Thursday, November 13, 2008

I have heard...

I have heard:

A monk asked Joshu: "What is the Buddha?"
"The one in the hall."
The monk said, "The one in the hall is a statue, a lump of mud."
Joshu said, "That's so."
"What is the Buddha, then?" asked the monk again.
"The one in the hall," said Joshu.
Now what is this Joshu trying to do? He is saying: "Your question is absurd. Because you are asking an absurd question, I am answering it in an absurd way. Your question is stupid, and there can be no intelligent answer to a stupid question." He is trying to show to this monk that the very question: What is the Buddha? is nonsense, because there is no way to say anything about the Buddha. It is an awakening. It is an experience. It happens within you. You cannot read it through the scriptures, and you cannot ask those who have come to know it. The only way is: you have to go to it; you have to allow it to happen.
In the Buddhist terminology 'Buddha' is equivalent to 'truth'. They don't talk much about truth; they talk much more about Buddha. That too is significant, because when you become a Buddha -- 'Buddha' means when you become Awakened -- truth is, so why talk about truth? Just ask what awakening is. Just ask what awareness is -- because when you are aware, truth is there; when you are not aware, truth is not there.
So the basic and real question is about awareness. But that, too, cannot be asked and solved. One has to become aware -- there is no other way.
A disciple asked a Zen master, "If someone were to ask me a hundred years from now what I thought was your deepest understanding, what should I say?"
The master replied, "Tell him I said: This is it!"

Now what type of answer is this? -- This is it! He indicated to the immediate reality: This.
Vedanta, the greatest philosophical effort in India, talks about 'That': TATWAMASI Swetketu -- That art thou, Swetketu. Zen people talk about 'this'. Certainly their understanding is deeper -- because 'that' is again in the future, far away; 'this' is present. This is that. This shore is the other shore. This life is the only life, and this moment is eternity.
If you can live this moment, if you can be here this moment, then everything takes care of itself. Then you need not be anxious. Then there is no need to ask -- before you ask, the answer is delivered. The answer has been always there, but we are not aware. So the whole effort of Zen is how to bring awareness to you.
Man is as if asleep. Man lives in a stupor -- moves, works, is born, lives and dies, but almost fast asleep, snoring. Man's mind is very dull. Mind is dullness. Mind has no intelligence in it. There has never been an intelligent mind. I don't mean that there have never been intelligent people; there have been intelligent people, but there has never been an intelligent mind. Intelligence is something that comes when mind is dropped. Mind is never original, never radical. Mind is always orthodox. Mind is always repetitive, mechanical; it functions like a robot. It goes on repeating the same thing again and again. It is like a computer: whatsoever you feed into it, it goes on chewing it again and again.
Have you watched your own mind and its functioning? Nothing new ever happens to it. Nothing new can happen to it. And because of it you remain oblivious of all that is happening all around you; you go on ignoring it. You are too much attached to this mediocre, stupid instrument. It is good to use it; it is good as a reservoir, as memory; it is good to keep records -- but it is not a way to see into reality. It has no eyes.

A Sudden clash...

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