Chapter 5: Two Ladies and a Monk
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.
One day she decided to find out just what progress he had made in all this time.
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 nonviolent 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.