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Chapter 16: The Difference between Satori & Samadhi

You mean even intellectual tension can be a way to achieve satori?

It may be, it may not be. If you become intellectually tense during this discussion and the tension is not brought to the extreme, it will be a hindrance. But if you become totally tense and then suddenly something is understood, that understanding will be a release and satori can happen.

Or, if this discussion is not at all tense, if we are just chitchatting - totally relaxed, totally nonserious - even this discussion can be an aesthetic experience. It is not only that flowers are aesthetic; even words can be. It is not only that trees are aesthetic; human beings can also be. It is not only when you are watching clouds floating by that satori becomes possible; even if you participate in a dialogue it becomes possible. But either a relaxed participation is needed or a very tense participation. You can either be relaxed to begin with or relaxation can come to you because your tension has been brought to a peak and then released. When either happens, even a dialogue, a discussion, can become a source of satori. Anything can become a source of satori; it depends on you. It never depends on anything else. You are just passing through a street: a child is laughing and satori can happen.

There is a haiku that tells a story something like this: a monk is crossing a street and a very ordinary flower is peeking out from a wall - a very ordinary flower, a day-to-day flower, which is everywhere. He looks at it. It is the first time he has ever really looked at it, because it is so ordinary, so obvious. It is always to be found somewhere, so he never bothered to really look at it before. He looks into it - and satori happens.

An ordinary flower is never looked at. It is so common that you forget it. So the monk has never really seen this flower before. For the first time in his life he has seen it, and the event became phenomenal. This first meeting with the flower, with this very ordinary flower, becomes unique. Now he feels sorry for it. It has always been there waiting for him, but he has never looked at it. He feels sorry for it, asks its pardon.and the thing happens.

The flower is there, and the monk is standing there dancing. Someone asks, “What are you doing?”

He says, “I have seen something uncommon in a very common flower. The flower was always waiting; I never looked at it before - but today a meeting has happened.” The flower is not common now. The monk has penetrated into it, and the flower has penetrated into the monk.

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