Chapter 3: The Gates of Heaven and Hell
You may not have heard about samurais. If you are going to kill a samurai, your sword is in your hand, it is just going to touch his neck - the samurai is standing before you without any weapon, he cannot protect himself.. Samurais have a particular sound, a mantra. He will just say a single word so loudly that all your energy will go, and you will become as if dead, a statue. He may simply say, “Hey!” You will become static, your hand will not move. That sound will hammer the heart, which controls everything. Your hand will become static, and the mind will be shocked; all activity will disappear. You cannot kill a samurai even if he is without weapons. Even a sound will become a protection. If you have a gun, your hands will not move or you will miss the aim. It is just a sound, but the sound that has to be made in a particular way so that it goes deep in the heart and changes your activity completely, changes the pattern of your activity.
When Hakuin said, “This is the gate!” the samurai must have remained static. In that static state, when all activity ceases, you become alert. Activity, occupation in the mind is unconsciousness. You are continuously occupied - you are not unoccupied for a single moment. Occupation is your drug; that’s why when you are without any activity you feel uneasy. You may start reading the same newspaper again - you will start doing something or other - you may open the window and close it again. Some activity is needed; otherwise your unconscious will break and you will become conscious.
So Zen says if a person can sit for six hours without doing anything he will become enlightened. Just for six hours. But six hours is really too long; I say six minutes is enough. Even six seconds will do. If you can be completely, absolutely without activity for six seconds, what will happen? When you are not occupied you cannot be unconscious; when you are unoccupied, the whole energy becomes consciousness.a tremendous release.
The energy is engaged in occupation. Mind is thinking, body is working, you are occupied, and your whole energy is moving in activity, is being dissipated into the world. If you think you are dissipating energy, because each thought takes energy, needs energy. You are continuously thinking and dissipating energy for nothing - just dissipating. Activity needs energy, and your infinite source of energy is continuously being dissipated. You are leaking from everywhere. That’s why you feel so weak, so frustrated, so impotent.
This impotence feels like helplessness; you are omnipotent and you feel impotent. You have all the sources of infinite energy within you, you are related to the cosmic source, but you feel impotent because you are continuously dissipating. If thought stops even for a single moment and activity is no more, if you have become like a statue, unmoving within or without, no movement either of body or of mind, then tremendous energy is released. Where will it go now? No activity, then it cannot go without. You become a pillar of energy, a flame of energy. Everything becomes conscious inside, everything is lighted; your whole being is filled with light.
This must have happened to this warrior - stopped sword in hand with Hakuin just before him, a master, an enlightened master. The eyes of Hakuin laughing, the face smiling, and the gate of heaven opened. He understood: the sword went back into its sheath. While putting the sword back into the sheath he must have been totally silent, peaceful. The anger had disappeared, and the energy that was moving in anger had become silence.