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Chapter 1: Sex, Lies and the Roots of Meditation

Happily, the tree said, “Cut my trunk, and make a boat from it. I would be very happy to become your boat and help you go to faraway lands to earn money. But please remember to take care of yourself and to return soon. I will always be awaiting your return.”

The man brought a saw, cut down the trunk, made a boat and sailed away.

Now the tree is a small stump. And it waits for its loved one to return. It waits and waits and waits. But now it has nothing more left to offer. Perhaps the man will never return to it; the ego only goes where there is something to gain. The ego does not go where there is nothing to gain.

I was resting near that stump one night. It whispered to me, “That friend of mine has not come back yet. I am very worried in case he might have drowned, or in case he might be lost. He may be lost in one of those faraway countries. He might not even be alive by now. How I wish for news of him! As I near the end of my life, I would be satisfied with some news of him at least. Then I could die happily. But he would not come even if I could call him. I have nothing left to give and he only understands the language of taking.”

The ego only understands the language of taking; love is the language of giving.

I will not say anything more than that. If life can become like this tree, spreading its branches far and wide so that one and all can take shelter in its shade, its arms reaching out to all, then we will understand what love is. There are no scriptures, no definitions, no doctrines for love. There is no set of principles for love.

I was puzzled as to what I would say to you about love. Love is so difficult to describe. I could just come and sit - if it could be glimpsed in my eyes perhaps that would be it, or if it could be felt in the gestures of my hands, you would have seen it and I could say: This is love.

But what is love?

If it is not seen in my eyes, if it is not felt in the movements of my hands, then what it is can certainly never be felt through my words.

I am very grateful that you have listened to me with such love and silence. And now, to end, I bow down to the divine that dwells in all of you. Please accept my pranams, my offering of respect.