There was an old woman in China who had supported a monk for over twenty years. She had built a hut for him, and she fed him while he was meditating.
She obtained the help of a girl rich in desire, and said to her: "Go and embrace him, and then ask him suddenly: 'What now?'"
The girl called upon the monk and immediately started caressing him, and asking him what he was going to do about it.
"An old tree grows on a rock in winter," replied the monk somewhat poetically, "nowhere is there any warmth."
The girl returned and related what he had said.
"To think I fed that fellow for twenty years!" exclaimed the old woman in anger. "He showed no consideration for your need, no disposition to explain your condition. He need not have responded to passion, but at least he should have experienced some compassion."
She at once went to the hut of the monk and burnt it down.
An ancient proverb says: "Sow a thought, reap an act. Sow an act, reap a habit. Sow a habit, reap a character. Sow a character, reap a destiny."
And I say to you: sow nothing, and reap meditation or love.
Sowing nothing -- that's what meditation is all about. And its natural consequence is love. If, at the end of the journey of meditation, love has not flowered, then the whole journey has been futile. Something went wrong somewhere. You started but you never reached.
Love is the test. For the path of meditation, love is the test. They are two sides of one coin, two aspects of the same energy. When one is there, the other has to be there. If the other is not there, then the first is also not there.
Meditation is not concentration. A man of concentration may not reach to love; in fact, he will not. A man of concentration may become more violent because concentration is a training to remain tense, concentration is an effort to narrow down the mind. It is deep violence with your consciousness. And when you are violent with your consciousness you cannot be non-violent with others. Whatsoever you are with yourself, you are going to be with others.
Let this be a fundamental rule of life, one of the most fundamental: whatsoever you are towards yourself, you will be towards others. If you love yourself, you will love others. If you are flowing within your being, you will be flowing in relationships also. If you are frozen inside, you will be frozen outside also. The inner tends to become the outer; the inner goes on manifesting itself in the outer.
Concentration is not meditation; concentration is the method of science. It is scientific methodology. A man of science needs the deep discipline of concentration, but a man of science is not expected to be compassionate. There is no need. In fact, a man of science becomes more and more violent with nature. All scientific progress is based on violence towards nature. It is destructive because, in the first place, the scientific man is destructive to his own expanding consciousness. Rather than expanding his consciousness he narrows it down, makes it exclusive, one-pointed. It is a coercion, violence.
So remember, meditation is not concentration but neither is meditation contemplation. It is not thinking. Maybe you are thinking about God -- even then, it is thinking. If there is "about," there is thinking. You may be thinking about money, you may be thinking about God -- it basically makes no difference. Thinking continues, only objects change. So if you are thinking about the world, or about sex, nobody will call it contemplation. If you are thinking about God, virtue, if you are thinking about Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, then people will call it contemplation.
But Zen is very strict about it -- it is not meditation, it is still thinking.
You are still concerned with the other. In contemplation the other is there, although of course not so exclusively as it is in concentration. Contemplation has more fluidity than concentration. In concentration the mind is one-pointed; in contemplation the mind is oriented towards one subject, not towards one point. You can go on thinking about it, you can go on changing and flowing with the subject, but still, on the whole, the subject remains the same.
Then what is meditation? Meditation is just being delighted in your own presence; meditation is a delight in your own being. It is very simple -- a totally relaxed state of consciousness where you are not doing anything. The moment doing enters, you become tense; anxiety enters immediately. How to do? What to do? How to succeed? How not to fail? You have already moved into the future.
If you are contemplating, what can you contemplate? How can you contemplate the unknown? How can you contemplate the unknowable? You can contemplate only the known. You can chew it again and again, but it is the known. If you know something about Jesus, you can think again and again; if you know something about Krishna, you can think again and again. You can go on modifying, changing, decorating -- but it is not going to lead you towards the unknown. And God is the unknown.
Meditation is just to be, not doing anything -- no action, no thought, no emotion. You just are. And it is a sheer delight. From where does this delight come when you are not doing anything? It comes from nowhere, or, it comes from everywhere. It is uncaused, because the existence is made of the stuff called joy. It needs no cause, no reason. If you are unhappy you have a reason to be unhappy; if you are happy you are simply happy -- there is no reason for it. Your mind tries to find a reason because it cannot believe in the uncaused because it can not control the uncaused -- with the uncaused the mind simply becomes impotent. So the mind goes on finding some reason or other. But I would like to tell you that whenever you are happy, you are happy for no reason at all, whenever you are unhappy, you have some reason to be unhappy -- because happiness is just the stuff you are made of. It is your very being, it is your innermost core.
Joy is your innermost core.
Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars...and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is joyful. Everything is simply happy. Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will never have any bank balance. Look at the flowers -- for no reason. It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are.
The whole existence is made of the stuff called joy. Hindus call it satchitanand, ananda, joy. That's why no reason, no cause is needed. If you can just be with yourself, not doing anything, just enjoying yourself, just being with yourself, just being happy that you are, just being happy that you are breathing, just being happy that you are listening to these cuckoos -- for no reason then you are in meditation. Meditation is being here now. And when one is happy for no reason, that happiness cannot be contained within yourself. It goes on spreading to others, it becomes a sharing. You cannot hold it, it is so much, it is so infinite. You cannot hold it in your hands, you have to allow it to spread.
This is what compassion is. Meditation is being with yourself and compassion is overflowing with that being. It is the same energy that was moving into passion that becomes compassion. It is the same energy that was narrowed down into the body or into the mind. It is the same energy that was leaking from small holes.
What is sex? Just a leakage of energy from a small hole in the body. Hindus call these -- exactly -- holes. When you are flowing, overflowing, when you are not moving through the holes, all walls disappear. You have become the whole. Now you spread. You cannot do anything about it.
It is not that you have to be compassionate, no. In the state of meditation you are compassion. Compassion is as warm as passion -- hence the word "compassion." It is very passionate but the passion is unaddressed and the passion is not in search of any gratification. The whole process has become just the reverse. First you were seeking some happiness somewhere -- now you have found it and you are expressing it.
Passion is a search for happiness; compassion is an expression of happiness.
But it is passionate, it is warm, and you have to understand it because it has a paradox in it.
The greater a thing, the more paradoxical it is, and this meditation and compassion is one of the highest peaks, the uttermost peak. So there is bound to be a paradox.
The paradox is that a man of meditation is very cool, not cold; cool yet warm, not hot. Passion is hot, it is almost feverish, it has a temperature. Compassion is cool yet warm, welcoming, receptive, happy to share, ready to share, waiting to share. If a person of meditation becomes cold, he has missed. Then he is just a man of repression. If you repress your passion you will become cold -- that's how the whole humanity has become cold.
Passion has been repressed in everyone.
From the very childhood your passion has been crippled and repressed. Whenever you started becoming passionate, there was somebody -- your mother, your father, your teacher, the police -- there was somebody who immediately became suspicious of you. Your passion was curbed, repressed. "Don't do it!" Immediately you shrunk within yourself. And by and by one learned that to survive it is better to listen to people who are around you. It is safer. So what to do? What is a child supposed to do when he feels passionate, when he feels full of energy and he wants to jump and run and dance and his father is reading the newspaper? It is rubbish, but he is reading his newspaper, and he is a very important man, he's the master of the house. What to do? The child is doing something really great -- in him it is God who is ready to dance -- but the father is reading his newspaper so there has to be silence. He cannot dance, he cannot run, he cannot scream. He will repress his energy; he will try to be cold, collected, controlled.
Control has become such a supreme value. It is not a value at all. A controlled person is a dead person; a controlled person is not necessarily a disciplined person. Discipline is totally different.
Discipline comes out of awareness; control comes out of fear.
People who are around you are more powerful than you, they can punish you, they can destroy you. They have all the power to control, to corrupt, to repress. And the child has to become diplomatic.
When sex energy arises, the child is in difficulty. The society is against it; the society says it has to be channeled. And it is flowing all over the child. It has to be cut.
In the schools what are we doing? In fact, the schools are not so much instruments for imparting knowledge as instruments of control. For six, seven hours a child is sitting there. This is to curb his dancing, to curb his singing, to curb his joy; this is to control him. Sitting for six, seven hours every day in an almost prison-like atmosphere, by and by the energy deadens, the child becomes repressed, frozen. Now there is no streaming, the energy does not come, he lives at the minimum -- that's what we call control. He never goes to the maximum.
Psychologists have been searching and they have come to recognize a great factor in human misfortune -- that is, that ordinarily persons live only ten per cent. They live ten per cent, they breathe ten per cent, they love ten per cent, they enjoy ten per cent -- ninety per cent of their life is simply not allowed. This is sheer wastage. One should live at a hundred per cent capacity, only then is flowering possible.
So meditation is not control, it is not repression. If somehow you have got the wrong idea -- you are repressing yourself -- then you will become very controlled, but then you will be cold. Then you will become more and more indifferent, not detached. Indifferent, non-caring, unloving -- you will almost commit suicide. You will be alive at the minimum. You can be called "just so-so" alive. You will not be burning from both sides, your flame will be very dim. Much smoke will be there but almost no light.
It happens to people who are on the path of meditation -- Catholics, Buddhists, Jains -- that they become cold, because to control comes easily. Awareness is very arduous. Control is very easy because control needs only a cultivation of habits. You cultivate habits, then those habits possess you and you need not worry. Then you go on with your habits, they become mechanical and you live a robot life. You may look like a Buddha but you will not be. You will be just a dead stone statue.
If compassion has not arisen in you, then apathy will arise.
Apathy means absence of passion; compassion means transformation of passion.
Go and watch Catholic monks, Jaina monks, Buddhist monks, and you will see very apathetic figures -- dull, stupid, non-radiant, closed, afraid, continuously anxious.
Just the other day I was reading an article on Oscar, the founder of Arica. The man who was interviewing him was a little surprised to see that he was continuously smoking, so he asked: "Why are you smoking so much and why do you smoke?" At least Oscar was true. He said, "Whenever I feel nervous I smoke, it helps."
If a person like Oscar, who has become a master to many people in America, is still nervous and needs smoking to help his nervousness, then what is going to happen to help his followers? He must have controlled himself.
Controlled persons are always nervous because deep down turmoil is still hidden. If you are uncontrolled, flowing, alive, then you are not nervous. There is no question of being nervous -- whatsoever happens, happens. You have no expectations for the future, you are not performing. Then why should you be nervous?
If you go to Catholic, Jaina, Buddhist monks, you will find them very nervous -- maybe not so nervous in their monasteries, but if you bring them out to the world, you will find them very, very nervous because on each step there is temptation.
A man of meditation comes to a point where there is no temptation left. Try to understand it. Temptation never comes from without, it is the repressed desire, repressed energy, repressed anger, repressed sex, repressed greed, that creates temptation. Temptation comes from within you, it has nothing to do with the without. It is not that a devil comes and tempts you, it is your own repressed mind that becomes devilish and wants to take revenge. To control that mind one has to remain so cold and frozen that no life energy is allowed to move into your limbs, into your body. If energy is allowed to move, those repressions will surface. That's why people have learned how to be cold, how to touch others and yet not touch them, how to see people and yet not see them. People live with clichés -- "Hello. How are you?" Nobody means anything. These are just to avoid the real encounter of two persons. People don't look into each other's eyes, they don't hold hands, they don't try to feel each other's energy, they don't allow each other to pour. Very afraid. Somehow just managing. Cold and dead. In a strait-jacket.
A man of meditation has learned how to be full of energy, at the maximum, optimum. He lives at the peak, he makes his abode at the peak. Certainly he has a warmth but it is not feverish, it only shows life. He is not hot, he is cool, because he is not carried away by desires. He is so happy, that he is no longer seeking any happiness. He is so at ease, he is so at home, he is not going anywhere, he is not running and chasing...he is very cool.
In Latin there is a dictum: agere sequitur esse -- to do follows to be; action follows being. It is tremendously beautiful.
Don't try to change your action; try to find out your being, and action will follow. The action is secondary; being is primary.
Action is something that you do; being is something that you are.
Action comes out of you, action is just a fragment. Even if all of your actions are collected together they will not be equal to your being because all actions collected together will be your past. What about your future? Your being contains your past, your future, your present; your being contains your eternity. Your actions, even if all collected, will just be of the past. Past is limited. Future is unlimited. That which has happened is limited, it can be defined, it has already happened. That which has not happened is unlimited, indefinable. Your being contains eternity, your actions contain only your past.
So it is possible that a man who has been a sinner up to this moment can become a saint the next. Never judge a man by his actions; judge a man by his being. Sinners have become saints and saints have fallen and become sinners. Each saint has a past and each sinner has a future. Never judge a man by his actions. But there is no other way because you have not known even your own being, how can you see the being of others? Once you know your own being you will learn the language, you will know the clue of how to look into another's being. You can see into others only to the extent that you can see into yourself. If you have seen yourself through and through, you become capable of seeing into others through and through.
So a few things before I enter into this beautiful story.
If by your meditations you are becoming cold -- beware. If your meditation is making you more warm, more loving, more flowing -- good, you are on the right path. If you are becoming less loving, if your compassion is disappearing and an apathy is settling inside you -- then the sooner you change your direction, the better. Otherwise you will become a wall.
I have heard: When Ford was Vice-President he went to Israel and asked Golda Meir to see the Wailing Wall. Prime Minister Meir took him to the wall whereupon the Vice-President began to pray: "Help Mr. Nixon guide our country."
He turned to Mrs. Meir and asked: "Is that nice?"
"That's nice," she answered.
"Thank you for making me the Vice-President," he directed to the wall, and then to the Prime Minister: "Is that nice?"
"That's nice," she replied.
"Let Israel give back the land they took from the Arabs so there will be peace in the Middle-East. Is that nice?"
And Golda Meir said: "You are talking to a wall."
Don't become a wall. Remain alive, throbbing, streaming, flowing, melting.
Of course there are problems. Why have people become walls? Because walls can be defined. They give you a boundary, a definite shape and form -- what Hindus call nam roop, name and form. If you are melting and flowing you don't have boundaries; you don't know where you are and where you end and where the other begins. You go on being together with people so much that all the boundaries by and by become dream-like. And one day they disappear.
That is how reality is. Reality is unbounded. Where do you think you stop? At your skin? Ordinarily we think: "Of course, we are inside our skins and the skin is our wall, the boundary." But your skin could not be alive if the air was not surrounding it. If your skin is not constantly breathing the oxygen that is being supplied, your skin cannot be alive. Take away the atmosphere and you will die immediately. Even if your skin has not been scratched you will die. So that cannot be your boundary. There are two hundred miles of atmosphere all around the earth -- is that your boundary? That too cannot be your boundary. This oxygen and this atmosphere and the warmth and the life cannot exist without the sun. If the sun ceases to exist or drops dead.... One day it is going to happen. Scientists say that at some point the sun will cool down and drop dead. Then suddenly this atmosphere will not be alive. Immediately. you will be dead. So is the sun your boundary?
But now physicists say this sun is connected to some central source of energy which we have not yet been able to find but is suspected -- because nothing is unrelated.
So where do we decide where our boundary is? An apple on the tree is not you. Then you eat it, it becomes you. So it is just waiting to become you. It is you potentially. It is your future you. Then you have defecated and you have dropped much rubbish out of the body. Just a moment before, it was you. So where do you decide?
I am breathing. The breath inside me is me, but just a moment before it may have been your breath. It must have been because we are breathing in a common atmosphere.
We are all breathing into each other; we are members of each other. You are breathing in me, I am breathing in you.
And it is not only so with breathing, it is exactly so with life. Have you watched? With certain people you feel very alive, they come just bubbling with energy. And something happens in you, a response, and you are also bubbling. And then there people...just their face and one feels one will flop down. Just their presence is enough poison. They must be pouring something into you which is poisonous. And when you come around a person and you become radiant and happy and suddenly something starts throbbing in your heart, and your heart beats faster, this man must have poured something into you.
We are pouring into each other. That's why, in the East, satsang has become very, very important. To be with a person who has known, just to be in his presence, is enough -- because he is constantly pouring his being into you. You may know or you may not know. You may recognize it today or you may not recognize it today, but someday or other the seeds will come to flower.
We are pouring into each other. We are not separate islands. A cold person becomes like an island and it is a misfortune, it is a great misfortune because you could have become a vast continent and you decided to become an island. You decided to remain poor, when you could have become as rich as you wanted to be.
Don't be a wall and never try to repress, otherwise you will become a wall. Repressed people are just like you...they have masks, faces. They are pretending to be somebody else.
I have heard: A wealthy farmer went to the church one Sunday. After the service he said: "Father, that was a damned good sermon you gave, damned good!"
"I am happy you liked it," said the priest, "but I wish you would not use those terms in expressing yourself."
"I can't help it," said the rich farmer. "I still think it was a damned good sermon. In fact, I liked it so much I put a hundred dollar bill in the collection basket."
"The hell you did!" replied the priest.
A repressed person is carrying the same world as you. Just an opportunity is needed, a provocation, and immediately the real will come out. That's why monks disappear from the world -- because there are too many provocations, too many temptations. It is difficult for them to remain contained, to hold on. So they go to the Himalayas or to the caves, they retire from the world so that even if ideas, temptations, desires arise, there is no way to fulfil them.
But this is not a way of transformation.
The people who become cold are the people who were very hot. The people who take vows of remaining celibate are the people who were extremely sexual. The mind turns from one extreme to another very easily. It is my observation that many people who are too obsessed with food one day or other become obsessed with fasting. It has to happen because you cannot stay in one extreme long. You are doing too much of it, soon you will get fed up with it, tired of it. Then there is no other way, you have to move to the other extreme.
The people who have become monks are very worldly people. The market was too much, they had moved too much in the market, then the pendulum moved to the other extreme. Greedy people renounce the world. This renunciation is not of understanding -- it is just greed upside-down. First they were holding, holding...now suddenly they see the pointlessness of it, the futility of it and they start throwing it. First they were afraid to lose a single pai, now they are afraid to keep a single pai, but the fear continues. First they were too greedy about this world, now they are too greedy about the other world, but the greed is there.
Silverstein, the inveterate joiner, came rushing home proudly holding a membership card to his newest organization....
There are people who go on joining everything. I have known one person who was a member of five political parties, all against each other. When he told me I said: "What are you doing?" He enjoyed membership.
...Silverstein, the inveterate joiner, came rushing home, proudly holding a membership card to his newest organization. "Look," said Silverstein to his son, "I just joined the Prostitute Club."
"What?" said the boy. "Let me see that card." After reading it he announced, "Pa, that is the Parachute Club."
"All I know is," said Silverstein, "they guaranteed me three hundred and sixty-five jumps a year."
These people one day or other are bound to join a monastery -- then they become great celibates, great renouncers. But it does not change their nature. Except awareness, nothing changes a man, nothing at all.
So don't try to pretend. That which has not happened, has not happened. Understand it, and don't try to pretend and don't try to make others believe that it has happened, because nobody is going to lose in this deception except you.
People who try to control themselves have chosen a very foolish way. Control will not happen, but they will become cold. That is the only way a man can control himself -- to become frozen so that energy does not arise. People who take the vows of celibacy will not eat much; in fact, they will starve their bodies. If more energy is created in the body, then there will be more sex energy, and then they don't know what to do with it. So Buddhist monks eat only once a day -- and then too, not enough. They eat only enough that bodily needs are fulfilled, very minimum needs, so no energy is left. This type of celibacy is not celibacy. When you are flowing with energy and the energy starts transforming itself into love, then a celibacy, a brahmacharya, which is beautiful, happens.
The sweet old lady came into the store and bought a package of mothballs. The next day she was back for another five packets. Another day passed and she came in for a dozen more.
"You must have a lot of moths," said the salesman.
"Yes," replied the old dear, "and I have been throwing these things at them for three days now and I have only managed to hit one!"
Through control you will not even be able to hit one. That is not the way. You are fighting with leaves, branches -- cutting them here and there. That is not the way to destroy the tree of desire; the way is to cut the roots. And roots can be cut only when you have reached to the roots of desire. On the surface there are only branches -- jealousy, anger, envy, hatred, lust. They are just on the surface. The deeper you move, the more you will understand: they are all coming out of one root and that root is unawareness.
Meditation means awareness. It cuts the very root. Then the whole tree disappears on its own accord. Then passion becomes compassion.
I have heard about a very great Zen Master who had become old and almost blind at the age of ninety-six and no longer able to teach or work about the monastery. Yama Moto was his name.
The old man then decided it was time to die because he was of no use to anybody, he could not be of any help. So he stopped eating.
When asked by his monks why he refused his food, he replied that he had outlived his usefulness and was only a bother to everybody.
They told him: "If you die now" -- it was January -- "when it is so cold, everybody will be uncomfortable at your funeral and you will be an even greater nuisance. So please eat."
This can happen only in a Zen monastery, because disciples love the Master so deeply, their respect is so deep, that there is no need for any formality. Just see what they were saying. They were saying: "If you die now, and it is January, see, it is so cold, everybody will be uncomfortable at the funeral and you will be an even greater nuisance. So please eat."
He thereupon resumed eating. But when it became warm again he stopped, and not long after he quietly toppled over and died.
Such compassion! One-lives then for compassion; one dies then for compassion. One is even ready to choose a right time to die so that nobody is bothered and one need not be a nuisance.
I have heard about another Zen Master who was going to die.
He said: "Where are my shoes? Bring them."
Somebody asked: "Where are you going? The doctors say you are going to die."
He said: "I am going to the cemetery."
He said: "I don't want to trouble anybody. Otherwise you will have to carry me on your shoulders." He walked to the cemetery and died there.
Tremendous compassion! What manner of man is this, not to give even that much trouble to anybody? And these people helped thousands. Thousands were grateful to them, thousands became full of light and love because of them. Yet they would not like to bother anybody. If they are useful they would like to live and help, if they are not useful then it is time to leave and go.
Now , the story.
There was an old woman in China who had supported a monk for over twenty years. She had built a hut for him, and she fed him while he was meditating.
It is a miracle that has happened in the East. The West is still unable to understand it. For centuries in the East, if somebody was meditating, the society would feed him. It was enough that he was meditating. Nobody would think that he was a burden on the society -- "Why should we work for him?" Just because he was meditating was enough, because the East came to know that if even one man becomes enlightened, his energy is shared by all; if even one man comes to flower in meditation, his fragrance becomes part of the whole society. And the gain is so tremendous that the East has never said: "Don't sit there and meditate. Who is going to feed you? Who is going to clothe you? And who is going to give you shelter?" Thousands and thousands -- Buddha had ten thousand monks, Sannyasins, moving with him but people were happy to feed them, to shelter them, to clothe them, to look after them, because they were meditating.
Now it is very, very impossible in the West to think that way. Even in the East it is becoming difficult. In China now, monasteries are being closed, meditation halls are being converted into hospitals or school rooms. Great Masters are disappearing. They are forced to work in the fields or in the factories. Nobody is allowed to meditate because a great understanding is lost. The whole mind is full of materialism, as if matter is all that exists.
If a man in a town becomes enlightened, the whole town is benefited. It is not a wastage to support him. For nothing you are going to get such tremendous treasure. People were happy to help. For twenty years this woman helped a monk who was meditating and meditating and meditating and doing nothing. He was sitting in Zazen. She built a hut for him, she looked after him, she took every care. One day when she had become very old and was going to die she wanted to know whether meditation had flowered or not, or whether this man had been simply sitting and sitting and sitting. Twenty years is a long enough time, the woman was getting old and was going to die, so she wanted to know whether she had been serving a man of real meditation or just a hocus-pocus.
One day she decided to find out...
The woman must have been of great understanding herself because the examination, the test that she tried, was full of understanding.
One day she decided to find out just what progress he had made in all this time.
If meditation is progressing then the only criterion of its progress is love, the only criterion of its progress is compassion.
She obtained the help of a girl rich in desire, and said to her: "Go and embrace him, and then ask him suddenly: "What now?'"
Three are the possibilities. One: if for twenty years he had not touched a beautiful woman, the first possibility was that he would be tempted, would be a victim, would forget all about meditation and would make love with this girl. The other possibility was that he would remain cold, controlled and would not show any compassion towards this girl. He would simply hold himself back, hard, so that he could not be tempted. And the third possibility was: if meditation had come to fruition, he would be full of love, understanding, compassion and he would try to understand this girl and would try to help her. She was just a test for these possibilities.
If the first was the possibility, then all his meditation was simply a wastage. If the second was the possibility then he had fulfilled the ordinary criterion of being a monk but he had not fulfilled the real criterion of being a man of meditation. If the second was the possibility then it simply showed that he was a behaviorist, that he had made a habit, controlled his behavior.
You must have heard the name of Pavlov, the Russian behaviorist. He said there is no consciousness in man or in animals or anywhere -- the whole thing is just a mind mechanism. You can train the mind mechanism and then it starts working in that way -- it is all a question of conditioning. Mind functions as a conditioned reflex.
If you put food before your dog he immediately comes running, his tongue hanging forward, dripping. He starts to salivate. Pavlov tried. Whenever he gave food to the dog he would ring a bell. By and by, the bell and the food became associated. Then one day he simply rang the bell and the dog came running, tongue hanging out, dripping.
Now this is absurd, no dog has ever been known to react to a ringing bell in this way. The bell is not food. But now the association has conditioned the mind.
Pavlov says man can be changed in the same way. Whenever sex arises in you, punish yourself. Go for a seven day fast, flog your body, stand in the cold the whole night, or beat yourself, and by and by the body will learn a trick. Whenever sex arises, it will repress it automatically because of the fear of the punishment.
Reward and punishment -- this is the way to condition the mind if you follow Pavlov.
This monk must have been doing that, many are doing that. Almost ninety-nine per cent of people in the monasteries are doing that -- just reconditioning their minds and bodies.
But consciousness has nothing to do with it. Consciousness is not a new habit; consciousness is to live a life with awareness, not confined to any habit, not possessed by any mechanism -- above the mechanism.
And she said to her: "Go and embrace him, and then ask him suddenly: ' What now?'"
"Suddenly" is the clue to the whole thing. If you give a little time then the mind can start working in the conditioned way for which it has been prepared.
"So don't give any time. Go in the middle of the night when he will be alone meditating. Just go inside the hut" -- he must have been living outside the town, alone -- "go inside the hut and simply start caressing him, embracing him, kiss him. And then immediately ask: 'What now?' Watch his reaction, what happens to him, what he says, what colors pass on his face, what his eyes indicate, how he reacts and responds to you."
The girl called upon the monk and immediately started caressing him, and asking him what he was going to do about it.
"An old tree grows on a cold rock in winter," replied the monk somewhat poetically, "nowhere is there any warmth."
He has conditioned his dog; he has conditioned his body, mind. Twenty years is a long enough time to condition. Even this sudden attack could not break his habitual pattern. He remained controlled. He must have been a man of tremendous control. He remained cold, with not even a flicker of energy, and he said: "An old tree grows on a cold rock in winter." Not only was he controlled and cold, he was so controlled, he remained so cold, that in such a dangerous situation, provocative, seductive, he could use poetic words to reply. The conditioning must have gone very, very deep, to the roots.
"An old tree grows on a cold rock in winter," replied the monk somewhat poetically, "nowhere is there any warmth."
He said: "I am like a cold rock in winter. Nowhere is there any warmth." That's all he said.
The girl returned and related what he had said.
"To think I fed that fellow for twenty years!" exclaimed the old woman in anger.
His meditation had not flowered. He had become cold and dead, corpse-like; he had not become enlightened or a Buddha.
"He showed no consideration for your need...."
A man of compassion always thinks about you, about your need. He remained coldly self-centered. He simply said something about himself -- "An old tree grows on a cold rock in winter, nowhere is there any warmth." He did not utter a single word about the woman. He did not even ask: "Why did you come? Why? What do you need? And why have you chosen me out of so many people? Sit down."
He should have listened to her. She must be in a deep need. Nobody comes in the middle of the night to a withered-away monk who has been sitting in meditation for twenty years. Why had she come? He did not pay any attention to her.
Love always thinks of the other; ego only thinks of oneself. Love is always considerate; ego is absolutely inconsiderate. Ego has only one language and that is of self. Ego always uses the other; love is ready to be used, love is ready to serve.
"He showed no consideration for your need, no disposition to explain your condition."
When you go to a man of compassion he looks at you, he looks deeply into your heart. He tries to find out what your problem is, why you are in such a situation, why you are doing the thing that you are doing. He forgets himself. He simply becomes focused on the person who has come to him -- his need, his problem, his anxiety, is his consideration. He tries to help. Whatsoever he can do he will do.
"...no disposition to explain your condition. He need not have responded to passion..."
That's true. A man of compassion cannot respond in a passionate way. He is not cold but he is cool. He can give you his warmth, nourishing warmth, but he cannot give you any fever. He has none. Remember the difference between a feverish body and a warm body. A feverish body is not healthy, a warm body is simply healthy. In passion, people become feverish. Have you watched yourself deep in passion? You are almost a raving maniac, mad, wild, doing something you don't know why -- and in a great fever, with the whole body trembling, in a cyclone with no center.
A man of warmth is simply healthy. Just as when a mother takes her child to her breast and the child feels the warmth, surrounded by the warmth, nourished by it, welcomed by it, so when you enter into the aura of a compassionate man you enter a motherlike warmth, you enter into a very nourishing energy field. In fact, if you come to a man of compassion, your passion will simply disappear. His compassion will be so powerful, his warmth will be so great, his love will be showering on you so much that you will become cool, you will become centered.
"He need not have responded to passion, but at least he should have experienced some compassion."
She at once went to the hut of the monk and burned it down.
It was just a symbolic gesture that those twenty years that he was meditating there -- during which they had been hoping that he had been progressing -- had been a wastage.
It is not enough just to be a monk superficially, just to be a monk repressed and cold -- coldness is an indication of repression, a very deep repression.
That's what I have been telling you: if you move into meditation, compassion and love will come automatically, on its own accord. It follows meditation like a shadow. So you need not be worried about any synthesis. The synthesis will come. It comes by itself, you don't have to bring it. You choose one path. Either you follow the path of love, devotion, dancing, Kirtan, Bhajan, dissolve yourself completely into your love towards the Divine. That path is of dissolving, no awareness is needed. You are needed to be drunk, completely drunk with God, you will need to become a drunkard. Or, choose the path of meditation. There you are not needed to be dissolved into anything. You are needed to become very crystallized, you are needed to become very integrated, alert, aware.
Follow the path of love and one day, suddenly, you will see that meditation has flowered within you -- thousands of white lotuses. And you have not done anything for them, you were doing something else and they flowered. When love or devotion comes to its climax, meditation flowers.
And the same happens on the path of meditation. Just forget all about love, devotion. You simply become aware, sit silently, enjoy your being -- that's all. Be with yourself that's all. Learn how to be alone -- that's all. And remember, a person who knows how to be alone is never lonely. People who don't know how to be alone, they are lonely.
On the path of meditation, aloneness is sought, desired, hoped for, prayed for. Be alone. So much so that not even in your consciousness does any shadow of the other move. On the path of love, get so dissolved that only the other becomes real and you become a shadow and by and by you completely disappear. On the path of love, God remains, you disappear; on the path of meditation, God disappears, you appear. But the total and the ultimate result is the same. A great synthesis happens.
Never try to synthesize these two paths in the beginning. They meet in the end, they meet at the peak, they meet in the temple.
One of Rabbi Moshe's disciples was very poor. He complained to the Zaddik that his wretched circumstances were an obstacle to learning and praying.
"In this day and age," said Rabbi Moshe, "the greatest devotion, greater than learning and praying, consists in accepting the world exactly as it happens to be."
The person who is moving into meditation, or who is moving on the path of love, will be helped if he accepts the world as it is.
Worldly people never accept the world as it is -- they are always trying to change it. They are always trying to make something else, they are always trying to fix things into a different order, they are always trying to do something outside. The religious person accepts whatsoever is on the outside as it is. He is not disturbed, he is not distracted by the outside. His whole work consists of moving inside. One moves through love, another moves through meditation, but both move inside. The religious world is the world of the within. And the within is the beyond.
In Latin "sin" has two meanings: one is "missing the target," and another that is even more beautiful -- "without." Sin means to be without, to be outside yourself. Virtue means to be within -- to be inside yourself.
Soon after the death of Rabbi Moshe, Rabbi Mendel of Kotyk asked one of his disciples: "What was most important to your teacher?"
The disciple thought and then replied: "Whatever he happened to be doing at the moment."
The moment is the most important thing. So whatsoever you are doing at the moment, if you are on the path of love, do it with deep love, as if you are doing it for God. Make it a sacrifice. The word "sacrifice" comes from the same root as "the sacred." Sacrifice means making a thing sacred. If you are on the path of love, make everything that you are doing a sacrifice, a holy thing, as if you are preparing for God. He is to come, the guest is to come and you are doing everything for him.
And in fact, it is so. The whole of life is a preparation for the guest and the whole of life is a preparation to become the host, so that when he comes, you are ready, when he knocks at the door everything is ready to receive him.
If you are on the path of meditation, then too -- this moment is the most important moment. On the path of meditation, the past has to be dropped, the future has to be dropped. You have to be just here-now.
So remember, on both paths many things are similar; many things are basic requirements on both paths. But many things are very, very polar opposite.
So please, don't you try to make a synthesis. You simply follow one path. Whatsoever is essential is similar -- that is, to be in the moment, accepting the world as it is, remaining in a mood of celebration. The bhakto, the devotee, goes on celebrating life because God is; and on the path of meditation the sadhaka, the yogi, the Zen follower, goes on celebrating because: "I am here, I am." That very amness -- that very amness is his celebration.
So don't be worried. Many questions have come to me full of worries, anxieties, as if, if you follow one path, you will be missing something. Nothing. You will be missing nothing. By following one, you will be following both; by following both, you will not be following either.
OSHO : Dang Dang Doko Dang, Chapter 5