Chapter 9: Silently Blissful, Blissfully Silent
“Not two miles back down the road,” he yelled, “I found a little boy doing exactly the same thing with a rabbit! You should know better at your age!”
The old man looked up at the priest with a grin and said, “Do you expect me to catch a rabbit at my age?”
The priest looked at the sky and said:
Now it is up to you how deep you can dive in the cold waters. Before the jump one has to go a few steps back, so I will start from the sutras of the last sutra session:
The third is deep sleep,
The mind rests, with awareness suspended.
This state beyond duality,
- From which the waves of thinking emerge,
Is enjoyed by the enlightened as an ocean of
Silence and bliss.
The only difference between deep, dreamless sleep and the awakened state, the enlightened state, is that of awareness. If you can be aware in your deep sleep you are a buddha. You are not aware even while you are awake, and the Buddha is one who is aware even while he is deep asleep. He may be snoring: just as you will hear his snoring he also hears his snoring. The snoring is a physiological phenomenon. You are watching from the outside, he is watching from the inside. In fact, he is more aware of it than you are, because you may be having other thoughts, a thousand and one, but he has no thought at all.
The awakened person is called enlightened because this small flame of awareness continues to bum twenty-four hours a day, whether he is awake, whether he is asleep, whether he is doing something or not doing anything. Nothing matters; everything remains on the circumference. At the center there is only the flame of awareness, and this flame of awareness is experienced as silence and bliss.
This is one of the most significant things to understand: it is easy to be silent, it is also easy to be blissful but to be silent and blissful is impossible for the mind to comprehend. It can only be experienced at the ultimate peak, at the ultimate culmination, where all dualities merge and become one.
This is a duality: silence and bliss are poles apart. Hence it is easy to be on one polarity; if you are ready to renounce the other you can easily have one, but to have one is to remain partial. And unless you are whole you are never fulfilled. Only wholeness is holiness; only wholeness is flowering, blossoming, is fulfillment, is contentment.