Chapter 8: Running with Your Whole Heart
Understand this. The truth was not attained directly because of his six years of ascetic fervor. But if Buddha had sat under the tree without those six years of ascetic practices, that moment of relaxation would not have been possible either. You can go and sit there - the tree is still in Bodh Gaya - and you might decide not to do those six years of hard work, because there was no substance to it, it did not achieve anything.. Buddha achieved enlightenment through sitting. He sat down. You too can sit down and be like Buddha on the outside: still. But inside? - you will not have known the experience of spending six years doing ascetic practices without attaining anything, you will not have realized that nothing can be attained through doing, and so it is futile to do anything. You will be lacking that experience. And even if you do lie down under the bodhi tree, the tree will not be the same tree of enlightenment for you as it was for Buddha.
So what can we say? Did Buddha become enlightened through doing or through non-doing? We must answer: both together. He attained because of doing and non-doing - both. Through doing he attained to the state of non-doing and through non-doing he attained to the truth. Hence “Those who search, find” is the first step. It took the Buddha six years. Sometimes, when I say to you, “Don’t search, or you will miss,” I am talking about this final step - so you don’t just go on searching, turning six years into sixty years and six lifetimes - because if you only go on searching, then too you will never arrive.
You have to run to reach your destination, but then you must also stop - because if you get addicted to running, even as you are approaching your destination you will run past it. You won’t stop even when you reach it! You can reach the destination only if you stop. If you are a skilled runner, a good runner, and forget how to stop - if you have simply kept running for many lives, you will not know how to stop even when you reach your destination. You will go on running past it. You will meet your destination only when you stop. But only the person who has run with his whole heart, with totality, will know how to stop; only the person who has run wholeheartedly, utterly.
So both statements are true at the same time. Many times it will seem to you there are contradictions in my statements, but whenever it is so, know that you are making a mistake somewhere. However contradictory my statements may appear to be, they can never be truly contradictory. There has to be a thread in there somewhere which will join them all together. There has to be a bridge somewhere which you are not seeing, there is a connecting link which is not visible to you. Whenever you find two of my statements are contradicting each other - and you will find thousands of contradictory statements in my talks - if you search carefully, you will always find that there only appears to be a contradiction, in reality there is none. Both things can be there simultaneously. And I also want to tell you that something can happen only when both are there simultaneously.
The second question:
You told us not to support the mind and to be natural about life. Are they both possible at the same time or are they separate activities? Please be compassionate and explain this.