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Chapter 1: Leaving the Mind Far Behind

By the way, I have to remind you that all the religions have been doing the same: exploiting the hope that tomorrow will be good, just be patient today. The next life is going to be good, just be patient in this life. Nobody knows about tomorrow. And we have known many tomorrows turning into todays; they don’t fulfill the hope and the promise. Then the hope is shifted to another life.

All these religions have done the same.

Psychoanalysis is a modern cult; Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, are ancient cults. None of them is a religion.

A religion gives you freedom.

A religion gives you yourself.

To me, therapy plus meditation is equal to religion.

I would invite Dr. Brian Weiss to see this great experiment. Perhaps, because he is now absolutely disappointed with psychoanalysis, he may be able to see some possibility in therapy and meditation.

And this is not only an invitation to Dr. Brian Weiss, this is an invitation to all psychoanalysts, because you are going to lose your profession soon. Before you are drowned, we are preparing here a Noah’s Ark.

Today begins a new series of talks. The title of the new series is: Zen: The Mystery and the Poetry of the Beyond.

Before I discuss the sutras brought by Maneesha, on behalf of all of you, a few words about the title of the new series, Zen: The Mystery and the Poetry of the Beyond.

I don’t consider Zen a philosophy or a theology but closer to poetry, to music, to painting, to dancing, to singing. It is not renunciation of life, it is rejoicing in life with your whole heart. And as you become deeply involved in creative lifestyles, the beyond opens its doors. I will simply call it “beyond”, because all other words that have been used have become contaminated by the old religions, but “the beyond” is still pure; and because it is a poetry, a creative act, which in its peak transforms you and brings you to the doors of the mystery.

This whole existence is a mystery; only for blind people there is no mystery. If you have eyes, then everything is mysterious, and there is no solution for it. The deeper you go into it, the more mysterious it becomes. And there is no bottom to the depth, it is abysmal. You can go on and on and on; the mystery becomes more mysterious, more colorful, more fragrant, but you don’t come to the end where you can find an explanation for the mystery.

Unless a man settles with existence as mystery, he will not be able to live his life as ecstasy.

The sutras:

Bansho Gyoshu studied meditation first with Master Shomoku. He told Bansho, “Studying this path is like refining gold. When it is impure, the pure gold does not show.”

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