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Chapter 1: Always at Ease, Unmoved

So is the case with me. You are just an occasion. I go on singing my song; it is unaddressed, it is a flowering. I also have nothing to say - certainly, I have something to show, but I have nothing to say. So is the case with Yoka. Blyth missed the point, but I can understand why he missed it: the logical mind always misses it because Yoka goes on repeating the same thing again and again. The statements are circular - they are the same kind of flowers again and again and again - they don’t say more, they don’t add anything new. But the joy is such, the explosion is such, that one is simply overflowing with it. Yoka cannot do anything about it, he is utterly helpless, just as the rosebush is utterly helpless. In fact, the rosebush is not doing anything, Yoka is not doing anything; he is as much a witness to his song as you are. He may himself be feeling a little puzzled why this song goes on and on and on, “I have said it, I have said it many times.” But what to do if the song continues? If it is coming from the very source of existence Yoka cannot prevent it.

And this is one of the most significant things to be understood, otherwise you will misunderstand all the buddhas. Gautam the Buddha has been misunderstood because for forty years he was continuously saying the same thing. Why? He could have said it in very few words - those words can be written on a postcard. But you have missed the point, you have not seen the sheer joy of sharing, of just singing it for its own sake.

Remember this is a song - “The Song of Enlightenment.” It is flowing through Yoka. Yoka is just a vehicle, a passage, a hollow bamboo; existence itself is singing through him. He cannot do anything this way or that; there is no point in criticizing poor Yoka.

Once a man came to J. Krishnamurti and asked, “Why do you go on talking and at the same time you go on saying that it cannot be said?” And he said, “Ask the rose, ask the trees why they go on blooming.”

There is no why to it, there is nobody doing it. The doer has disappeared, hence the song has become possible. Yoka is no more. Yoka and the song cannot both exist together; if Yoka exists then the song cannot exist. The song can exist only when the first condition has been fulfilled: that Yoka has disappeared. When he is no more there, when he is no more obstructing the passage, when he is absolutely empty, only then can God take possession of him. Zen people don’t use the word God, they use the word buddha nature. But it is the same; one is possessed. The song has to be sung, the dance has to be danced. It is not your dance, it is not my dance, it is nobody’s dance. Existence itself is dancing.

Yoka Daishi was one of the disciples of the great Huineng, the Sixth Patriarch of Zen. When he came to the master he was just on the verge of enlightenment - as everybody is. Just on the verge. If you understand it.only one step and you are enlightened; or not even one step - just a blink. When Yoka came to his master, the scriptures say he was just on the verge of enlightenment.

And I say to you everybody else is just the same - on the verge. You can postpone it as long as you want, but the postponement is yours - that is your decision. You can postpone it forever, that is your freedom, otherwise you are always on the threshold. You have always been on the threshold: any moment you could have become enlightened, any moment you can become enlightened. Nothing is barring the path except your own decision.

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