Read Book

OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   This, This, A Thousand Times This: The Very Essence of Zen
1 2 3 4 5 > »

Chapter 4: Encountering Reality

A monk said to Tozan, “Cold and heat descend upon us. How can we avoid them?”
Tozan said, “Why don’t you go where there is no cold or heat?”
The monk said, “Where is the place where there is no cold or heat?”
Tozan said, “When cold, let it be so cold that it kills you; when hot, let it be so hot that it kills you.”

Maneesha, this is the very space that I am trying to help you to reach:

Where there is no cold, no heat, where there is only awareness, a silence that transcends duality, cold and heat, day and night, life and death.

All that is dual is transcended when you are not in the mind but at your very center - which neither feels cold nor hot; which is only a simple, pure space.

Tozan is saying exactly the same as you are doing every day.

A monk said to Tozan, “Cold and heat descend upon us. How can we avoid them?”

It is a simple question but has a great complexity in it. You have to take the word avoid and you will see the complexity. That’s what everybody is trying to do: how to avoid - misery, agony, how to avoid pain, how to avoid life itself. That’s what all the religions have been doing - avoiding. They call it renunciation, but it is nothing but a pure, cowardly escape.

So the very simple question is not so simple. In the very word avoid, all the religions of the world are reduced in a very obvious manner. Their whole effort has been in escaping from places, from people, from relationships, from the world to the mountains and to the forests; but they don’t know. Wherever you go your mind is with you, and your mind is your world. You cannot renounce the so-called outside world without dropping the mind and being utterly silent. But that can be done anywhere.

You don’t have to go to the Himalayas. You have to go withinward. No outward journey is going to help. You can renounce wealth, you can renounce kingdoms, you can renounce your wife, your husband, your children.. You can renounce everything possible, but you are still there. You cannot renounce yourself. And you are the problem!

Avoid is the word I am against. And any religion which teaches avoidance, I call cowardly.

Encounter reality. There is no point in avoiding that. Encounter it with intensity and totality, with awareness, and suddenly you will see you have reached a point within yourself where there is no heat, no cold; where there is no love, no hate; where there is no so-called life and no so-called death.

Within you is the center of the universal. It is always here, you don’t have to go somewhere else to find it. Every going is going away from yourself. You have to stop going away; you have to start sinking in.

In Tozan’s words.and he has expressed it with tremendous beauty and grandeur and in the language of lions.

1 2 3 4 5 > »