Chapter 1: A Meeting with the Guest
The way of Buddha is meditation, the way of Jesus is prayer, but these are simply different names for the same phenomenon. Meditation means becoming silent, utterly silent, becoming a no-mind, and prayer also means becoming a deep listening. What you think is prayer is not prayer. You think saying something to God is prayer? It is not prayer at all. What can you say to God - what have you to say to God? Real prayer begins only when you start listening to existence, when you become utterly silent, just a listening; then meditation and prayer come very close. Meditation is silence and prayer too is silence - just different names for the same phenomenon.
Jesus and Buddha are feminine, and that’s what Kabir wants you to understand and to be. Kabir used to say of himself, “I am a woman married to God, God is my lover. I am fortunate that he has chosen me as his wife, as his beloved.” He has sung many songs in which he says Ram ki dulhaniya - “I am wedded to Rama, I am wedded to God.” Kabir is giving you tremendously important insights in his simple poetry.
The first thing to be understood is that “becoming” is driving you crazy. You are not to become anything, you are already that. You have to accept yourself and relax in that acceptance. The person who is trying to become something is bound to remain tense, naturally: the constant fear of whether he is going to make it or not, the constant fear of whether what he is doing is going to lead him to the goal or not, whether he has chosen the right path or not, the constant fear of whether he is doing enough to achieve or not, the constant fear that there are others who may reach before him. Becoming creates fear, becoming creates competition, and becoming drives you crazy, neurotic. Becoming takes you farther and farther away from your being.
Do not become.be, just be. Becoming is the root cause of all confusion, misery and anguish - confusion because in fact you cannot become that which you are not. The rose can try as much as possible, but it is going to remain a rose, it can’t become a lotus. The lotus can try hard, can practice all kinds of yoga exercises, but the lotus is going to remain a lotus, it can’t become a rose. A rose is a rose and a lotus is a lotus. But the lotus is beautiful and the rose is beautiful and there is no confusion, because the rose is perfectly happy in being a rose and the lotus is perfectly happy in being a lotus. Only man is miserable.
The only being who is miserable on the earth is man, because he is not happy in being himself; he wants to become something else. We have been brought up with this poison: “Become.” We have been driven by the society, by the church, by the parents, by the teachers: “Become.” Nobody says to us: “Be.” And if you can find a person who says to you “Be,” that is the person to listen to, that is the real master, because he is giving you the most fundamental thing. Through that vision you will be able to relax, and in relaxation there is clarity.