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Chapter 17: Valleys and Peaks

One Zen monk, Bokuju, used to say about Gautam Buddha, his own master, “The whole story of Buddha is false. He was never born, he never died, he never walked on this earth, he never preached a single word.” And every day he would go into the temple and bow down before a Buddha statue.

So his disciples said, “Are you mad? You go on saying this man is just a myth - he was never born, never died, never walked on the earth, never asserted a single word - so to whom do you go every day? Before whom do you bow down? And we have heard you even praying there; you do prayers, and we have heard that you say ‘Namo Buddhaya’ - so whom do you address?”

Bokuju started laughing and he said, “Nobody. This statue is not of anybody. This statue is just of a nobody, of nothingness. And I say he was never born because he was not an ego, he never walked on this earth because who will walk? He never asserted a single word because who will assert?”

He’s not saying that really Buddha was not born, he is simply denying any entity there. You cannot say, “An emptiness is born, an emptiness is walking, an emptiness is speaking, an emptiness is dying.” We can say this, this can be said, but there is no substance in it, no ego.

Try - if you cannot do anything else, then only do this: commit suicide as far as your ego is concerned. You will never get bored. You will be like an empty mirror. Whatsoever is reflected is always new because the mirror is empty, it cannot compare. It cannot say, “I have seen this face before.”

Become the empty mirror, become egoless. And then there is no boredom - all life is a beatitude, a blessing, a deep ecstasy.