Walking in Zen Sitting in Zen 16

Sixteenth Discourse from the series of 16 discourses - Walking in Zen Sitting in Zen by Osho.
You can listen, download or read all of these discourses on oshoworld.com.

The first question:
I cannot understand the philosophy of Zen. What should I do to understand it?
Zen is not a philosophy at all. To approach Zen as if it is a philosophy is the wrong way from the very beginning. A philosophy is something of the mind; Zen is totally beyond the mind. Zen is the process of going above the mind, far away from the mind; it is the process of transcendence, of surpassing the mind. You cannot understand it by the mind, mind has no function in it.
Zen is a state of no-mind, that has to be remembered. It is not Vedanta. Vedanta is a philosophy; you can understand it perfectly well. Zen is not even Buddhism; Buddhism is also a philosophy.
Zen is a very rare flowering – it is one of the strangest things that has happened in the history of consciousness – it is the meeting of Buddha’s experience and Lao Tzu’s experience. Buddha, after all, was part of the Indian heritage; he spoke the language of philosophy. He is perfectly clear, you can understand him. In fact, he avoided all metaphysical questions; he was very simple, clear, logical. But his experience was not of the mind. He was trying to destroy your philosophy by providing you with a negative philosophy. Just as you can take out a thorn from your foot with another thorn, Buddha’s effort was to take out the philosophy from your mind with another philosophy. Once the first thorn has been taken out, both thorns can be thrown away and you will be beyond mind.
But when Buddha’s teachings reached China, a tremendously beautiful thing happened: a crossbreeding happened. In China, Lao Tzu has given his experience of Tao in a totally nonphilosophical way, in a very absurd way, in a very illogical way. But when the Buddhist meditators, Buddhist mystics, met the Taoist mystics they immediately could understand each other heart to heart, not mind to mind. They could feel the same vibe; they could see that the same inner world had opened; they could smell the same fragrance. They came closer, and by their coming closer, by their meetings and merging with each other, something new started growing up; that is Zen. It has both the beauty of Buddha and the beauty of Lao Tzu; it is the child of both. Such a meeting has never happened before or since.
Zen is neither Taoist nor Buddhist. It is both and neither. Hence the traditional Buddhists reject Zen and the traditional Taoists also reject Zen. For the traditional Buddhist it is absurd, for the traditional Taoist it is too philosophical. But to those who are really interested in meditation, Zen is an experience. It is neither absurd nor philosophical because both are terms of the mind. It is something transcendental.
The word zen comes from dhyana. Buddha used a certain language, a local language of his times, Pali. In Pali dhyana is pronounced jhan; it is from jhan that zen has arisen. The word comes from jhan; jhan comes from the Sanskrit dhyana.
To understand Zen you need not make a philosophical effort; you have to go deep into meditation. And what is meditation all about? Meditation is a jump from the mind into no-mind, from thoughts to no-thought. Mind means thinking, no-mind means pure awareness. One simply is aware. Only then will you be able to understand Zen – through experience, not through any intellectual effort.
Yoka says:
There is one nature, perfect and penetrative, present in all natures;
one reality which includes all, comprising all realities in itself.
The one moon is reflected wherever there is water.
And all moons in water are comprised in the one moon.
The moment you move beyond the mind, suddenly you have moved from the many to the one. Minds are many, consciousness is one. On the circumference we are different, at the center we are one. That one can be called brahman, can be called God, the absolute, the truth, nirvana.
Zen calls it no-mind for a particular reason. If you call it God, people start thinking in terms of a person. They start imagining a person – of course the suprememost person, but their idea of personality is derived from human personality; it is a projection, it is not truth.
The Bible says that God created man in his own image; that is not true. Man has created God in his own image; that is far more true. The God that we have created is our idea, it is anthropocentric. If horses were philosophers, God could not be a man, he would be a supreme horse. If donkeys were philosophers – and who knows – they may be; they look very serious, always brooding, as if in deep contemplation, thinking of great things… Watch a donkey and you will be certainly aware of this simple fact that donkeys are great thinkers. They are constantly somewhere else far away, involved in great esoteric things; that’s why people think they are fools. They are not fools, they are philosophers. If donkeys are thinking – if they are theologians, theosophists, philosophers – then God will be a supreme donkey. God cannot be a man, that’s impossible. They cannot imagine God to be a man.
Hence, Zen avoids any anthropocentric terminologies, any words that can become associated with our circumference. It does not call God brahman because that is a philosophical term. Maybe the best philosophical term, but even the best philosophical term is still philosophy, and philosophy is something of the mind – you can think about brahman.
In India, we have been thinking about brahman for centuries and there are as many interpretations of brahman as there have been philosophers: Shankara interprets in one way, Nimbarka in another; Ramanuja still in a different way and so on and so forth. Even two philosophers cannot agree and the dispute still continues. Philosophers go on quarreling. They never come to any conclusions, they cannot because the mind has no capacity to conclude about “the One.”
Even Shankara, the greatest non-dualist, remains a dualist deep down. He talks about brahman, the One, but to talk about the One he has to bring in maya, illusion; then one becomes two. If you want to talk about the real you will have to talk about the unreal; that is a necessity, an absolute necessity. Without talking about the unreal, you cannot talk about the real; without the unreal, the real loses all meaning. Human languages are dualistic, hence Shankara got into trouble, great trouble. He tried to sort it out but he could not. For one thousand years many philosophers who have followed Shankara have tried to find a way out, but they have not been able to. Even if you say that maya means illusion, maya means that which does not exist, you have to talk about it. To define brahman you have to use illusion as a support, otherwise who will define it? How will you define it? The One remains indefinable; the One needs something else to define it. So although the philosophy of Shankara is thought to be non-dualist, it is not. No philosophy can be non-dualist.
Zen is neither dualist nor non-dualist; it is not a philosophy at all. It simply says, “Move from the mind into the no-mind and see.” It believes in seeing.
Yoka says:
The spirit operates naturally through the organs of sense. Thus the objective world is perceived. This dualism mists the mirror. But when the haze is removed, the light shines forth. Thus when each individual spirit and the objective world are forgotten and emptied, suchness affirms truth.
When all words are gone, your mirror has no more dust on it, no more mist on it. When you look at things you collect impressions; that is the dust – that’s what you call thinking. When you see a roseflower, the roseflower is outside you, but it makes a reflection inside you. The roseflower will fade away by the evening, the petals will fall and disappear, but the inner roseflower, the rose that has become imprinted in your memory will continue. It will remain forever with you, you can always remember it. If you are a sensitive, aesthetic, artistic person you can visualize it again and again; you can imagine it as if it is true. In fact, if you try you will be surprised: you can even experience the fragrance of the rose again. If you create the whole situation in your imagination: the garden, the green grass, the dew on the grass, and you are walking with naked feet on the grass… And the sweet smell of the earth and the cool air and the birds singing; you just create the whole atmosphere… And then suddenly you discover a beautiful roseflower hidden behind a bush. And the fragrance. Suddenly you will see that the fragrance has come back to you; the imprint is there. The outer rose is gone, but the inner rose is alive.
Now scientists, particularly brain experts, have discovered that if certain spots in the brain are touched by electrodes, certain memories immediately become active. Those memories are lying there deep, frozen and when touched by the electrode, they start becoming alive. A very strange experience. If your brain is touched by an electrode at the point where the rose memory is lying there deep, suddenly you will forget the present; you will be in the same garden again. Maybe twenty years have passed, but it will be as real as if you were in the garden again: the same smell, the same wind, the same coolness, the same flower. If the electrode is taken out, the memory disappears. Put the electrode back in the same spot and again the memory starts revealing itself.
One more thing has been discovered – you can do it thousands of times. The same memory comes again and again; the memory repeats itself from the very beginning. The moment you remove the electrode it seems that there is an automatic rewinding; the memory coils back into the same original state. Touch it again with the electrode – as the electricity starts flowing, the memory begins from the beginning and you again enter the garden… And the same sequence of events. This can be done thousands of times. In fact, scientists say that there is no limit to it; it can be done millions of times.
The outer reality goes on changing, but the mind goes on collecting dust. Your consciousness is a mirror and you are carrying so much dust from this life and from other lives – such a thick layer of dust. That’s why you cannot understand Zen because you cannot understand yourself; because you cannot understand life, because you cannot understand existence. Zen is not philosophy; it is existential, not philosophical.
…when the haze is removed…
says Yoka,
…the light shines forth.
Thus when each individual spirit and the objective world are forgotten and emptied, suchness affirms truth.
When all is emptied – you have forgotten all the memories; you have forgotten even your individual existence, your separate existence; you are no longer an island, you have melted into the whole; you are not like an ice cube floating in the water, you have become water itself – this is what Zen is. And suddenly, truth is revealed.
Yoka says,
Vision is clear.
These four lines are of tremendous importance:
Vision is clear.
But there are no objects to see.
There is no person.
There is no Buddha.
This is the ultimate declaration of Zen. This is the lion’s roar.
Vision is clear. This is a strange phenomenon. When there are objects to see, your vision is not clear because those objects are making impressions on you. Your vision cannot be clear; it is full of mist. When vision is clear, there are no objects at all, just clarity, just pure consciousness; no content, just seeing and nothing to see, just watchfulness and nothing to watch. A pure observer, a pure witness and nothing to witness.
There is no person.
When there is nothing to witness, nothing to see, you cannot exist as a separate entity. The “I” can exist only with the “thou”; if the “thou” disappears, the “I” disappears. They are part of each other, they are always together like two sides of a coin; you cannot say “one.” This is what many stupid religious people go on doing; they go on saying to God, “I am not. Thou art.” That is sheer stupidity. In the very saying you are, otherwise who is saying “Thou art”?
There is a famous poem of Jalaluddin Rumi; I agree with him up to a point and then my disagreement starts. On the really essential point, I cannot agree with him. My feeling is he must have written that poem before he became enlightened. He was an enlightened man, but the poem is decisive – it must have been written before he became enlightened. The poem is beautiful, because sometimes poets say things almost like seers, but remember they are almost like seers. There is bound to be some flaw, it can’t be flawless. You may not be able to find the flaw.
Listen to the story of this poem. Jalaluddin says:

A lover comes to his beloved’s home, knocks on the door.
The beloved asks, “Who is there?”
And the lover says, “I am – your lover.”
The beloved says, “The house of love is so small, it cannot contain two, so please go back. When you are no more, then come again. The house of love cannot contain two, it can only contain one.”

So far so good!

The lover goes to the forest, he becomes an ascetic. He meditates, he prays to God. His prayer is only one: “Dissolve me!” Many moons come and go, months pass, years pass, and one day he comes back. He knocks again on the door; the beloved asks the same question: “Who is there?”
He says, “Now I am no more, only you are.”

And Rumi says: The doors open and the lover is received in the home of love.
There I don’t agree – it is too early! Who is the person who is saying “I am no more”? Even to say “I am no more,” you are needed. It is as foolish as if you go and knock at somebody’s house and he leans out of the window and says, “I am not at home.” That is self-contradictory; you cannot say that. To say it is to prove that you are.
Jalaluddin must have written this poem before he became enlightened. He should have corrected it. But these enlightened people are crazy people. He may have forgotten all about the poem, but it needs correction. I can do the correction. I would like to say that the beloved says, “Go back again because you are there still. First you were positively there, now you are negatively there, but it makes no difference.”
The lover goes back. Now there is no point in praying because prayer has not helped. In fact, prayer cannot help; in prayer the duality persists. You are praying to somebody; God becomes your “thou.” God cannot help. Now he becomes a Zen monk – not a devotee, but really a meditator. He simply goes deep within himself, searching and seeking: “Where is this ‘I’?” He tries to find out where it is. And anybody who goes in is bound not to find it because it is not there; it is nonexistential, it is only a belief. So he searches and searches and finds it nowhere.
So he comes back, knocks on the door. The beloved asks the same question: “Who is there?” And there is no answer because there is nobody to answer. Just silence. She asks again, “Who is there?” but the silence deepens. She asks again, “Who is there?” but the silence is absolute. She opens the door. Now the lover has come, but he is no more; there is nobody to answer. He has to be taken inside the home, taken by the hand. He is completely, utterly empty. This is what Zen people call “emptied suchness.”
Vision is clear.
But there are no objects to see.
There is no person.
There is no Buddha.
Everything has disappeared. Zen has achieved the ultimate peak of enlightenment; hence it can say that there is no enlightenment either because if the enlightened person goes on thinking, “I am enlightened,” he is not enlightened. If he claims enlightenment, he is not enlightened, because every claim is an ego claim. Enlightenment is not a claim, it is a silent presence.
Don’t try to understand Zen. Go within yourself to find out who you are, where you are. You will not find anybody there, just pure emptiness. And then vision is clear. No person, no Buddha. All is silent, utterly silent. There is nothing to say. In that silence one becomes truth. Not only that one knows truth, one becomes truth. That is the only way to know it.

The second question:
I find all questions to be false because they imply answers. In my experience there are no answers, only discovery. If this is so, why do you insist on questions and answers? Are you not misleading people into believing their questions have answers?
Now what should I do about your question? If I answer you, I will be misleading you; if I don’t answer you, I will not be showing respect toward you. If you think that all questions are false, why do you bother to ask? If you think any question that implies answers is false, then do you think your question does not imply any answer? Either it is false if it implies an answer, or it is true, but then it cannot be answered.
You say: “In my experience there are no answers, only discovery.” What are answers? – they are the discoveries of somebody else. I have discovered something; it is a discovery for me. When you ask a question and I answer you, it is an answer to you, not a discovery. The answer can be misleading if you start believing in it as if it were your discovery. If you don’t believe in the answer as your discovery, but you keep remembering that it is somebody else’s discovery – “I have to discover it too” – then the answer is not misleading you, the answer is a great encouragement. It is an encouragement to go on the great journey, the great pilgrimage of discovering. Discovery also needs encouragement.
Have you noticed that when birds are born and come out of their eggs, the mother and father teach them to fly? Watch it – it is one of the most beautiful processes to watch because it is the same process that transpires between a master and a disciple. The older birds fly around the nest. The younger ones become intrigued by the idea of flying; they start fluttering their wings. They have small wings, but they start fluttering them; they become aware of their wings. Just by seeing their mother, their father and other birds flying around the nest, a great curiosity arises in them. They would also like to fly; they are intrigued by the very idea and they start wondering whether they can manage it. Fear grips them. They come to the very edge of the nest – watch – they look around. It seems difficult, it seems impossible – they are so small and they have never done such a thing before. Who knows? They may not be able to manage, they may fall, they may die; this may prove suicidal. The mother goes and sits on a tree nearby and starts calling them, wooing them, persuading them: “Come on!”
That is the function of the answers of the master: it is just to woo you, to call you: “Come on! Don’t be worried, don’t be afraid.”
They try, they flutter, but the fear is there – the fear of the unknown. They do both things, and in their small way they try to take the jump, but they also cling to the nest. It is so safe and warm and comfortable, so secure – and the insecurity of the sky and the winds… And who knows what else may be there in the unknown?
Finally the mother has to push them. Of course, once pushed they have to make all the effort they can – and suddenly they discover that they can fly. They immediately come back to the nest, but they are radically changed – you can see their joy. Now they know they have wings and their wings can function; they need not be so afraid. Now when the mother goes to the other tree, they follow her. Soon, they would prefer not to follow the mother because that looks so childish. They would like the mother to sit in the nest and watch; to see that they can do the miracle themselves. They fly around the nest and go to the other tree and start calling the mother, “Come on! See, we have managed it. We have done it.”
That’s the way of discovery. It all depends on you. If you believe in my answers as your answers, you are misguiding yourself. I am not misguiding you. I am constantly making you aware that my answers are my answers, not yours. So I am not telling you to believe in my answers, I am simply telling you that answers are possible. If they are possible for me they are possible for you. What I can do, you can do because I am an ordinary man just like you.
That’s why I am against the whole traditional idea of God’s reincarnations or incarnations – avatars. I am against the idea that Jesus is a son of God; I would prefer that he is the son of the carpenter Joseph, not the son of God. If he is the only-begotten son of God, then of course he is a totally different kind of person; what he can do you cannot do. He can walk on water; you cannot walk on water. He can raise the dead from their graves and make them alive again; you cannot do that. All these stories have been invented to emphasize the fact that he is special and you are ordinary. All these stories are false, irreligious, dangerous. They have not helped humanity, they have degraded humanity. They have insulted you, they have humiliated you.
The Hindus say that Krishna, Rama, Buddha, are God’s incarnations. God himself comes from above, from beyond. They are special people; what they can do you cannot do. Krishna can take the whole mountain into his hand; you cannot do that. He can do miracles; that is not possible for you.
These stories are the cunning inventions of the priests to create a distance between you and Krishna, between you and Buddha, between you and Mahavira; to make a special category so that you know your limits perfectly well.
I emphasize the fact that Krishna is as much a man as you are; there is nothing special about him. He needs food the way you need it; he needs water the way you need it; he sleeps the way you sleep; he dies the way you die. The only difference is that he has become aware of his infinite potential and you are not aware of it. There is no difference in the potential, but you are unaware and he is aware; that’s the only difference. Of course, it is a difference that makes a difference, but it is not a difference that can make him a separate category. Nobody belongs to a separate category. Nobody comes from above, everybody grows from below. Life is a growth. You are growing from your humanity toward your divinity. If I can discover who I am, you can discover it.
All these answers are not to be made into dogmas, not to be made into beliefs. I am not preaching any theology to you – I am utterly against all creeds. What am I doing then? – I am simply trying to persuade you that this is humanly possible. You are as divine as Krishna, Buddha, Christ and as anybody else. You have just fallen asleep and you are dreaming nightmares. Just wake up! All that is needed is an awakening.
But you seem to be a philosophical type. The philosophical type goes on brooding about pros and cons. He goes on thinking about everything. This is not the place where you are supposed to think too much. This is a place to take a jump into a silent state of non-thinking, because thinking is parrotlike. Can you see that you have asked the question, yet you are asking a question against questions? You are asking for an answer, yet you think that all answers are misleading, misguiding – and yet you are asking! Do you see the philosophical complexity of the mind? Do you see the game?

A wandering Jew visiting Paris passes by a pet shop. He notices a sign on the window proclaiming that inside the shop there’s a parrot that speaks many languages. The “yeedil,” considering himself a linguist, enters. Slowly, slowly he approaches the wonder-bird, stands by the side of the cage and gives the bird a look over.
Clearing his throat, he starts testing the parrot:
“Parlez-vous francais?”
“Parlez-vous francais?” comes the reply.
“Speak English?”
“Speak English?” is the reply.
“Govarish po rauskiu?” he then asks.
“Govarish po rauskiu?” the parrot replies.
The Jew moves closer to the bird, clears his throat, looks at it again and asks confidentially, “Ahem…! Tell me, little bird, if you are so smart, do you speak Yiddish, mm?”
The bird gives a look at the Jew, clears its throat, points to its beak with its wing and says, “Nu… With such a nose, you think I should not speak Yiddish?”

Even parrots are far better than philosophers. They have more understanding, they have more insight. Man becomes so burdened with ideas that he completely forgets what he is doing.
Be a little more aware. See what is happening here. I certainly insist on questions from you because I know there are questions. You are full of questions – it is natural – and it is better to bring them out. My answers will not be your answers, but my answers will help you to see the point that answers are possible; that one need not live in questions. One can come to a point where all questions disappear and life is no longer a problem. When all problems disappear, life is no longer a problem, but a mystery to be lived, to be loved, to be sung, to be danced.

The third question:
Just two small questions. First: how many psychiatrists does it take to screw in a light bulb?
Only one, but that bulb has got to want to change!
And the second: How many enlightened ones does it take to screw in a light bulb?
None because they are already a light unto themselves!

The fourth question:
How do you decide which questions to answer?
It is a secret. I will just give you a clue. I will not tell you the full secret, you have to find it out.

A priest, a minister and a rabbi have a talk together. They tell each other how God provides them with their daily bread.
“Every Sunday after the plate has been passed around in church, I empty it in a box with a hole in the bottom,” explains the priest. “Whatever falls through it is for me; the rest is for God.”
The minister has a different way of withdrawing his weekly pocket money. “I draw a line on the floor,” he says, “and then I drop Sunday’s collection from one meter above – the money that lands on the left side is mine, the right side is for God.”
“Well,” says the rabbi, “my system is much easier. I simply throw the money in the air and whatever God needs he can grab…”

The fifth question:
I was born a New York Jew. And for seventeen years I have been a promising tourist in California in four different learned professions, numerous avocations and an unsuccessful marriage. Joy and satisfaction have not been my experience, except for momentary glimpses. I am quietly desperate. Please comment or tell some appropriate jokes.
Heinrich Heine says: “Sleep is good, death is better; of course the best thing would be never to have been born at all.”
Life certainly is a problem, particularly in New York and for a Jew. For the Jews, life has always been a bigger problem than for anybody else, for the simple reason that they have this crazy idea that they are the chosen people of God. This has made their lives impossible. Such crazy ideas have to be dropped. There is no chosen people of God. Jews have suffered from this nonsense and now everybody hates them. If you are one of the chosen people of God everybody hates you; everybody tries to find fault with you and to prove to you that you are not one of the chosen people of God.
Jews have insisted on this egoistic standpoint for three thousand years. They are not alone in it; there are other peoples too. Hindus are there with them; they also think that their country is the most sacred land, and they have also suffered. You can see their sacred land and their suffering.
It is time you dropped the idea of being a Jew. Once you are a sannyasin you are neither a Hindu, a Mohammedan, a Christian nor a Jew; you are simply a human being. By dropping that idea you will feel unburdened; otherwise there is three thousand years of burden. The Jews are carrying a long, long, traditional, inherited burden; they have become so attached to the burden that it becomes impossible to live.
You say that your marriage was unsuccessful. Have you ever heard of any marriage which was successful? I haven’t heard of any! If marriages were successful there would have been no sannyas in the world; in fact, no religion at all. From the very beginning, God has made it absolutely certain that marriage will not succeed; if marriage succeeds, God fails! The whole of religion depends on the “unsuccess” of marriage. If you are happy, blissful, who cares about the other world? This world has to be such a misery that whether you want to believe in the other world or not you have to believe; that is the only consolation, the only solace.
Bertrand Russell is right when he says, “If people really become happy, religion will disappear from the world.” I agree with him ninety-nine percent; only about the one percent I will not agree with him. He was an atheist, but he is ninety-nine percent true. Ninety-nine percent of people who are religious, are religious for the wrong reasons – because their marriage fails, their ambition brings frustration and they waste their whole life in earning money, power and prestige. And then the same emptiness, the same meaninglessness remains, the same hollowness; nothing changes at all. Life is gone, death is knocking on the doors, and nothing is fulfilled. That’s why people become religious.
People become religious out of misery; hence the priests have a vested interest in your misery, remember it. They wouldn’t like your life to be happy and joyous. If you are joyous and blissful, all their religions will disappear. Their religion depends on your dis-ease, your pathology, your restlessness, your anguish, anxiety.
All the priests in the world are in favor of marriage. Why? – for the simple reason that marriage fails, and when marriage fails where do you have to go? – to the priest! In a subtle way, all priests support educational systems which create a desire in you to succeed. All the educational systems prevalent in the world are nothing but strategies to create ego trips, to create ambitious minds. Priests and politicians support them because if ambition is not inflamed in you, there will be no politics; if ambition is not inflamed in you, you will never feel frustrated. A non-ambitious man never feels frustrated. Why should he feel frustrated? He never expected anything in the first place; you can’t frustrate him.
Lao Tzu says: “You cannot defeat me because I don’t want to be victorious at all.” Jesus says: “Blessed are those who are the last.” Now such people are dangerous; they have to be crucified because they will destroy the whole structure of society. They will destroy the priesthood and the power of the politicians. If this idea, “Blessed are those who are the last,” spreads, then who would like to become the president of a country? – only fools, only stupid people. Even now only stupid people want to be presidents and prime ministers, but you don’t think them stupid because you are also contaminated and poisoned in the same ways. You respect them. You think they have succeeded, they have attained their goals. Their names will remain in history. So what? They will just torture small children who will have to remember their stupid names, that’s all. Their whole effort will succeed only in torturing small children and nothing else.
Priests are against me, politicians are against me. They are against me for the simple reason that I am teaching you a life of nonambition, a life of egolessness – and I am teaching you that marriage is bound to fail. Hence, if you want to be happy and blissful, love is enough, marriage is too much.
Love is enough. So while the love lasts, good, be together. When the love disappears, say goodbye in deep gratitude, but don’t cling to each other. Marriage means clinging.
You never see the illogicality of your priests. On the one hand they say “detachment” and on the other hand they teach marriage. Marriage is attachment; it is legal attachment… Not only attachment, but legal support is also there. The court, police and the magistrate are behind you. If you want to leave your wife you will be in trouble, and to live with your wife you are also in trouble. If you want to leave your wife you will be in trouble, so one decides that when there is trouble anyway, why not remain in the conformist, traditional trouble; the conventional trouble? Why find individual and private troubles? They can be more dangerous because everybody else will be against you.
You say: “Joy and satisfaction have not been my experience, except for momentary glimpses.” Yes, in this life, the way we have managed this life, they can only be momentary glimpses. Even that is a miracle – how even for moments those glimpses can happen is unbelievable because the way you are made and conditioned will not allow even moments. You are supposed to be miserable. Ambition, ego, marriage, money, power – all these ideas are bound to make you miserable; you can’t be blissful here. The only thing that can make you blissful is never taught anywhere. That is meditation, that is Zen; that is not taught anywhere. People are really afraid of meditation – afraid because it will transform your whole way of life.
Now, meditate. Go deeper into yourself. You have tried all kinds of professions; you have tried marriage; you have tried everything that the West can make available to you. Try meditation. Go deeper into yourself, into your own aloneness, into your own solitude. Find your center of being; it is there that eternal bliss prevails. Right now it prevails there. It is always there, we have just lost contact with it. It has to be discovered, or rediscovered.
You say: “I am quietly desperate.” That is not good for a Jew! Jews always find a way to get out of any kind of problem. For three thousand years that’s what they have been doing.

Mr. Goldberg was trying to sell a suit to Mrs. Rubinstein for her young son. “Take it, madam,” he said. “First quality. I can give you a nice price for it.”
She tried the suit on her son and it was a perfect fit so she bought it.
The first time the suit was cleaned, Mrs. Rubinstein noticed that it looked quite a bit smaller, so she tried it on her son again. The sleeves only came to his elbows and the trouser legs came only to his knees.
Of course she was furious, so grabbing her son’s hand she stomped over to the tailor’s shop. As she entered the shop, Mr. Goldberg looked up and said, “My God! Isn’t it amazing how the boy has grown.”

It is not good for a Jew to be desperate.

Two men were discussing optimism and pessimism.
The one turned to the other and said, “Well, have you ever met a real optimist yourself?”
“Yes,” said the other. “I was standing on the balcony of my fourth floor apartment when I saw a Jewish window cleaner high up on the twentieth floor slip and fall.”
“How does that make him an optimist?” asked the friend.
“Well, because as he went by my balcony I heard him say, ‘Alright so far!’”

An American, an Englishman and a Jew were in a small German airplane when a terrible hurricane hit them. The German pilot screamed from his cockpit, “One of you has to jump out of the plane because it is too heavy!”
They tried to decide who had to sacrifice his life, but none of the three were willing. The pilot came in between and said, “Okay, I’ll ask each of you a question. The one who doesn’t know the answer has to jump out of the plane.”
He turned to the American and asked, “At what date was the atom bomb thrown on Hiroshima?”
The American answered, “August 6th, 1945.”
Next the pilot asked the Englishman, “How many people were killed at that time?”
“About two hundred and fifty thousand” was the answer.
He finally turned to the Jew and asked, “Can you give me the names and the addresses of the victims?”

But wait!

The Jew started to give the names and addresses of the two hundred and fifty thousand victims! The American and the Englishman both jumped out of the plane to save themselves from the Jew. And finally the pilot had to threaten him to shut up. If he did not stop, the pilot said that he would also jump out of the plane!

A Jew and desperate? Never! A Jew always finds a way.
You say: “Please comment or tell some appropriate jokes.” Appropriate jokes? I have never done that in my life and I am never going to – I always tell inappropriate jokes. I will tell you a few inappropriate jokes.

Tarzan goes into town for a vacation. When he comes back to the jungle, his chimpanzee friend, Cheeta, meets him and says, “Tarzan, Tarzan! All the animals are rebelling. They have forgotten you. Everywhere there is chaos!”
Angry, Tarzan rushes deep into of the jungle, where he meets a lion. He grabs the lion, lifts it up, and looking into its eyes he asks, “Do you know who I am?”
“Of course I know,” says the lion. “You are the boss of the jungle.”
Still Tarzan is not satisfied, so when he meets a giraffe he grabs the animal by the neck and again asks, “Speak up – who am I?”
Trembling, the giraffe answers, “You are Tarzan, the king of the jungle.”
Then he meets an elephant. Grabbing the balls of the elephant, he throws it on the ground shouting, “Who am I? Answer!”
As the elephant doesn’t answer he becomes even more furious and smashes the elephant’s balls together shouting, “Now speak! Tell me, who am I?”
The elephant, very calmly, with a compassionate look, says, “Just look at this son of a bitch… He doesn’t know who he is and he comes and breaks my balls!”

Now try to find out, if you can, whether it is appropriate or not!

An English army officer retired to the country and lost no time in enrolling at the local golf club. On his first appearance he was disappointed to find that the only prospective partner was a rather scruffy young man who sat picking his teeth at the bar, but as he was anxious for a game he went up to the man and after making polite conversation for a few minutes offered to partner him in a round.
They met on the first green. The officer was surprised to see the man appear with a sack on his shoulder from which he selected a garden spade. And even more surprised when he used it instead of a golf club and drove the ball straight down the center of the fairway – a magnificent shot – almost to the green. This was followed by a second using an ax, and finally the putt was sunk with an old walking stick. He continued in this manner, completing the course with all kinds of implements and eventually winning hands down. The officer, however, did not like to make any comment on this surprising behavior until they were back in the bar. Even then he continued to make polite conversation, but when the man began drinking his beer through a straw up his nose, balancing his glass on his shoulder, his curiosity was uncontainable.
“Excuse me asking,” he said, “but I couldn’t help noticing your strange conduct just now.”
“Yes,” replied the man, “it is a little odd, but it is the only way I am able to make life interesting. You see, I was born with this amazing dexterity which I need to exercise now and then.”
The officer was thoughtful for a minute and then said, “Tell me, are you married?”
“Yes,” said the other.
“And do you have any children?”
“Yes, three,” said the man with a sigh, “and the answer to your next question is ‘standing up, in a hammock.’”

The sixth question:
Why do you tell so many jokes? Are you not interested at all in higher things?
Is there anything higher than a joke? You have not understood my jokes at all! These jokes are not just jokes; this is serious matter.

Paul Reps was invited to give a lecture at the University of BC. He was advertised as a well-known mystic and philosopher and author of the famous: Zen Flesh, Zen Bones.
The occasion attracted a number of noted intellectuals. Paul Reps sat very relaxed in a simple wooden chair telling his little Zen stories. Many people in the audience enjoyed the stories, but some of the great intellects got bored. Finally one of the more knowing ones stood up and said, “Sir, could you please speak on a somewhat higher level?”
Without pausing, Paul Reps placed his chair on the table and continued with his beautiful Zen stories.

Do you want me to do that? I can speak on as high a level as possible. I can sit on the roof. You will not be able to see me. That will be very esoteric! Just the way God used to speak in the past, from high above. You will only hear the voice… But I will still tell jokes.

The seventh question:
I am going madder and madder, but this seems nothing compared to you. Each day you appear more and more mad. Where will it all end?
I have always to be ahead of my disciples – you can’t beat me! If you want me to be sane you have to be saner; if you go a little mad, I will be madder; if you go madder, I will go more mad. This has been decided once and for all. There is no end to it – even after I am gone from my body I will haunt you!

The eighth question:
Have you got a really good joke I can bring to a non-orange lover in the West who is a scientist and has been reading and underlining you for four years?
Tell him not to destroy my books because the real thing is between the lines and that’s what he is crossing out with his underlining! But it may be just an old habit. Otherwise, a man who has been reading me for four years, can he still remain there and non-orange? It is impossible – just an old habit. He can go on doing it for four lives or forty lives. Tell him it is time. Tell him enough is enough!

Maria was a student of sociology. For her research paper she decided to make a trip into the interior of Brazil. Caught in a tropical downpour she lost her way in the jungle. Finally two men found her, drenched to the skin.
“You’ll never find your way out in this storm,” said one. “The river is flooded. You’re welcome to spend the night at our place.”
Maria felt relieved and happy to have an opportunity to experience the authentic lives of some people of the interior. Once at the house, the men prepared a meal for her and afterward played the guitar and sang folk songs. When they grew tired, the Brazilian informed her that there was only one bed.
“That’s okay,” she said, “I can sleep in bed with the two of you.”
The men were reluctant, but finally agreed. After the three tossed and turned for a while, they decided to give in and make love. Maria gave each man a condom and then the three of them had a wonderful time for the rest of the night.
The next morning Maria thanked the two men for their hospitality and went on her way back home to write up her report.
Several days passed and the two guys were turning yellow and feeling quite uncomfortable. Finally one says to the other, “Hey, brother! I really don’t care if that girl has a baby or not.”
The other says, “I can’t stand it anymore! Let’s take these plastic bags off our cocks… Enough is enough!”

So you tell him enough is enough! It is time for him to come here and go orange – that means go mad. That is a new way of saying “Go mad”; “Go orange.” But he is a scientist and he must be calculating, measuring; thinking about the pros and cons, hesitating, observing, watching. He will miss the opportunity. That’s how people go on postponing. Tell him there are a few things which have to be done immediately if he ever wants to do them – now or never. His old habit of being a scientist must be there; he will have to put it aside.

Dave was going to marry Mabel, so Dad thought it best to tell him about the birds and the bees. “Now, Dave, see that knothole in the tree over there? I want you to go and practice in that hole so that on your wedding night you will know what to do!”
A few days later Dave got married. That night frantic screams were heard coming from Dave and Mabel’s room. Dad burst in to find Dave ramming a broomstick up between Mabel’s legs.
‘What are you doing, Dave?” Dad shouted.
“I’m making quite sure that there are no bees in this one!”

The ninth question:
Please tell me – enough what for today?
Enough of the nonsense – in other words, enough of Zen!

And the last question:
What is: Walking in Zen, sitting in Zen?
There is no need to say anything about it. I will walk to my car and sit in the car. That is walking in Zen, sitting in Zen.
Enough for today.

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