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Chapter 1: Empty Your Cup

Bodhidharma hit him hard with his staff on the head, and he said, “Go and throw this emptiness out.”

If you say, “I am empty,” the “I am” is there, and the ‘I’ cannot be empty. So emptiness cannot be claimed. No one can say, “I am empty,” just as no one can say, “I am humble.” If you say, “I am humble,” you are not. Who claims this humility? Humbleness cannot be claimed. If you are humble, you are humble, but you cannot say it. Not only can you not say it, you cannot feel that you are humble because the very feeling will give birth to the ego again. Be empty, but don’t think that you are empty, otherwise you have deceived yourself.

You have brought many philosophies with you. Drop them. They have not helped you at all, they have not done anything for you. It is time enough, the right time. Drop them wholesale, not in parts, not in fragments. For these few days you will be here with me just be without any thinking. I know it is difficult but still I say it is possible. And once you know the knack of it, you will laugh at the whole absurdity of the mind that you were carrying so long.

I have heard about a man who was traveling in a train for the first time, a villager. He was carrying his luggage on his head, thinking, “Putting it down will be too much for the train to carry, and I have paid only for my own self. I have purchased the ticket but I have not paid for the luggage.” So he was carrying the luggage on his head. The train was carrying him and his luggage, and whether he carried it on his head or put it down made no difference to the train.

Your mind is unnecessary luggage. It makes no difference to this existence that is carrying you; you are unnecessarily burdened. I say: Drop it. The trees exist without the mind and exist more beautifully than any human being; the birds exist without the mind and exist in a more ecstatic state than any human being. Look at children who are still not civilized, who are still wild. They exist without the mind, and even a Jesus or a Buddha will feel jealous of their innocence. There is no need for this mind. The whole world is going on and on without it. Why are you carrying it? Are you just thinking that it will be too much for God, too much for existence? Once you can put it down, even for a single minute, your whole existence will be transformed. You will enter into a new dimension, the dimension of weightlessness.

That’s what I’m going to give you: wings into the sky, into the heaven - weightlessness gives you these wings - and roots into the earth, a groundedness, a centering. This earth and that heaven: they are two parts of the whole. In this life, your so-called ordinary life, you must be rooted; and in your inner space, in the spiritual life, you must be weightless and flying and flowing, floating.

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