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Chapter 7: One Cannot Have a Problem

Roshi means the master, the old master.

“What I think is that, properly speaking,
those old scraps of paper that were buried are still with us.”

Now he is taking the monk to the same space which he has missed when Kyozan closed the sutra. He is saying that, “We are still filled with old scraps of paper that were buried: but they are still within us. That’s why you missed that opportunity, a great opportunity. Otherwise you would have found the answer: you are the answer!”

Maneesha has asked:

That poor monk was not lucky enough to be here in Buddha Hall, because my experience is that problems seldom show their face when you are around They just scuttle away, feeling very petty and out of place, and only slowly re-emerge hours later.

Maneesha, you are right, because everyone who is here is here out of an intense longing to know, to feel, to be. With me, the moment your heartbeat synchronizes, your problems start disappearing. But you have to be aware, because they don’t go far away; they just wait outside Buddha Hall. This is the tragedy: when you are going out of Buddha Hall, they will jump up again.

I am reminded of a man who had gone to Ramakrishna, asking for his blessings, because he was going to Kashi, the holy place for the Hindus, to have a dip in the holy Ganges - although the same Ganges was flowing by the side of Ramakrishna’s hut. The man said, “Bless me, I am going to Kashi to take a holy dip.”

Ramakrishna was a very simple man, a villager, but a man of great insight. He said to the man, “I have no objection: I can bless you, but I have to remind you about one thing. Have you seen that by the side of the Ganges there are tall trees?”

He said, “Yes.”

Ramakrishna said, “When you take the dip in the Ganges, it is true, all your sins will jump out of your head; but they are not finished. How long you can remain immersed in the water of the Ganges? Sometime you will have to come out.”

The man said, “Sometime? Even a few seconds are enough. But why are you saying that?”

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