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Chapter 13: Passive Alertness Is the Key

In the beginning it will be only for moments, because you are such a habitual thinker - addicted to thinking like a man who is addicted to alcohol or some drug - that only for moments will there be a gap - and again you will start thinking. You may start thinking about this silence that is descending upon you. You may start thinking: “Oh! This is the silence that the masters have always been talking about” - and you have destroyed it. You may start thinking: “This is the silence the Upanishads say is the goal to be achieved, this is the silence that poets have been talking about, the silence that surpasses understanding” - you have missed it.

The poets have entered, the masters have entered, the Upanishads have come. You have missed it, you have lost it. Now you are again disturbed; now you are not a passivity, now you are not alert. Now those singing birds are no longer there for you. Your mind has come in. Now those beautiful trees have disappeared. The sun is no longer in the sky and the clouds are no longer floating. You are not open now - closed, your windows are closed, your doors are closed.

Thought, thinking, is the way to close the mind. Non-thinking, no thought, is the way to open it. Whenever you are not thinking you are open; whenever you are thinking a wall has been raised. Each thought becomes a brick and the whole process of thinking becomes a wall. Then you are hidden behind the wall, crying and weeping - why is the sun not reaching you? It is not the sun - it is you who are creating walls around you.

Be more meditative. Whenever you have any opportunity, any space, any time, just allow things to happen around you. Look deeply, attentively, but don’t be active - because activity means thinking. Sitting quietly, allowing things to happen, you will become silent.

Then you will come to know that silence is not a quality of the mind. Mind cannot be made silent. Silence is the quality of your inner soul, of your inner being. It is always there but because of the chattering, the constant chattering of the mind, you cannot hear it. Whenever you become passive, non-thinking, you become aware of it. Then you are unoccupied. In that unoccupied moment meditation happens.

So whatsoever the situation - sitting in a marketplace - don’t think that the singing of the birds is a must. It is not. The humming of a marketplace is as beautiful as the humming of the birds - people carrying on their work, talking, chattering, noise all around - you just sit there passively.

Remember this word passive, and another word, alert. Passive alertness is the key. Remain passive - not doing anything, just listening. Listening is not a doing. To listen to anything there is nothing to do, your ears are always open. To see you have to open the eyes - at least that much has to be done. To listen not even that much has to be done. Ears are always open, you are always listening. Just don’t do anything and listen.

And don’t comment, because with commentary, thought starts. A child is crying: don’t say anything inside about why he is crying. Two persons are fighting - don’t say inside: “Why are they fighting? Should I go and do something so that they don’t fight?” No, don’t say anything. Just listen to what is happening. Just be with what is happening - and suddenly there is silence.

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