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Chapter 3: The Owl and the Phoenix

Whenever one starts meditating, the mind becomes rebellious. It starts all types of arguments: “What are you doing, why are you wasting time? Use this time! Much can be done in it, much can be achieved. That desire has been waiting for so long and there has been no time, and you are wasting time in meditation? Forget it. Those who say that meditation is possible are deceiving you. These Buddhas, these Chuang Tzus, don’t believe them. Believe in the mind” - says the mind. It creates all kinds of doubts about everybody, but it never creates any doubt about itself.

I have heard.

One man was talking to his small child. The child had written a letter as part of his homework and was showing it to his father. There were as many spelling mistakes as there were words, even more. So the father said, “Your spelling is awful. Why don’t you look in the dictionary? When you feel in doubt, look in the dictionary.”

The child said, “But, Dad, I never feel in doubt.”

This is what your mind is doing. It says to Buddha, “But Dad, I never feel in doubt.”

Mind never doubts itself, that is the problem. It doubts everybody - it will doubt even a Buddha. If Krishna knocks at your door, it will doubt; if Jesus comes it will doubt. It has always been so, you have been doing it continuously.

You doubt me but you never doubt yourself, because once the mind starts doubting itself it is already going out of existence. Once self-doubt arises the base is broken, the mind has lost its confidence. Once you start doubting the mind, sooner or later you will fall into the abyss of meditation.

Baal Shem, a mystic, died. His son, Hertz, was a very sleepy person, very unconscious. When Baal Shem was dying he was fast asleep, and Baal Shem had said, “This night is going to be my last.

But Hertz had said, “Nobody can know when death will come.” He doubted. Baal Shem was his father, and thousands believed that he was the messiah, the man who would lead millions to salvation. But the son doubted, he fell asleep. He was awakened at midnight. His father was dead. He started crying, weeping. He had missed a great opportunity, and now there would be no possibility of a meeting. But he never doubted his mind, he doubted Baal Shem.

Then in dismay and despair, he started crying. He closed his eyes and for the first time in his life, when the father was dead, he started talking to him. His father had called him many times: “Hertz, come to me.” And he would say, “Yes, I will come, but there are other, more important things to do first.”

This is what your mind is saying. I go on calling you: “Come to me.” You say, “There are other more important things right now. I will come later on; wait!”

But death had broken the bridge. So Hertz cried and started talking to his father, and he said, “What should I do now? I am lost. I am in darkness. Now how can I drop this mind which has deceived me? I never doubted it, and I doubted you. Now it makes me very sad.”