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Chapter 3: To Wait, to Wait for Nothing

Don’t make any demands on existence, otherwise you will be in suffering. All those who live in misery, live in misery for the simple reason they are thinking that a certain purpose has to be fulfilled, a certain success has to be achieved, a certain ambition. And when it is not achieved - and there are more possibilities of not achieving it - you will be in misery. And even if you achieve it, it makes no difference, you will be in misery. You will be in misery because when you achieve it you will find nothing is achieved.

You have become the world’s richest man, and suddenly you find you are surrounded by all kinds of junk. You cannot live if you are trying to be richer. You will be richer if you live.

Live each moment in as much intensity as possible, and you will be richer. But if you are living for riches, then it is always tomorrow, the day after tomorrow - and you are wasting all these valuable moments, you are becoming poorer every moment.

You are forgetting the language of living the present, and that is the only poverty.

I know of no other richness than to live each moment without bothering about the past which is no longer, and without desiring of the future which is not yet. Live it! When it will come you will be able to live it too. You will be more efficient in living tomorrow if you are intensely living life today.

So I don’t know what Paul Reps and Senzaki mean by “purpose.” As far as Zen is concerned, there is no purpose. And I don’t know what they mean by “the wine jug of his true desire.”

Zen knows about the wine, but it is not of desire, it is of a silence.

It is of a desireless deepening of your life.

It is a silent song without sounds.

It is a music without instruments.

It is pure being.

At such a moment where being and non-being become equivalent, their presence and absence are synonymous. You are so present that you are almost absent, or the other way round - you are so absent that you are totally present.

Rather than Senzaki and Paul Reps, listen to your own heart. When you are no longer, you are. When you are no longer, you are the whole vastness of existence. When there is no desire, you are fulfilled. It is not that any desire has to be fulfilled. When there is no desire, when you have learned the art of remaining in a non-desiring moment, you are fulfilled.

When you are not doing anything, your action is perfect. Only non-doing can be perfect. Any doing is bound to be imperfect. No man is capable of doing anything perfectly. Perfection is of the imagination.

Life consists of all kinds of imperfections. You have to love the imperfect, and you have to respect the imperfect - not only in others, but in yourself too.

What Paul Reps and Senzaki are thinking of - the wine of desire - has nothing to do with Zen. Zen knows about one wine, and you have all tasted it. It is the wine that comes through the silent, meditative ecstasy of your being. It has nothing to do with desire. It has nothing to do with purpose.

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