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Chapter 18: Wakefulness Is Awareness

He is really original! I have read thousands of books on morality, on virtues like patience, but I have never come across the statement that it is a question of the nose, not of you. If you can equate all smells as neutral - a roseflower and cow dung smell the same - you are patient! To hell with such patience - this is simply insanity, insensitivity.

A man of intelligence will become more sensitive. The poet sees the greens of the trees differently from how you see them. He sees them more green. He sees not just green trees, he sees different shades of green. His sensitivity for color is very acute, sharp.

The musician hears sounds even in silence, his ears are so attuned. And the same with the other senses.

But Bodhidharma is really making a laughingstock of himself:

Controlling the thief of the mouth by conquering desires to taste, praise and explain is devotion.

If you can eat the most delicious food and the holy cow dung without it making any difference, this is devotion! My whole life I have been trying to define devotion, but Bodhidharma knows better!

Quelling the thief of the body by remaining unmoved by sensations of touch is meditation.

If somebody touches you and you don’t feel it, you are in meditation? If somebody touches you and you don’t feel it, you are simply dead. It is not meditation.

But he has done a great job. And the people who were listening to him, must have wondered.. “From India an enlightened man has come. We have also heard” - those Chinese had also heard much about meditation - “but this is really original!”

They have also their own Lao Tzu, and Chuang Tzu and Lieh Tzu - contemporaries of Gautam Buddha, of the same caliber, who know what meditation is. And he is trying to make a definition, an almost unbelievable one. He has just lost his nerve.

When the ultimate question was asked, that was the point from where he started falling. And he forgot everything. Now he is trying to make up, in any way he can.patching up this hole, patching up that hole, and new holes are coming up and he is running hither and thither and he cannot make any sense of what he is doing.

And taming the thief of the mind by not yielding to delusions but practicing wakefulness is wisdom.