Chapter 28: A Silent Waiting Heart
Use this opportunity - and remember always that whatever happens has to be used as an opportunity. There is no situation in the world which cannot be used as an opportunity.
It is sad that you are far away; that is a natural reaction, but not a very alert use of the opportunity. Don’t waste it in sadness; otherwise despair becomes almost a cancer of the soul.
I have been with you long enough. It is time for you to see whether you can be with me even in my absence. If you can be with me in my absence, with the same celebration - however difficult it may seem in the beginning - you will find a tremendous fulfillment. And the absence will no longer be an absence; you will be filled with my presence wherever you are. It is a question of a certain rhythm. Otherwise two persons can sit together touching each other’s body and may be as far apart as distant stars. You can be in a crowd and still be alone.
The question is not of physical closeness, the question is of understanding what happens in the presence of a master. Your heart starts beating in the same tune as your master’s heart. Your being starts the same song of silence as the master’s being is always in. These are the ingredients that bring you close to him. If you can manage these two things, you may be on another planet - it will not make any difference. It has nothing to do with distance.
You have been so long with me; you know perfectly well what happens in my presence to you. Just give it a chance. Close your eyes, sit silently, awaiting for the same happening. And you will be surprised that I am not needed physically to be there. Your heart can beat in the same rhythm - you are acquainted with it. Your being can be silent in the same depth - you are well experienced in it. And then there is no distance, then you are not lonely. You are alone, but this aloneness has a beauty, a freedom, a deep integrity and centering.
So wherever you are, the politicians of the world will make it more and more difficult for you to reach to me. It will not be so easy. I will be making every effort that I remain available to you, but those politicians are not aware that even if they can prevent my physical presence, they cannot prevent the experience of my presence in my people. That is beyond their power.
In China, Lao Tzu - a great master - has been dead for twenty-five centuries now, but a small stream of followers has remained. They don’t refer to Lao Tzu in the past tense, but in the present tense. To them Lao Tzu cannot be past because they can still feel the rhythm, the silence, the beauty, the peace. What more is needed?
Ramakrishna died. In India, whenever a husband dies his wife has to break her bangles, take off all her ornaments, has to shave her head completely, can use only white saris - a lifelong mourning, a lifelong despair, a lifelong loneliness starts. But when Ramakrishna died - and it was just in the past century - his wife, Sharda, refused to follow the ten-thousand-year-old tradition.