Chapter 28: Existence Needs You
He said, “My old man is giving me half a dollar.”
The priest said, “Half a dollar? I will give you one dollar, but don’t let that old man sleep!”
He said, “Done.”
But the priest thought, “I cannot compete with that old man because he is very rich. I am a poor priest.” He said to the boy, “Listen. I am a poor priest, more than that I cannot give.”
He said, “It all depends on the old man. If he says he is going to give me two dollars.You are a man of understanding, business is business.”
And that’s how it happened finally. The old man said, “Two dollars,” and the boy again stopped.
Finally the priest had to talk to the old man himself. “Let us clarify the whole thing. I am not worried about your sleep. My problem is that because of your snoring many people cannot sleep and they are complaining. My congregation is the biggest in the city because they enjoy such a beautiful sleep. Anything boring is helpful.”
Now they have created many machines which simply create the noise of the ocean, the waves coming to the rocks, splashing, making their sound. You just have to plug into the mechanism and it gives you the continuous sound of the waves, and many people are helped by it. They fall asleep, it is so boring.
What Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is teaching people is a kind of dreamless sleep. It is not meditation. Meditation is awakening, not going to sleep. I have nothing against it, he just should not call it Transcendental Meditation. It is simply hypnotic sleep. He is using a wrong name and exploiting people because of the wrong name. People think it is meditation. This is sheer conmanship.
In the East we have known for centuries that chanting is good for sleep, and sleep is good for health. So there is nothing wrong in it, just fifteen minutes or ten minutes in the morning and ten minutes in the evening. If you can do it, you will have better health, a better sense of well-being, so there is nothing wrong in it. But it is not meditation.
Meditation is just the opposite. It is awakening. It is becoming fully aware of your body, of your mind. And you have simply to be watchful. You don’t have to repeat anything, because repetition means you have fallen into identifying with the thought process.