctor. And every doctor said, ‘This misery has just been discovered. This disease is only just in the periodicals; only experts know about it. Your wife is a real genius! Even ordinary practitioners, physicians, doctors, will not understand what kind of disease she is talking about!’”
He said, “I remain in the court as long as I can, then in the court library. And then I go to the bar, because I can tolerate that woman only when I am drunk. I wanted to warn you because you are giving her a lift every day – you may end up in my situation!”
I said, “Don’t be worried. I never sympathize, I simply enjoy. She talks as you are saying and I encourage her to talk more, because I love such details. And she looks at me with very weird eyes: ‘…A strange fellow. I am suffering from cancer, I say to you!’”
I told her, “Suffer! Just tell me the details – I love it. You know so much about cancer. Obviously, you must be suffering, even cancer experts may not be able to defeat you, but please give me all the details. I love it so much!”
In three days I stopped her. She would sit completely silently, keeping her face looking out of the window. And I would go on poking her: “Please tell me something. You are so great, you are carrying such a burden of the whole world. You are almost an encyclopedia of medicine.”
She stopped asking for a lift. I had to go inside their house and ask her husband, “Where is she? – because I enjoy her so much.” She was such a nice woman, so knowledgeable! And I am absolutely ignorant about these great diseases. It was just a great teaching on the way – for one hour coming, one hour going; for two hours every day I would become an expert!
I have been in touch with thousands of people – they have all been victims of a wrong psychology. Their parents have paid attention to them when they were sick. Nobody bothers about a child when he is not sick. This is a very dangerous phenomenon: you are forcing the child to be sick because you are giving attention, and attention is a subtle food.
I had a gardener, an authentic gardener, who really loved flowers, who loved the plants. And I would see him sitting by the side of the roses and other flowers. Sometimes I heard him talking to the flowers. At first I thought he looked a little crazy, but every year he was winning the first prize in the city for growing the biggest flowers. He was with me for almost twelve years.
I asked him, “What is your secret?”
He said, “Nothing, I am just a little crazy. When there is nobody around, I talk to the flowers: ‘Don’t let me down this time. The time for the exhibition is coming close – grow as big as you can.’ And I have been winning for twenty years continuously. No flower has ever let me down.”
Just the attention, just a loving attention to a flower, makes him immensely happy. There is someone who will be happy: the flower will do everything for him to make him happy. There is someone who is watching and waiting for his growth; he is not alone, he is not unneeded.
This whole world looks so miserable for the simple reason that we have chosen to give attention to the wrong things, things which should be taken care of but without any sympathy.
You can love somebody, but please don’t love her headaches. Just make sure that she goes and gets some Greek aspirin. More than that is destroying the person. But when she is laughing, enjoy her, don’t even ask the question, why is she laughing? When she is dancing, dance with her; don’t ask, “What is the occasion?”
Pay attention to the right things and you will see a transformation happening in the person. You can help not only yourself in discovering your buddha, you can also help everybody else who is in contact with you. If you give right attention, right nourishment to his hidden treasure, to his hidden splendor, you can help buddhahood to be spread like a wildfire.
And we need it! We have always needed it, but we need it more than ever now. We need a silent, peaceful, loving, at-ease and relaxed humanity. Enough of all those Genghis Khans and Tamerlanes and Nadir Shahs and Adolf Hitlers and Stalins and Mussolinis. If educationists of the world are a little aware, they should simply drop these people from the history books; there is no need to give attention to them. It is the same thing. You give too much attention to these terrible barbarians…you provoke the same barbarians around you, and somebody else starts becoming a Nadir Shah or a Tamerlane.
Just drop all that nonsense, that garbage. Why not talk about the buddhas? Why not talk about the beautiful painters? Why not talk about the great dancers, the musicians, all kinds of artists? Let people’s minds be filled with creativity, and it will be very easy for a creative person to find the buddha. The destructive person has gone too far away; to bring him back to his buddhahood is very difficult.
I am reminded of Alexander the Great, who is one of the most terrible specimens of all those barbarians. While coming out of Greece, on the boundaries, he met one of the most beautiful men. No history book bothers about that beautiful man, and so many pages are wasted on Alexander.
He met Diogenes.
Diogenes lived naked; the climate was good, his health was good. All that he possessed was a lamp. He used to keep it lit even in the daytime. Alexander had heard many stories about Diogenes. But by chance, while he was moving, somebody told him that Diogenes was just nearby, living by the side of a river. So Alexander stopped his army and he said, “I will have to see the man. I have been thinking to see him but he was so far away; I cannot miss this opportunity.”
So he went to see Diogenes. Diogenes was having a sunbath by the side of the river, on the sand in the early morning sun – a cool breeze, birds singing all around, his lamp by his side. Alexander had seen many beautiful women, many beautiful men, but nothing could be compared with the beauty, the radiance of this naked fakir. He could not believe his eyes that a man could be such pure gold that he need not be hidden behind clothes.
What is of importance, in reference to Daikaku, is the question that Diogenes asked Alexander: “Where are you going? – because I hear armies going by my side, day and night, thousands of soldiers. Where are you going?”
Alexander said, “I want to conquer the world.”
Diogenes said, “That’s good. What will you do after that?”
Nobody had ever asked that. For a moment there was silence.
Alexander said, “After that I will relax.”
Diogenes said, “You must be stupid, because I am relaxing already without conquering the whole world. If you want to relax afterward, why take the trouble? Why not relax now? This river bank is big enough – we can both share it. Just throw your clothes away and lie down. And we can even share the lamp.”
Alexander said, “Logically you are right.” He understood logic because he was a student of Aristotle, the father of Western logic.
He said, “I can understand the logic. It looks stupid after taking so much trouble to kill and massacre, and then afterward just to relax. Why not relax now? You are right. But I have gone too far. It is just a question of a few months more and my conquest of the world will be over. Otherwise, even relaxing by your side, I will go on remembering that it was only a question of a few months more. I will not be able to relax. I can relax only after I conquer the whole world.”
Diogenes said, “It is up to you. I was even ready to share my riverside. I was even ready to share my lamp, my only property.”
Alexander was continuously watching the lamp. In the day? – what was the point of keeping the lamp burning?
He asked, “Forgive me, I have no right to ask, but why do you carry this lamp even in the full daylight? The sunlight is there, and you go on carrying this lamp, naked.”
Diogenes said, “I am searching for an authentic man. Who knows at what time he will meet me? I want to see his face, the original face. This lamp is just symbolic.”
It is said that when Diogenes was dying, somebody from the crowd asked, “What happened to your great search for the original man?”
He said, “I could not find him. But this much I must say in favor of humanity: that my lamp has not been stolen, it is still with me. More than that I cannot say.”
History should teach more about these people. And there have been thousands around the world; they will provoke a longing in the people’s minds.
Just today Shunyo was telling me that Anando is compiling a book on all the saints that I have spoken on. She has already found three hundred names. She was puzzled; she said, “I never could imagine that there have been three hundred buddhas.”
I said to her, “This is just a sample. Humanity is kept completely unaware of their greatest masterpieces, of their real original people who are the very salt of the earth.”
The natural effect is that everybody goes on becoming more miserable. Every generation is more miserable than the previous one.
I have been hearing from California that even six-year-old children have been found, in thousands, to be taking drugs. A six-year-old child taking drugs? An eight-year-old child murdering? A nine-year-old child trying to rape a girl…? But when you emphasize so much murder, drugs and rape on the television, you are teaching these things. All these governments and all these corporations are emphasizing the wrong kind of people on their television and radio, not knowing at all that they are creating an urge in millions of viewers to imitate them. These crimes should not even be mentioned.
Pay attention to the right, to the beautiful, and you will be nourishing it.
So your work is not only to be a buddha, your work is also to help others who are asleep, by throwing a little cold water in their eyes! In the beginning they will be irritated. Everybody is irritated with me. It is not acceptable to disturb somebody’s sleep; and a sleep which has lasted for centuries…to disturb it, you are certainly a nuisance. But I want you to be a nuisance. As your own experience deepens, don’t be worried, spread it, even to those who are annoyed; it does not matter. Perhaps just being annoyed may take them out of their nightmares.
Daikaku said:
This teaching is the school of the enlightened Mind. The enlightened Mind itself basically has no delusion or enlightenment.
Every statement has to be listened to very carefully. He is saying the enlightened Mind has neither mind nor enlightenment; it is simply a pure consciousness. Don’t cling to enlightenment either: that clinging shows that you have destroyed the enlightenment, reduced it into some kind of thing – respectability, reputation. It is none of these.
Enlightenment is so silent a joy…it does not even make ripples in the lake, it just reflects the moon. It is so silent, just like the bamboo shadows sweeping the temple steps. No sound, no footsteps.
The enlightened Mind itself basically has no delusion or enlightenment.
There have been thousands of enlightened people who have said that the enlightened Mind has no delusion, but they have forgotten to add that it has no enlightenment either. It is just like a disease: you have a disease, you carry a medicine with you. The disease is cured – do you still think to carry the medicine? You just donate it to the Lions Club!
So when you become enlightened just donate it to the Lions Club! Perhaps somebody may need it. But don’t carry it with you; otherwise enlightenment itself becomes a new imprisonment. Do you see the immense significance of his statement? This actually is the subtle art of those who realize thusness.
Even if you don’t become enlightened, when you sit once in meditation, you are a buddha for that sitting.
So when I say to you after your meditation that now we should celebrate the ten thousand buddhas, I am not joking. I am making a certain point again and again to you that you may forget after a few minutes, and rush to a party somewhere in a hotel! Buddhas are not supposed to do that! But times have changed – modern buddhas always do that. After having a good experience they celebrate it in many ways. And where to go to celebrate, to have a real Italian party?
Nothing is wrong in it if you go on remembering that you are a buddha. Nothing is wrong in the world if your remembrance remains there in the background.
He is making a really great statement, never before made.
…when you sit once in meditation, you are a buddha for that sitting…at least; …when you sit for a day in meditation, you are a buddha for a day; when you sit in meditation all your life, you are a buddha all your life. The same is true of the future; one who can have faith in this is someone with great potential.
Sitting in meditation should be understood clearly: you cannot sit twenty-four hours in meditation, but you can be twenty-four hours in meditation. That is what is called “sitting in meditation.” Don’t take it literally. It does not mean that you have to sit twenty-four hours in meditation. It simply means that whatever you do, do with the remembrance, with the same silence and the same benediction, with the same grace and the same ecstasy.
Whatever you are doing, it does not matter: carrying water from the well, chopping wood, anything. But just do it with your buddha alive within you, conscious within you, and your whole life becomes a “sitting in meditation.”
Practicing everything without any sense of attainment is called the exceedingly profound transcendent wisdom.
If somebody asks you what is the purpose of your meditation…it is not a purposeful act. It is not a commodity, it does not produce anything marketable.
That’s why most of the people in the world have remained ignorant of their hidden treasure, because that hidden treasure can open up only when you are sitting without any desire of attainment. Attainment creates tension, worry… Attainment creates impatience – when is it going to happen? whether it is going to happen or not? Attainment creates jealousy: somebody is claiming that it has happened to him, how can it be that it has not happened to me?
Sardar Gurudayal Singh is laughing. And he does nothing, he just remains a buddha the whole day. You can find him in any position, but he will be the buddha. He has been with me for thirty-five years. Hitting him again and again, I have awakened him so much that now it is difficult for him to sleep! So he goes on waking up other people. What else to do when you cannot sleep? You cannot allow anybody else to sleep, it is too much.
The desire for attainment is a barrier to meditation. Even the desire to attain enlightenment is a barrier. One has to drop all desires for attainment. Now, nothing can be done about it; this is how nature functions.
You can’t ask any scientist, “Why is water made of only two atoms of hydrogen and one atom of oxygen, H2O? Why?” The scientist has to shrug his shoulders, because you cannot ask nature why. It is just the way nature moves. It is not in our hands.
Meditation is far deeper. Its basic condition is that you should not desire any attainment. Now you cannot ask why. You can ask why but you will remain out of the world of meditation.
This is the nature of meditation, that it cannot function if your mind is occupied with some attainment. That attainment functions like a rock. Only a man who has nothing to attain, who is simply sitting for the joy of it, reaches to enlightenment so easily that it almost seems as if no effort has been made. In fact every effort shows that there is some attainment which you have to push aside. If there is no desire for attainment, immediately you are enlightened.
For the first few days you may walk among other people showing your enlightenment just like a peacock showing all its colored feathers. But for how long? And anyway, nobody takes any notice, because to understand enlightenment you need enlightenment.
In the world of blind people, if you have eyes you can go on and on moving around – nobody is going to recognize your eyes. To recognize somebody’s eyes you need eyes.
Enlightenment is a third eye, the eye that looks inward. It can be recognized only by those who have looked a little inward, who may have been, for a few minutes, a buddha but have forgotten all about it in the mundane activities of the world.
Practicing everything without any sense of attainment is called the exceedingly profound transcendent wisdom. This wisdom can cut off the source of birth and death, like a sharp sword.
You will not be born again and you will not die again. In fact you will not be anymore. Your small energy will disappear into the oceanic energy of existence. That is true relaxation. That is total rest. You are no more there to have any anxieties.
To practice virtue in hopes of reward is the illusion of ordinary folk; bodhisattvas do not seek for the resulting rewards as they cultivate roots of virtue, because they cultivate goodness for the sake of impartial love and compassion, and thus it becomes sustenance for enlightenment.
Enlightenment has many doors. It is not open only to the so-called saints. An artist deep in his art, painting so totally that he disappears and only the painting remains – whether he knows it or not, for that moment he has become a buddha. A singer with his totality disappears in his song.
Enlightenment is not the monopoly of the saints: that is one of the basic points I want to make clear to the world. There are a thousand and one doors. Only one single quality should be there – that you are rejoicing in doing it, for no attainment. When a singer sings, if he is singing for some reward he cannot be total.
I am reminded of one of India’s greatest singers, Tansen. Even today, in Gwalior, there is his samadhi and singers from all over the country go there on his birthday to pay their respects to that great genius. He was in the court of a great emperor, Akbar, and Akbar could not conceive that music could go higher or deeper than Tansen’s. But it became a continuous question in his mind: Is it possible to transcend Tansen? Can somebody do something more than he is doing?
Finally he asked Tansen himself: “This question has been torturing me. I know that there is no one who can go so deep and create such beautiful music. Thousands of musicians have come to the court; they know the technique, but their totality is not in it.”
Tansen said, “Please forgive me. You don’t know my master – I am not even dust under his feet. You don’t know what totality in music is.”
Akbar said, “Then invite your master to the court. We will give him all the respect that is possible.”
Tansen said, “That is the difficulty; that’s why I have never mentioned him.” He lived just near to where the Taj Mahal now stands. “He is a very silent, poor man, but he never sings on demand. That is the difficulty. You cannot call him and ask him to sing or play his sitar. When it comes spontaneously to him, then it is a totally different world – you will not be able even to compare me with him.”
Akbar said, “You are creating trouble. If he cannot be asked, then how am I going to listen to him?”
Tansen said, “I know perfectly that at three o’clock, early in the morning almost every day, he plays his sitar. What can be arranged is that we should hide behind the trees where he lives in a hut by the side of the Yamuna and just listen as thieves. There is no other way. If he becomes aware that somebody is there, he may stop. So be very quiet.” And perhaps never in the history of man has any emperor like Akbar gone to listen to a beggar.
His name was Haridas. In the middle of the night they were hiding behind the trees like thieves. At three o’clock exactly, Haridas started playing on his sitar, and Akbar wept for the first time. Returning home, his tears continued.
Tansen said to him, “Now we are coming close to the palace. Wash away your tears! Why are you weeping?”
Akbar said, “I am weeping because now my whole idea that you are the greatest singer, the greatest musician in the world, is shattered. Your master is miles beyond. But what is the reason that you cannot manage to be the same as your master?”
He said, “The reason is clear: I sing and play for reward; he sings and plays out of spontaneity, for no reward, with no desire even that somebody should listen to it. Just out of his fullness, out of his abundance he pours out music. I cannot do it. I am a court poet, a court singer, a court musician: I do my best, but deep down there is a desire for reward. And you have been rewarding me, you have filled my house with gold. You have raised my position to being the world’s greatest musician, but I know the greatest musician is a beggar who was my master.
“I had to sit by his side for thirty years, because there was no other way. He would not teach you anything – if you could learn that was your business. He would play only when it came to him. You could watch, you could see the tremendous splendor that suddenly happened. Haridas disappeared, only the music remained.”
In those moments, when Haridas disappeared, he was a buddha whether he knew it or not. The activity may be in any direction, any dimension.
I want everybody to know that if you can do something without any desire of reward or attainment, you are in meditation. You will blossom into enlightenment. Out of your abundance will come love and compassion, and for a few days you may walk differently from others. But soon you will realize that others cannot recognize it – that is one thing.
And a second thing: it is ugly on your part, mean, to show your enlightenment, to show your light to the people who are blind. It is not compassionate. Soon the enlightened man forgets about his enlightenment. That is The Great Matter – forgetting even enlightenment. The whole world is gone and enlightenment too. Nothing remains behind, you have become part of the universe.
This is rest. This is relaxation.
Enlightenment is the way to extinction. If you take peace and quiet to be bliss, all things are afflictions; but when you are enlightened, all things are enlightenment. People of the world do not understand this basis of delusion and enlightenment. They suppress thoughts of birth and death and think that this is the non-birth of a single thought, and also consider this mindlessness – but these are still thoughts of birth and death, not mindlessness, not quiescence. When you try to stop thought by thought, birth and death continue.
You cannot stop thought with thought. You cannot control mind with mind itself. You have to be aloof, out of the mind, just watching it.
Perhaps for a few days it may make a little fuss, that “You have deserted me!” Just go on watching. It will disappear because its nourishment is your identification with it. Now that you are no longer identified, it cannot last long. It will shrink, it will die out, it will disappear like smoke in the sky, and only the watcher remains.
But when there is nothing to watch, even the purpose of the watcher is not there. When there is nothing to watch, the watcher has committed suicide without knowing it. That’s why he is saying, Enlightenment is the way to extinction.
You will be extinguished, completely dissolved into the whole. Only then will you find…you will not be there, but only peace, but only light, but only joy, but only dance… The flower has disappeared, leaving behind only fragrance.
Tekkan wrote:
No mind, no buddha, no being.
Bones of the void are scattered.
Why should the golden lion,
seek out the fox’s lair?
No mind, and you find the buddha – but that buddha has also to disappear. No buddha, and you find the ultimate being of the universe – even that has to disappear. When everything has disappeared and you are completely erased, you have found the cosmic truth.
It is not your truth, it is not my truth, it is simply Truth.
A Zen poet:
All is harmony, yet
everything is separate.
Once confirmed,
mastery is yours,
long I hovered on the
Middle Way,
today the very ice shoots flame.
He is saying, All is harmony, yet everything is separate. Once confirmed, mastery is yours. Long I hovered on the Middle Way… Buddha’s path is called The Middle Way; no extremes, just keep in the middle.
Today the very ice shoots flame. “I have come to the point where ice and fire are in harmony, where everything is in harmony.” A better word for harmony would be synchronicity – everything is in a deep synchronicity, all hearts have become one heartbeat.
Another haiku runs:
Ever onward to where the
waters have an end:
waiting motionless for when the
white clouds shall arise.
Ever onwards where the waters have an end: waiting motionless for when the white clouds shall arise.
Meditation is just like the rivers running toward the ocean: when they meet the ocean, they will disappear. They are running so fast to their extinction.
Buddhism did not appeal much to the Indian priesthood, the brahmins, for the simple reason that for centuries they have been praying to God for rewards. All the Vedas are full of asking God for this or that. The whole mind of India was not prepared to accept Buddha. The conditioning was, you pray, you make fire rituals, you sacrifice, and God will give you great rewards. You do virtuous acts and in paradise you will be paid a thousand times more.
This idea had been cultivated in India for thousands of years when Buddha said that this is not true religion, this is sheer business, this is not an authentic search for existence. You are still hankering for rewards. Because of this he had chosen the word nirvana for his ultimate point.
Nirvana actually means blowing out a candle. When you blow out a candle, can you say where the flame has gone? Can you find the flame anywhere? It must have gone somewhere, but you know it is impossible to find it. It has disappeared in the universe.
Buddha used the word nirvana, which we are translating as enlightenment; but the word enlightenment does not carry the same flavor of extinction. It still gives the idea of attainment. Nirvana means seeking extinction, blowing out the candle in the cosmos.
Naturally, hundreds of times in his forty-two years of preaching, great Hindu scholars, priests and philosophers approached Buddha and asked him, “What is the point in striving for something in which you will disappear?”

Maneesha has asked a similar question:
Nobody in their right mind would want to be extinguished. So who or what is it inside us that feels a pull toward obliteration?
It was absolutely right to ask Buddha, “Your teaching is strange: meditating seems to be the ultimate suicide. Why should one desire extinction?” But Buddha’s answer was very clear, although it was not received by the Indian mind.
His answer was very clear. He said, “Because you are the problem; hence extinction is the only solution.”
It is not that you have problems; this has to be understood very clearly. It is not that you have problems, so problems can be solved separately and you can be saved. If that were the situation, then Buddha would have been wrong. But this is not the situation. You are the problem. You cannot be without problems.
Just think that one morning you wake up and you don’t have any problems – you will be in such grief. You will say, “My God, what am I going to do? No problems at all!”
You cling to problems because problems give you personality. They give you a certain identity.
Without problems, you are no more. You are just a collection of problems. That’s why Buddha is right, that meditation is the extinction not only of problems but of you too, because you were nothing but a collection, a name for a collection of problems. When all the problems are gone, you are gone…you are not separate from your problems. Buddha’s greatest contribution to the world was the realization that man himself is the problem. You may go on changing problems – that is possible – but you cannot exist without problems. There is no need! If you don’t have any problem, what is the point of existing?
Psychologists now say that after retirement, people lose almost ten years of life. If they had remained working they would have lived ten years more, but because they got retired…They had been hankering for years to be retired so they could go on a world tour or visit ancient palaces, castles, the Himalayas. They will enjoy, life will be fun. Up to now life has been just work, work, work. After retirement they can enjoy life as fun.
But after retirement they find that life has become absolutely useless. Nobody needs them. Their children are grown up, they have gone their way. And even if they tour around the world…
I have seen tourists with all kinds of cameras and bags and machinery covering both their sides, but look at their faces! They know that they are unnecessarily running from the Taj Mahal to Ajanta, from Ajanta to Ellora. They know perfectly well that all this is useless; they are simply keeping themselves engaged in something which is futile. Now death seems to be the only release. Naturally their life span shrinks.
What Gautam Buddha is saying is a very ultimate answer to man. He says that you are the problem. It does not matter what shape the problem takes – unless you are ready to extinguish yourself, the problem will go on coming in new forms. Youth has its problems, childhood has its problems; the child wants quickly to grow up.
I have been talking to small children. They all want to grow up quickly because they see that others are enjoying – smoking cigarettes, going to the movies, having girlfriends. They want to grow as quickly as possible.
Once I used to live by the side of a post office, and I used to go early, at three o’clock in the morning, for a walk. One night I saw a little boy. It was a full-moon night, so I could figure out who he was; he was the postmaster’s son. And seeing me, he hid himself behind a tree.
I got hold of him and I asked, “What is the matter? Why are you hiding? Just come out.”
He said, “I will come out, but don’t tell my daddy.”
I said, “What is the problem, that you are trying to hide?”
He was hiding an artificial mustache, and a cigarette. He was pretending to be his father. He was walking the same way as his father walked… He said, “Just don’t tell him, otherwise he will give me a good beating.”
I said, “What is the hurry? Someday the mustache will grow, and then you can smoke cigarettes also. It is too soon.”
He said, “I have been waiting and waiting and everybody seems to be enjoying and I have to go on playing with toys. Whenever I make a fuss my father brings another toy. How long do I have to be with toys? I want real things!”
I said, “You can have real toys.”
He said, “I have! I can show you in my house, you come with me. I have a beautiful girl who opens her eyes and if you lie her down she closes her eyes. But after all it is only a toy! – it is not a real girlfriend.”
I said, “That’s true!”
Small children have their problems. When they grow up, they have their problems. The same girlfriends, the same boyfriends that they had wanted become a nightmare, nagging each other, torturing each other, doing everything nasty to each other and still holding together. It is very difficult to get rid of your torturer, because deep down you also feel alone if nobody tortures you.
The Hindu shastras say that you have to beat your woman once a week absolutely; otherwise she will think you don’t love her. I think there is something in it! If you don’t beat your girlfriend, she will beat you. It is up to you to choose.
George Bernard Shaw used to say that giving women equality is impossible. When asked why he said, “My lifelong experience” – and nobody has lived so long as he has lived, he almost made a century – “My experience is, either you keep the woman down with force or she will keep you down. Equality is not possible. Either you are superior or she is superior. One of you has to be inferior at any cost.”
Equality is impossible, according to George Bernard Shaw, and I can see the point. It is always difficult.
So when you are young you have your troubles and you want to get out of this troubled age quickly, but problems remain.
As old age starts coming one becomes afraid, because old age means death is not far away. And old age means the younger generation around you is no longer interested in you. You are too old, too out of fashion. You cannot mix with the younger generation, they avoid you. You are finished; just understand the point that you are finished. All your false teeth won’t help.
There are people around who have everything false, and they are thinking to deceive younger people. But how long can you deceive? – in the night you have to take out your false teeth. One day you may not be observed, but the second day…while sleeping your false hair falls from your skull, and the woman who is lying beside you cannot believe that you have been deceiving her! But everything seems to be false.
There is an age where false things are needed; otherwise you are out-of-date. But what are you doing here? Just go to your graves! Meditate there! The world has left you alone. Old age…and death seems to be knocking at any moment on your door, and the fear of the unknown…Your whole life is a problem.
From the very birth the child resists coming out of the womb because he has lived for nine months in a most comfortable, most luxurious place. No work, and every need is automatically provided – why should he leave this place? And who knows what is outside? That is why women have so much trouble giving birth to a child: the child clings, the child does not want to come out. From that moment, up to when you are put on a funeral pyre, you are just trouble – to yourself and to others.
Maneesha, that is the need, to desire ultimate annihilation, dissolving into the universe – so that you don’t have any personal needs, any personal problems; so that you don’t have any burden, not even of being, because being is also a burden.
Buddha’s insight is so great that he is still ahead of his time. Even though twenty-five centuries have passed, he has not yet found his contemporaries, because what he is saying is so ultimately true that it hurts, that one wants not to see it, to close one’s eyes.
It was for this reason that Buddhism could not grow in India – because India’s mind was, for centuries, cultivated with the idea that prayer, meditation, yoga, everything is for a reward.
And Buddha says, “If you have any idea of reward, you will miss. The very idea of attaining something will prevent you from merging into existence.” It was so contrary to people’s minds that only a few very intelligent people followed him. And after he died, within three hundred years…just three hundred years after his death, not even a ripple remained. In India, Buddhism has completely disappeared.
Three hundred years later Alexander the Great came to India. He wanted to meet some Buddhist saints, but he could not. He could not find any. Why did it disappear so quickly, such a great insight? The reason is, the Indian mind is basically greedy. It talks about renunciation, but even renunciation is for a reward. It talks about charity, but charity is also for a reward. Everything is business.
Buddhism managed to grow its roots in China, in Korea, in Japan, in Thailand, for the simple reason that they were not so-called religious people. China was under the great impact of Confucius, who did not believe in God, who did not believe in any heaven or any hell. Buddhism found the right ground where people were not asking for attainment, even after death. And Japan was even more fertile a land; they did not have the Indian greed.
It is very strange that India continues to claim to the whole world that it is the only spiritual land. It is all cow dung. I have lived for half a century, and I have watched the Indian mind from all sides – they are more greedy than any people in the world, but they have made even their greed spirituality.
Buddha could not make his roots here for the simple reason that the Indian mind was already prejudiced and prepared for having great pleasures beyond death. It could not lose those pleasures. And naturally, to the mind, the question that Maneesha is asking arises.
“Nobody in their right mind” – that is true…”Nobody in their right mind would want to be extinguished.”
But who is there who is in their right mind? In fact, when you are in your right mind, you would love to be extinguished. Only the insane want to continue. What is the point? Just think for a moment: before you were born, do you think there was something missing in the world? And think again: when you will be dead, do you think something will be missing in the world? Millions of people have come and gone – the world continues.
Buddha is saying: Birth is pain, youth is pain, old age is pain, death is pain – why do you want to continue? For what? His meditation is a search for dissolving oneself back into the cosmos. It is total rest, rest from yourself; total freedom, freedom even from yourself.
This is one of the reasons I am not part of India. Those who have come to me from all over the world are not greedy people. They really want to understand that life is a problem, that mind is a problem. In fact, to be is to be a problem. Then why not be courageous and not be?
You will find very few Indians here; they are all against me. Again they find another buddha teaching annihilation, extinction, teaching ultimate death. But only very intelligent people can understand it. Buddhism is for the most sophisticated, for the most intelligent. It is not for the ordinary people, for the mediocre. They will go on suffering, but they will never understand that their very being is suffering. Non-being is the freedom from suffering.
A few laughs before you disappear, die, extinguish…and this time really go. At least for a few moments you will be a buddha, and there is no harm if you don’t come back. We will still celebrate – it is a promise.

Dilly and Dally, two salesmen, are standing together at the bar, talking about football. At the other end of the bar an old drunk is having trouble holding himself and his drink upright at the same time.
Suddenly Dilly notices a very unpleasant smell.
“Hey, Dally!” he says, “do you smell shit?”
Dally sniffs the air, nods and starts to hold his nose.
“I think it’s coming from that old drunk over there,” he says.
“Excuse me,” says Dally to the old guy, “but there is a terrible smell around here. Did you shit in your pants?”
The bleary-eyed drunk lifts up his head and stares at Dilly.
“Yup,” he slobbers, “what about it?”
“Well,” says a shocked Dilly, “why don’t you go to the bathroom and wash yourself?”
The old drunk stares back, blinking, and then says, “Because I haven’t finished yet!”

Three secretaries, Betty, Boopsee and Barbara, are working in the same office for the same boss, the famous male chauvinist tyrant, Dumford Porkeye.
“He is so mean,” says Betty to Boopsee and Barbara on their coffee break, “so yesterday I put salt in his sugar bowl just to watch his face when he drank his coffee.”
“That’s nothing,” says Boopsee. “I found a pack of condoms in his desk drawer and took a pin and put holes in the ends of all them!”
At that moment, Barbara fainted.

Donald Dixteen is touring Spain. He is looking at the boats in the harbor of a small fishing village, when Old Carlos comes over to him and asks, “How many boats do you see there in the water?”
“About twenty-five,” replies Donald.
“Twenty-eight, in fact!” says Carlos. “And I built every one of them with my own hands! But do my neighbors call me Carlos the boat builder? They do not! How many houses do you see on the hillside over there?” continues Carlos.
“Thirty-two,” replies Donald.
“Correct!” agrees Carlos, “all built by me. But do my neighbors call me Carlos the house-builder? They do not!
“Well, what do they call you?” insists Donald. “Carlos the what?”
“What do they call me?” exclaims Carlos, eyeing a nearby hen lovingly.
“You wouldn’t believe it,” explains Carlos, “just because of that one little chicken I fucked!”






Be silent, close your eyes.
Feel your body to be frozen.
Gather your consciousness inward,
deeper and deeper…
This silence, this peace, this blissfulness
discovers the buddha within you.
For these few moments you are a buddha
and it is up to you, if you can remember –
then you can be a buddha twenty-four hours.
“Buddha” simply means silent awareness.
And the silent awareness is not something dead,
it is full of joy,
it is full of juice,
it is full of dance.
It has a music of its own.

To make it more clear, Nivedano…


Relax into the universe.
Drop yourself, with all your problems.
Just don’t be!
This is transcending even the buddha.
This is entering into the cosmos itself,
losing all your personality, individuality.
The dewdrop slipping from the lotus leaf
into the ocean…
This is the most blissful
and ecstatic moment of your life.
Continue to remember it.
It is your own nature.
It is not something uncommon,
it is not something extraordinary,
it is just pure nature, simply very ordinary,
without any claim to anything.
This brings so much light and so much delight
that it starts overflowing in you.



Come back, but don’t come back
leaving your experience behind –
bring it with you.
Slowly, gracefully resurrect.
Sit for a few seconds as buddhas,
remembering where you have been…
the experience…
so that it becomes an undercurrent in your life
twenty-four hours a day.
It can change all your gestures, activities –
not only yours, it can change people around you.
It is infectious.
Share it, don’t be a miser!

Can we celebrate the ten thousand buddhas?

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