Quotes on Time
It will rain, but meanwhile one must wait. Use the time in preparation.
You just look around, look into the eyes of a child, or into the eyes of your beloved, your mother, your friend--or just feel a tree. Have you ever hugged a tree? Hug a tree, and one day you will come to know that it is not only that you have hugged the tree but that the tree also responds, the tree also hugs you.
Then for the first time you will be able to know that the tree is not just the form, it is not just a certain species the botanists talk about, it is an unknown God--so green in your courtyard, so full of flowers in your courtyard, so close to you, beckoning you, calling you again and again.
These tenses--past, present and future--are not the tenses of time; they are tenses of the mind. That which is no longer before the mind becomes the past. That which is before the mind is the present. And that which is going to be before the mind is the future.
Past is that which is no longer before you. Future is that which is not yet before you. And present is that which is before you and is slipping out of your sight. Soon it will be past.... If you don't cling to the past...because clinging to the past is absolute stupidity. It is no longer there, so you are crying for spilled milk. What is gone is gone! And don't cling to the present because that is also going and soon it will be past.
Don't cling to the future--hopes, imaginations, plans for tomorrow--because tomorrow will become today, will become yesterday. Everything is going to become yesterday. Everything is going to go out of your hands. Clinging will simply create misery. You will have to let go.
Listening is one of the basic secrets of entering into the temple of God. Listening means passivity. Listening means forgetting yourself completely--only then can you listen. When you listen attentively to somebody, you forget yourself. If you cannot forget yourself, you never listen. If you are too self-conscious about yourself, you simply pretend that you are listening--you don't listen. You may nod your head; you may sometimes say yes and no--but you are not listening.
When you listen you become just a passage, a passivity, a receptivity, a womb: you become feminine. And to arrive one has to become feminine. You cannot reach God as aggressive invaders, conquerors. You can reach God only...or it will be better to say; God can reach you only when you are receptive, a feminine receptivity. When you become yin, a receptivity, the door is open. And you wait. Listening is the art for becoming passive.
We have forgotten how to wait; it is almost an abandoned space. And it is our greatest treasure to be able to wait for the right moment.
The whole existence waits for the right moment. Even trees know it--when it is time to bring the flowers and when it is time to let go of all the leaves and stand naked against the sky. They are still beautiful in that nakedness, waiting for the new foliage with a great trust that the old has gone, and the new will soon be coming, and the new leaves will start growing.
We have forgotten to wait, we want everything in a hurry. It is a great loss to humanity....
In silence and waiting something inside you goes on growing--your authentic being. And one day it jumps and becomes a flame, and your whole personality is shattered; you are a new man. And this new man knows what ceremony is, this new man knows life's eternal juices.
Sometimes it happens that you become one, in some rare moment. Watch the ocean, the tremendous wildness of it--and suddenly you forget your split, your schizophrenia; you relax. Or, moving in the Himalayas, seeing the virgin snow on the Himalayan peaks, suddenly a coolness surrounds you and you need not be false because there is no other human being to be false to. You fall together. Or, listening to beautiful music, you fall together.
Whenever, in whatsoever situation, you become one, a peace, a happiness, a bliss, surrounds you, arises in you. You feel fulfilled.
There is no need to wait for these moments--these moments can become your natural life. These extraordinary moments can become ordinary moments - that is the whole effort of Zen. You can live an extraordinary life in a very ordinary life: cutting wood, chopping wood, carrying water from the well, you can be tremendously at ease with yourself. Cleaning the floor, cooking food, washing the clothes, you can be perfectly at ease--because the whole question is of you doing your action totally, enjoying, delighting in it.
Only if your meditation has brought you a light that shines in every night will even death not be a death to you but a door to the divine. With the light in your heart, death itself is transformed into a door, and you enter into the universal spirit; you become one with the ocean.
And unless you know the oceanic experience, you have lived in vain. Now is always the time, and the fruit is always ripe. You just need to gather courage to enter into your inner forest. The fruit is always ripe and the time is always the right time. There is no such thing as wrong time.
Meditation is a kind of medicine--its use is only for the time being. Once you have learned the quality, then you need not do any particular meditation, then the meditation has to spread all over your life. Walking is Zen, sitting is Zen. Then what will be the quality? Watchfully, alert, joyously, unmotivated, centered, loving, flowing, one walks. And the walking is sauntering. Loving, alert, watchful, one sits, unmotivated--not sitting for anything in particular, just enjoying how beautiful just sitting doing nothing is, how relaxing, how restful.....
After a long walk, you sit under a tree and the breeze comes and cools you. Each moment one has to be at ease with oneself--not trying to improve, not cultivating anything, not practicing anything. Walking is Zen, sitting is Zen, Talking or silent, moving, unmoving, The essence is at ease. The essence is at ease: that is the keyword. The essence is at ease: that is the key statement. Do whatsoever you are doing, but at the deepest core remain at ease, cool, calm, centered.
We come from the unknown and we go on moving into the unknown. We will come again; we have been here thousands of times, and we will be here thousands of times.
Our essential being is immortal but our body, our embodiment, is mortal. Our frame in which we are, our houses, the body, the mind, they are made of material things. They will get tired, they will get old, they will die. But your consciousness, for which Bodhidharma uses the word 'no-mind'--Gautam Buddha has also used the word 'no-mind'--is something beyond body and mind, something beyond everything; that no-mind is eternal. It comes into expression, and goes again into the unknown.
This movement from the unknown to the known, and from the known to the unknown, continues for eternity, unless somebody becomes enlightened. Then that is his last life; then this flower will not come back again. This flower that has become aware of itself need not come back to life because life is nothing but a school in which to learn. He has learned the lesson, he is now beyond delusions. He will move from the known for the first time not into the unknown, but into the unknowable.
A fool is one who goes on trusting; a fool is one who goes on trusting against all his experience. You deceive him, and he trusts you; and you deceive him again, and he trusts you; and you deceive him again, and he trusts you. Then you will say that he is a fool, he does not learn. His trust is tremendous; his trust is so pure that nobody can corrupt it.
Be a fool in the Taoist sense, in the Zen sense. Don't try to create a wall of knowledge around you. Whatsoever experience comes to you, let it happen, and then go on dropping it. Go on cleaning your mind continuously; go on dying to the past so you remain in the present, here-now, as if just born, just a babe.
In the beginning it is going to be very difficult. The world will start taking advantage of you...let them. They are poor fellows. Even if you are cheated and deceived and robbed, let it happen, because that which is really yours cannot be robbed from you, that which is really yours nobody can steal from you.
And each time you don't allow situations to corrupt you, that opportunity will become an integration inside. Your soul will become more crystallized.
Life repeats itself mindlessly--unless you become mindful, it will go on repeating like a wheel. That's why Buddhists call it the wheel of life and death--the wheel of time. It moves like a wheel: birth is followed by death, death is followed by birth; love is followed by hate, hate is followed by love; success is followed by failure, failure is followed by success. Just see! If you can watch just for a few days, you will see a pattern emerging, a wheel pattern.
One day, a fine morning, you are feeling so good and so happy, and another day you are so dull, so dead that you start thinking of committing suicide. And just the other day you were so full of life, so blissful that you were feeling thankful to God that you were in a mood of deep gratefulness, and today there is great complaint and you don't see the point why one should go on living....
And it goes on and on, but you don't see the pattern. Once you see the pattern, you can get out of it.
What meditation does slowly, slowly, a good shout of the master, unexpectedly, in the situation where the disciple was asking some question, and the master jumps and shouts, or hits him, or throws him out of the door, or jumps over him....
These methods were never known. It was purely the very creative genius of Ma Tzu, and he made many people enlightened. Sometimes it looks so hilarious: he threw a man from the window, from a two-storey house, and the man had come to ask on what to meditate.
And Ma Tzu not only threw him, he jumped after him, fell on him, sat on his chest, and he said, "Got it?!" And the poor fellow said, "Yes"--because if you say "No," he may beat you or do something else. It is enough--his body is fractured, and Ma Tzu, sitting on his chest, says, "Got it?!"
And in fact he got it, because it was so sudden, out of the blue--he could never have conceived it.
The energy of the whole has taken possession of you. You are possessed, you are no more, the whole is. This moment, as the silence penetrates in you, you can understand the significance of it, because it is the same silence that Gautam Buddha experienced. It is the same silence that Chuang Tzu or Bodhidharma or Nansen.... The taste of the silence is the same.
Time changes, the world goes on changing, but the experience of silence, the joy of it, remains the same. That is the only thing you can rely upon, the only thing that never dies. It is the only thing that you can call your very being.
This is the way of Zen, not to say things to their completion. This has to be understood; it is a very important methodology. Not to say everything means to give an opportunity to the listener to complete it. All answers are incomplete. The master has only given you a direction... By the time you reach the limit, you will know what is going to remain.
This way, if somebody is trying to understand Zen intellectually he will fail. It is not an answer to the question but something more than the answer. It is indicating the very reality....
The buddha nature is not something far away--your very consciousness is buddha nature. And your consciousness can witness these things which constitute the world. The world will end but the mirror will remain, mirroring nothing.