Buddha says, ‘Fortunate is the man who has found a Master.’
I myself was not as fortunate as you are; I was working without a Master. I searched and I could not find one. It was not that I had not searched, I had searched long enough, but I could not find one. It is very rare to find a Master, rare to find a being who has become a non-being, rare to find a presence who is almost an absence, rare to find a man who Is simply a door to the divine, an open door to the divine which will not hinder you, through which you can pass. It is very difficult .
The Sikhs call their temple the gurudwara, the door of the Master. That is exactly what the Master is—the door. Jesus says again and again, ‘I am the gate, I am the way, I am the truth. Come follow me, pass through me. And unless you pass through me you will not be able to reach.’
Yes, sometimes it happens that a person has to work without a Master. If the Master is not available then one has to work without a Master, but then the journey is very hazardous.
For one year I was in the state…. For one year it was almost impossible to know what was happening. For one year continuously it was even difficult to keep myself alive. Just to keep myself alive was a very difficult thing—because all appetite disappeared. Days would pass and I would not feel any hunger, days would pass and I would not feel any thirst. I had to force myself to eat, force myself to drink. The body was so non-existential that I had to hurt myself to feel that I was still in the body. I had to knock my head against the wall to feel whether my head was still there or not. Only when it hurt would I be a little in the body.
Every morning and every evening I would run for five to eight miles. People used to think that I was mad. Why was I running so much? Sixteen miles a day! It was just to feel myself, to feel that I still was, not to lose contact with myself—just to wait until my eyes became attuned to the new that was happening.
And I had to keep myself close to myself. I would not talk to anybody because everything had become so inconsistent that even to formulate one sentence was difficult. In the middle of the sentence I would forget what I was saying in the middle of the way I would forget where I was going. Then I would have to come back. I would read a book—I would read fifty pages—and then suddenly I would remember, ‘What am I reading? I don’t remember at all.’
My situation was such:
The door of the psychiatrist’s office burst open and a man rushed in.
‘Doctor!’ he cried. ‘You’ve got to help me. I’m sure I’m losing my mind. I can’t remember anything—what happened a year ago, or even what happened yesterday. I must be going crazy!’
‘Hmmmmmmm,’ pondered the headshrinker. ‘Just when did you first become aware of this problem?’
The man looked puzzled, ‘What problem?’
This was my situation! Even to complete a full sentence was difficult. I had to keep myself shut in my room. I made it a point not to talk, not to say anything, because to say anything was to say that I was mad.
For one year it persisted. I would simply lie on the floor and look at the ceiling and count from one to a hundred then back from a hundred to one. Just to remain capable of counting was at least something. Again and again I would forget. It took one year for me to gain a focus again, to have a perspective.
It happened. It was a miracle. But it was difficult. There was nobody to support me, there was nobody to say where I was going and what was happening. In fact, everybody was against it my teachers, my friends, my well-wishers. All were against it. But they could not do anything, they could only condemn, they could only ask what I was doing.
I was not doing anything! Now it was beyond me; it was happening. I had done something, unknowingly I had knocked at the door, now the door had opened. I had been meditating for many years, just sitting silently doing nothing, and by and by I started getting into that space, that heartspace, where you are and you are not doing anything, you are simply there, a presence, a watcher.
You are not even a watcher because you are not watching—you are just a presence. Words are not adequate because whatsoever word is used it seems as if it is being done. No, I was not doing it. I was simply lying, sitting, walking—deep down there was no doer. I had lost all ambition; there was no desire to be anybody, no desire to reach anywhere—not even God, not even nirvana. The Buddha-disease had completely disappeared. I was simply thrown to myself.
It was an emptiness and emptiness drives one crazy. But emptiness is the only door to God. That means that only those who are ready to go mad ever attain, nobody else. tao209
I have been looking for the door to enlightenment as long as I remember—from my very childhood. I must have carried that idea from my past life, because I don’t remember a single day in my childhood in this life that I was not looking for it.
And as far as my craziness is concerned, naturally I was thought crazy by everybody. I never played with any children. I never could find any way to communicate with the children of my own age. To me they looked stupid, doing all kinds of idiotic things. I never joined any football team, volleyball team, hockey team. Of course, they all thought me crazy. And as far as I was concerned, as I grew I started looking at the whole world as crazy.
In the last year, when I was twenty-one, it was a time of nervous breakdown and breakthrough. Naturally, those who loved me, my family, my friends, my professors, could understand a little bit what was going on in me—why I was so different from other children, why I would go on sitting for hours with closed eyes, why I sat by the bank of the river and went on looking at the sky for hours, sometimes for the whole night. Naturally, the people who could not understand such things—and I did not expect them to understand—thought me mad.
In my own home I had become almost absent….
By and by they stopped asking me anything, and slowly slowly they started feeling as if I were not there. And I loved it, the way I had become a nothingness, a nobody, an absence. That one year was tremendous. I was surrounded with nothingness, emptiness. I had lost all contact with the world. If they reminded me to take a bath, I would go on taking the bath for hours. Then they had to knock on the door: “Now come out of the bathroom. You have taken enough bath for one month. Just come out.” If they reminded me to eat, I ate; otherwise, days would pass and I would not eat. Not that I was fasting—I had no idea about eating or fasting. My whole concern was to go deeper and deeper into myself. And the door was so magnetic, the pull was so immense—like what physicists now call black holes.
They say there are black holes in existence. If a star comes by chance to a black hole it is pulled into the black hole; there is no way to resist that pull, and to go into the black hole is to go into destruction. We don’t know what happens on the other side. My idea, for which some physicist has to find evidence, is that the black hole on this side is a white hole on the other side. The hole cannot be just one side; it is a tunnel.
I have experienced it in myself. Perhaps on a bigger scale the same happens in the universe. The star dies; as far as we can see, it disappears. But every moment new stars are being born. From where? Where is their womb? It is simple arithmetic that the black hole was just a womb—the old disappeared into it and the new is born. This I have experienced in myself—I am not a physicist. That one year of tremendous pull made me farther and farther away from people, so much so that I would not recognize my own mother, I might not recognize my own father; so far that there were times I forgot my own name. I tried hard, but there was no way to find what my name used to be.
Naturally, to everybody that one year I was mad. But to me that madness became meditation, and the peak of that madness opened the door. I passed through it. I am now beyond enlightenment—on the other side of the door. last120
I was taken to a vaidya to a physician. In fact, I was taken to many doctors and to many physicians but only one ayurvedic vaidya told my father, “He is not ill. Don’t waste your time.” Of course, they were dragging me from one place to another. And many people would give me medicines and I would tell my father, “Why are you worried? I am perfectly okay.” But nobody would believe what I was saying. They would say, “You keep quiet. You just take the medicine. What is wrong in it?” So I used to take all sorts of medicines.
There was only one vaidya who was a man of insight—his name was Pundit Bhaghirath Prasad…. That old man has gone but he was a rare man of insight. He looked at me and he said, “He is not ill.” And he started crying and said, “I have been searching for this state myself. He is fortunate. In this life I have missed this state. Don’t take him to anybody. He is reaching home.” And he cried tears of happiness.
He was a seeker. He had been searching all over the country from this end to that. His whole life was a search and enquiry. He had some idea of what it was about. He became my protector—my protector against the doctors and other physicians. He said to my father, “You leave it to me. I will take care.” He never gave me any medicine. When my father insisted, he just gave me sugar pills and told me, “These are sugar pills. Just to console them you can take them. They will not harm, they will not help. In fact, there is no help possible.” tao209
In my university days, and people thought that I was crazy. Suddenly I would stop, and then I would remain in that spot for half an hour, an hour, unless I started enjoying walking again. My professors were so afraid that when there were examinations they would put me in a car and take me to the university hall. They would leave me at the door and wait there: had I reached to my desk or not? If I was taking my bath and suddenly I realized that I was not enjoying it, I would stop. What is the point then? If I was eating and I recognized suddenly that I was not enjoying, then I would stop….
And, by and by, it became a key. I suddenly recognized that whenever you are enjoying something, you are centered. Enjoyment is just the sound of being centered. Whenever you are not enjoying something, you are off-center. Then don’t force it; there is no need. If people think you crazy, let them think you crazy. Within a few days you will, by your own experience, find how you were missing yourself. You were doing a thousand and one things which you never enjoyed, and still you were doing them because you were taught to. You were just fulfilling your duties. trans404
I used to go for a morning walk, and I used to pass a beautiful house every day—that was my route. And one day, when I was coming back, the sun was just shining on my face; I was perspiring—I had gone for four, five miles, and just…I could not move from that place. I must have been eighteen or seventeen. Something happened between the sun and the beautiful morning, that I simply forgot that I have to go home. I simply forgot that I am. I was simply standing there.
But the man who owned the house, he has been watching me for almost a year—that I come and go by the side of the house; today, what has happened? I am simply frozen. But frozen in such ecstasy!
He came and shook me, and it was like coming down from a very far away place, rushing into my body. He said, “What has happened?”
I said, “That’s what I was going to ask you. Something certainly happened, and something that I would like to happen forever. I was not. You unnecessarily got worried, shook me, and brought me back. I had moved into some space which was absolutely new to me—and it was pure isness.”
Anything can do, it seems that just your preparedness, knowingly or unknowingly, your closeness to the point where the phenomenon can be triggered…. But this kind of experience is not within your power. It happens to you like lightning. trans12
It happened once with me, many years ago. I used to get up at 3 a.m. and go for a walk. It was a lovely night and the roadside was thickly covered by clusters of bamboo groves. There was a slight opening at one point, otherwise it was covered all the way along. I used to run straight from one end to the other of that stretch one way and then run facing backwards the other way. In an hour—from 3 a.m. to 4 a.m.—I would do my exercise there. One day a weird thing happened. While I was running backwards and still under the bamboo-shaded area, a man—a milkman—was approaching me with all his empty containers on his way to collect milk from some dairy. Then suddenly as I emerged from the shaded area—it was a moonlit night—he could see me all of a sudden. A moment before I was not visible, so all of a sudden…and running backwards! Only ghosts are known to run backwards!
That milkman threw the empty containers away and ran off. There was something odd about the way he ran off. I had no idea he had become so scared of me, so I ran after him to help. Now he ran for his life! The faster I ran after him, out of concern, calling him to stop, the more speed he was gaining. I had never before seen anyone run like that! Then I had an inkling that perhaps I was the only other person around here and he had become scared of me.
Hearing the noise of the falling containers and running feet, a man in the nearby hotel woke up. I went to him and asked him if he knew what had happened. He said, “If you are asking me, I know that you run backwards here every day, but still I get scared sometimes. That man must have been new on this road.”
I said, “Keep these containers with you, maybe the man will return in the morning.” He has not returned even now! Whenever I have passed by that hotel again, I have inquired if that man has ever returned. He never came back.
Now there is no way of telling that man that what he had seen was ‘almost false’. There was no ghost there, but he managed to see it! For him the ghost was a complete reality, otherwise he would not have disappeared for that long a time. That man must have had some past experience that he imposed on the scene.
What really is is not what we are seeing; we are seeing what our eyes are showing us. Our mind is imposing things each moment and we are seeing who knows what, and it certainly is not out there in the world.
This whole world is the extension of our mind. What we see is projected by us. First we project and then we see. First we project a snake in a rope, then we see it and run away. This whole world is like that. finger07
For ten years I used to run eight miles every morning and eight miles every evening—from I947 to I957. It was a regular thing. And I came to experience many, many things through running. At sixteen miles per day I would have encircled the world seven times in those ten years. After you run the second or third mile a moment comes when things start flowing and you are no longer in the head, you become your body, you are the body. You start functioning as an alive being—as trees function, as animals function. You become a tiger or a peacock or a wolf. You forget all head. The university is forgotten, the degrees are forgotten, you don’t know a thing, you simply are.
In fact, by and by, after three or four miles, you cannot conceive of yourself as a head. Totality arises. Plato is forgotten, Freud has disappeared, all divisions disappear—because they were on the surface—and deep down your unity starts asserting itself.
Running against the wind in the early morning when things are fresh and the whole existence is in a new joy, is bathed in a new delight of the new day, and everything is fresh and young, the past has disappeared, everything has come out of deep rest in the night, everything is innocent, primitive—suddenly even the runner disappears. There is only running. There is no body running, there is only running. And by and by you see that a dance arises with the wind, with the sky, with the sun rays coming, with the trees, with the earth. You are dancing. You start feeling the pulse of the Universe. That is sexual. Swimming in the river is sexual. Copulating is not the only sexual thing; anything where your body pulsates totally, with no inhibitions, is sexual.
So when I use the word ‘sexual’ I mean this experience of totality. Genitality is only one of the functions of sexuality. It has become too important because we have forgotten the total function of sexuality. In fact, your so-called mahatmas have made you very, very genital. The whole blame falls on your saints and mahatmas—they are the culprits, the criminals. They have never told you what real sexuality is.
By and by sexuality has become confined to the genitals; it has become local, it is no longer total. Local genitality is ugly because at the most it can give you a relief; it can never give you orgasm. Ejaculation is not orgasm, all ejaculations are not orgasmic and each orgasm is not a peak experience. Ejaculation is genital, orgasm is sexual and a peak experience is spiritual. When sexuality is confined to the genitals you can have only relief; you simply lose energy, you don’t gain anything. It is simply stupid. It is just like the relief that comes out of a good sneeze, not more than that.
It has no orgasm because your total body does not pulsate. You are not in a dance, you don’t participate with your whole, it is not holy. It is very partial and the partial can never be orgasmic because orgasm is possible only when the total organism is involved. When you pulsate from your toe to your head, when every fibre of your being pulsates, when all cells of your body dance, when there is a great orchestra inside you, when everything is dancing—then there is orgasm. But every orgasm is not a peak experience either. When you are pulsating totally inside, it is an orgasm. When your totality participates with the totality of existence it is a peak experience. And people have decided on ejaculation, they have forgotten orgasm and they have completely forgotten the peak experience. They don’t know what it is.
And because they cannot attain the higher, they are confined to the lower. When you can attain the higher, when you can attain the better, naturally the lower starts disappearing on its own accord. If you understand me…sex will be transformed, but not sexuality. You will become more sexual. As sex disappears you will become more sexual. Where will sex go? It will become your sexuality. You will become more sensuous. You will live with more intensity, with more flame; you will live like a great wave. These tiny waves will disappear. You will become a storm, you will become a great wind that can shake the trees and the mountains. You will be a tide, a flood. Your candle will burn at both ends together, simultaneously.
And in that moment—even if you are allowed to live for only one moment, that’s more than enough—you have the taste of eternity. parad107
Let me tell you an incredible experience I had. It has just occurred to me; I have never told it before. About seventeen or eighteen years ago I used to meditate until late at night sitting in the top of a tree.
I have often felt the body has a greater influence over you if you meditate sitting on the ground. The body is made of earth, and the forces of the body work very powerfully if one meditates sitting on the ground. All this talk of the yogis moving up to the higher elevations—to the mountains, to the Himalayas—is not without reason; it’s very scientific. The greater the distance between the body and the earth, the lesser the pull of the earthly element on the body.
So I used to meditate every night sitting in a tree.
One night…I don’t know when I became immersed in deep meditation, and I don’t know at what point my body fell from the tree, but when it did, I looked with a start to see what had happened.
I was still in the tree, but the body had fallen below. It’s difficult to say how I felt at that time. I was still sitting in the tree and the body was below. Only a single silver cord connected me with the navel of my body—a very shiny silver cord. What would happen next was beyond my comprehension. How would I return to my body?
I don’t know how long this state lasted, but it was an exceptional experience. For the first time I saw my body from outside, and from that very day on the body ceased to exist. Since then I am finished with death, because I came to see another body different from this one—I came to experience the subtle body. It’s difficult to say how long this experience lasted.
With the breaking of dawn, two women from the nearby village passed, carrying milk pots on their heads. As they approached the tree they saw my body lying there. They came and sat next to the body. I was watching all this from above. It seems the women took the body to be dead. They placed their hands on my head, and in a moment, as if by a powerful force of attraction, I came back into the body and my eyes opened.
At that point I experienced something else too. I felt that a woman can create a chemical change in a man’s body, and so can a man in a woman’s body. I also wondered how the touch of that woman caused my return to the body. Subsequently, I had many more experiences of this kind. They explained why the tantrikas of India, who experimented extensively with samadhi and death, had linked themselves with women too.
During intensive experiences of samadhi, man’s luminous body, his subtle body, cannot return without a woman’s help if it has come out of the physical body. Similarly, a woman’s luminous, subtle body, cannot be brought back without a man’s assistance. As the male and female bodies connect, an electrical circuit is completed and the consciousness that has gone out returns swiftly to the body.
Following this event, I consistently had the same kind of experience about six times in six months. And in those six months I felt I had lost at least ten years off my life. If I were to live up to seventy, now I can only live up to sixty. I went through some strange experiences in six months—even the hair on my chest turned white. I couldn’t comprehend what was happening.
It occurred to me, however, that the connection between this body and that body had ruptured, had been interrupted, that the adjustment, the harmony that had existed between the two, had broken down. What also occurred to me was that the reason for Shankaracharya dying at the age of thirty-three and Vivekananda dying at the age of thirty-six was something else. It becomes difficult to live once the connection between the two bodies breaks abruptly. This explained why Ramakrishna was besieged with illnesses and Ramana died of cancer. The cause was not physical; rather, the breaking of the adjustment between their physical and subtle bodies was responsible for it.
It is generally believed that yogis are healthy people, but the truth is completely the opposite. The truth is, yogis have always been ill, and have died at early ages. The sole reason for this is that the necessary adjustment between the two bodies becomes interrupted. Once the subtle body comes out of the physical body it never reenters fully and the adjustment is never completely restored. But then it is not needed. There is no reason for it; it has no meaning.
With the use of will power, simply with will power, the energy can be drawn inside—just the thought, the feeling, “I want to turn in, I want to go back in, I want to return within, I want to come back in.” Were you to have such an intense longing, such a powerful emotion; if your whole being were to fill with a passionate, intense desire to return to your center; if your entire body were to pulsate with this feeling, someday it can happen—you will instantly return to your core and, for the first time, see your body from within.
When yoga talks about thousands of arteries and veins, it is not from the point of view of physiology. Yogis have nothing to do with physiology. These have been known from within; hence, when one looks today one wonders where these arteries and veins are. Where are the seven chakras, the centers within the body that yoga talks about? They are nowhere in the body. We can’t find them because we are looking at the body from outside.
There is one other way to observe the body—from within, through the inner physiology. That’s a subtle physiology. The nerves, veins and centers of the body known through that inner physiology are all totally different. You won’t find them anywhere in this physical body. These centers are the contact fields between this body and the inner soul, the meeting points for both.
The biggest meeting point is the navel. You may have noticed, if you suddenly get into an accident driving a car, the navel will be the first to feel the impact. The navel will become disordered at once, because here the contact field between the body and the soul is the deepest of all. Seeing death, this center will be the first to become disturbed. As soon as death appears, the navel will be disrupted in relation to the body’s center. There is an internal arrangement of the body which has resulted from the contact between this body and the inner body. The chakras are their contact fields.
So obviously, to know the body from within is to know a totally different kind of world altogether, a world we know absolutely nothing about. Medical science knows nothing about it, and won’t for some time. Once you experience that the body is separate from you, you are finished with death. You come to know there is no death. And then you can actually come out of the body and look at it yourself from outside.
Questions relating to life and death are not matters of philosophical or metaphysical thought. Those who think about these things never accomplish anything. What I am talking about is an existential approach. It can be known that “I am life;” it can be known that “I am not going to die.” One can live this experience, one can enter into it. now08
I am reminded of a dream I have never been able to forget.
In this dream, which came to me a number of times, there was a long ladder with its upper rungs completely lost in the clouds. It seemed to be a ladder that led to the sky. Urged by an irrepressible desire to reach the sky, I began to climb. But it was very difficult; each rung required great effort. My breathing grew strained and perspiration poured from my forehead. But my desire to reach the sky was so great that I went on climbing. Soon there was a feeling of suffocation and it seemed as if my heart would give out. But all at once I realized that I was not the only climber, that mine was not the only ladder. There was an infinite number of ladders and endless numbers of people were climbing upwards. I experienced a surge of great rivalry and I began to climb even faster. This mad race, this using of all our strength to keep climbing continued until it eventually faded into the end of the dream.
That is always the same.
I finally reached the last rung. There is no rung beyond, and turning around, I see that there is no ladder either. And then the fall, the descent from that great height begins. It is even more painful that the climb. Death seems inevitable. And sure enough, it is my death. And the shock of that death invariably awakens me.
But that dream shows me a great truth, and since the first time I have had it life has seemed nothing more to me than an extension of that dream. In every dream is there not some kind of vision of the mad rush in which mankind is involved? Doesn’t every mad scramble end in death? But then, ask yourself what “death” means. Doesn’t it just mean there is no higher rung on the ladder? Death is the end of rushing. It is an end to the future; it is the impossibility of any further possibilities. The rushing, racing mind leads a man to great heights, and what is death but the fall from those heights?
Whenever there is a mad race of any kind, death invariably steps in. It makes no difference whether the goal is wealth or religion or enjoyment or renunciation. Wherever there is rushing there is dreaming, but where there is no rushing, racing mind, there is truth. And there is life too—the life that has no death. long05
The desire to be on the peaks is a wrong desire—all desires as such are wrong, and religious desires are far more wrong than any other desires for the simple reason that other desires can be fulfilled. Of course, by their fulfillment you will not go beyond frustration; fulfilled or not fulfilled, frustration is inevitable. If your desire is fulfilled you will be frustrated—in fact, more so, because now you will see you were chasing a shadow; you have got it and there is nothing in it. If your desire is not fulfilled you will be frustrated, because your whole life is wasted and you have not been able to fulfill a single desire. All your hopes are shattered.
Hopes are bound to be shattered. To hope is to hanker for hopelessness, to desire is to breed frustration. But in the worldly things at least there is a possibility of succeeding, failing, attaining, not attaining. But in spiritual matters there is no question of attainment at all because the goose is out! Nothing can be done about it, it is already out. The moment you start enjoying your valley you are on the peak—there is no other peak!
One day I suddenly decided enough is enough. I dropped the idea of the peaks and started enjoying the valley, and a miracle I saw: the valley disappeared. In fact, from the very beginning there had been no valley, I was always on the peak, but because I was searching for a peak I could not see where I was.
Your eyes are focused far away, hence you miss the obvious. It is here, and your mind is there, arrowed into the blue sky. And the reality surrounds you: it is closer than your very heartbeat, it is closer than your breathing, it is closer than the circulation of your blood, it is closer than your very marrow, it is closer than your very consciousness. It is your very core, your very being! goose03
I used to ask myself, “Who am I?” It is impossible to count how many days and nights I passed in this query. The intellect gave answers heard from others, or born of conditioning. All of them were borrowed, lifeless. They brought no contentment. They resonated a little at the surface, and then disappeared. The inner being was not touched by them. No echo of them was heard in the depths. There were many answers to the question, but none was correct. And I was untouched by them. They could not rise to the level of the question.
Then I saw that the question came from the center but the replies touched only the periphery. The question was mine, but the answers came from outside; the question arose from my innermost being, the replies were imposed from outside. This insight became a revolution. A new dimension was revealed.
The responses of the intellect were meaningless. They had no relevance to the problem. An illusion had shattered. And what a relief it was!
It seemed as if a closed door had been flung open, filling the darkness with light. The intellect had been providing the answers—that was the mistake. Because of these false answers, the real answer could not arise. Some truth was struggling to surface. In the depths of consciousness some seed was seeking the way to break open the ground in order to reach the light. Intellect was the obstruction.
When this was made plain, the answers began to subside. Knowledge acquired from outside began to evaporate. The question went ever deeper. I did not do anything, only kept on watching.
Something novel was happening. I was speechless. What was there to do? I was, at the most, simply a witness. The reactions of the periphery were fading, perishing, becoming nonexistent. The center now began to resonate more fully.
“Who am I?” My entire being was throbbing with this thirst.
What a violent storm it was! Every breath quaked and trembled in it.
“Who am I?” – like an arrow, the question pierced through everything and moved within.
I remember—what an acute thirst it was! My very life had turned into thirst. Everything was burning. And like a flame of fire the question stood forth, “Who am I?”
The surprise was that the intellect was completely silent. The incessant flow of thoughts had stopped. What had happened? The periphery was absolutely still. There were no thoughts, no conditionings of the past.
Only I was there—and there was the question too. No, no— I myself was the question.
And then the explosion. In a moment, everything was transformed. The question had dropped. The answer had come from some unknown dimension.
Truth is attained through a sudden explosion, not gradually.
It cannot be compelled to appear. It comes.
Emptiness is the solution, not words. Becoming answerless is the answer.
Someone asked yesterday—and someone or the other asks every day—”What is the answer?”
I say, “If I mention it, it is meaningless. Its meaning lies in realizing it oneself.” sdwisd01
I tell you from my own experience that there is no easier path than merging with one’s own self. The only thing one has to do is stop seeking for the support of anything on the surface of the mind. By catching hold of thoughts you cannot drown and because of their support you remain on the surface.
We are in the habit of catching hold of thoughts. As soon as one thought passes on we catch hold of another—but we never enter the gap between two successive thoughts. This gap itself is the channel to drowning in the depths. Do not move in thoughts—go deep down between them in the gaps.
How can this be done? It can be done by awareness, by observing the stream of thoughts. Just as a man standing on the side of a road watches the people passing by, you should observe your thoughts. They are simply pedestrians, passing by on the road of the mind within you. Just watch them. Don’t form judgment about any of them. If you can observe them with detachment, the fist that has been gripping them opens automatically and you will find yourself standing, not in thoughts, but in the interval, in the gap between them. But the gap has no foundation so it isn’t possible just to stand there. Simply by being there you drown.
And this drowning itself is the real support because it is through this that you reach the being you really are. One who seeks support in the realm of thoughts is really suspended in the air without support—but he who throws away all crutches attains the support of his own self. pway07
A meditator has to remember not to struggle with the thoughts. If you want to win, don’t fight. That is a simple rule of thumb. If you want to win, simply don’t fight. The thoughts will be coming as usual. You just watch, hiding behind your blanket; let them come and go. Just don’t get involved with them.
The whole question is of not getting involved in any way—appreciation or condemnation, any judgment, bad or good. Don’t say anything, just remain absolutely aloof and allow the mind to move in its routine way. If you can manage…and this has been managed by thousands of buddhas, so there is not a problem. And when I say this can be managed, I am saying it on my own authority. I don’t have any other authority.
I have fought and have tortured myself with fighting and I have known the whole split that creates a constant misery and tension. Finally seeing the point that victory is impossible, I simply dropped out of the fight. I allowed the thoughts to move as they want; I am no longer interested.
And this is a miracle, that if you are not interested, thoughts start coming less. When you are utterly uninterested, they stop coming. And a state of no-thought, without any fight, is the greatest peace one has ever known. This is what we are calling the empty heart of the buddha. empti03
This mind is amazing. It comes to be experienced like an onion. One day, seeing an onion, I was reminded of this resemblance. I was peeling the onion; I went on peeling layer after layer, and finally nothing remained of it. First thick rough layers, then soft smooth layers, and then nothing.
Thus is the mind also. You go on peeling off, first gross layers, then subtle layers, and then remains an emptiness. Thoughts, passions and ego, and then nothing at all, just emptiness. It is the uncovering of this emptiness that I call meditation. This emptiness is our true self. That which ultimately remains is the self-form. Call it the self, call it the no-self, words do not mean anything. Where there is no thought, passion, or ego, is that which is.
Hume has said, “Whenever I dive into myself I do not meet any ‘I’ there. I come across either some thought or some passion or some memory, but never across myself.” This is right—but Hume turns back from the layers only, and that is the mistake. Had he gone a little deeper he would have reached the place where there is nothing to come across, and that is the true self. Where there remains nothing to come across is that which I am. Everything is based in that emptiness. But if somebody turns back from the very surface, no acquaintance with it takes place.
On the surface is the world, at the center is the self. On the surface is everything, at the center is nothing-ness, the void. sdwisd03
On my search I found no greater scripture than silence. When I had dug through all the scriptures I realized how futile they all were and that silence was the only thing that had any point to it whatsoever. long03
I remember the days when my mind was in darkness, when nothing was clear inside me at all. One thing in particular I recall about those days was that I did not feel love for anyone, I did not even love myself.
But when I came to the experience of meditation, I felt as though a million dormant springs of love had suddenly begun to bubble up in me. This love was not focused, not directed to anyone in particular, it was just a flow, fluid and forceful. It flowed from me as light streams from a lamp, as fragrance pours from flowers. In the wonderful moment of my awakening I realized that love was the real manifestation of my nature, of man’s nature.
Love has no direction; it is not aimed at anyone. Love is a manifestation of the soul, of one’s self.
Before this experience happened to me I believed love meant being attached to someone. Now I realize that love and attachment are two completely different things. Attachment is the absence of love. Attachment is the opposite of hatred, and hatred it can easily become. They are a pair, attachment and hatred. They are mutually interchangeable.
The opposite of hatred is not love. Not at all. And love is quite different from attachment too. Love is a completely new dimension. It is the absence of both attachment and hatred, yet it is not negative. Love is the positive existence of some higher power. This power, this energy, flows from the self towards all things—not because it is attracted by them, but because love is emitted by the self. Because love is the perfume of the self.
Do at least one meditation every day. Choose any meditation, but persist with one method; don’t go on changing. Whether results come or not, go on persisting in it. Results certainly come; all that is needed is patience. Methods don’t work. What really works is patience. Methods are devices to help you to remain patient and open.
If a person simply sits in his room for one hour every day doing nothing — no method, no technique, just sitting there — if he sits long enough it is going to happen. All meditations are just explanations for people who cannot just sit, rationalisations for people who cannot allow themselves to just sit. They need something, so when they think they are doing meditations they can allow themselves a one-hour gap, otherwise they won’t allow. In fact meditation is nothing. It is simply waiting, resting, a state of no action… and that is our natural state.
Think of the child in the mother’s womb, doing nothing. That is a nine-month meditation marathon. And the child is utterly happy. In fact, because of that blissfulness, one always feels a suffering in life. Compared to it whatsoever happens in life falls short. Although consciously you have forgotten about it, unconsciously it persists as a nostalgia. We know in some subtle way, our body knows, that there was a time when all was just bliss. But you were not doing anything in the womb; you were in a state of no action — ‘wu-wei’. You were just there. That’s what meditation is all about: again creating a womb situation.
So close your doors, sit silently; even that will do. But make it a point that one hour has to be given every day. And results won’t pop up immediately, because we have learned habits of action and they have become so deep-rooted that even when you are sitting, you find some ways to do something. At least you can go on changing your posture, you can think of a thousand and one things. You can have dreams. You can wonder ‘Who is this child crying? Why? Why is this dog barking?’ Or you can create subtle mechanisms in the body to distract you. Maybe an ant is creeping on your leg or there is pain and you have to change the posture. These are nothing but tricks, strategies of the mind to keep you occupied, because the mind dies utterly if there is no occupation. The mind is occupation. Meditation means a state of no occupation.
So if you like any method, you can do it; if you don’t, just sit. Twenty-three hours are yours; one hour give to me.
And finally you will see that only that one hour has been saved; all the other twenty-three hours have gone down the drain.
You have to put the energy into your earning because you have to come forever, so settle things. But one hour for meditation, mm? that will be a contact with me, a connection, and it will rejuvenate you every day. It will go on creating new spaces for you. But don’t hanker for them and don’t expect them. Don’t even think about them. When they happen say ‘thank you’ to the sky and forget all about it.
And don’t for a single moment have the idea in your mind ‘Now it has happened it has to happen every day.’ Once you desire a repetition you are getting into trouble; it will not happen again. It happens only in an innocent mind. It happens only when there was no expectation, no desire, no action, no occupation, just a simple passivity. One was, nothing else — a pure being, a naked, bare being. One was just breathing, one was aware.
So give one hour to meditation and put your energies into the work and come back as soon as you can.