Chapter 7: The Proper State of Mind
Thoughts settle on their own accord. You need not jump amongst them, you need not try to put them right. It is as if a stream has become muddy: what do you do? Do you jump in it and start helping the stream to become clear? - you will make it more muddy.
You simply sit on the bank. You wait. There is nothing to be done, because whatsoever you do will make the stream more muddy. If somebody has passed through the stream and the dead leaves have surfaced, the mud has arisen, just patience is needed. You simply sit on the bank. Watch indifferently: the stream goes on flowing, the dead leaves will be taken away - and the mud cannot be there forever, it will start settling. After a while, suddenly you will become aware the stream is crystal-clear again.
Whenever a desire passes through your mind, the stream becomes muddy. Just sit. Don’t try to do anything. In Japan this “just sitting” is called zazen - just sitting and doing nothing. And one day meditation happens. Not that you bring it to you, it comes to you. And when it comes, you immediately recognize it. It has always been there but you were not looking in the right direction. The treasure has been with you but you were occupied somewhere else: in thoughts, in desires, in a thousand and one things. You were not interested in only one thing - and that was your own being.
When energy turns in - what Buddha calls paravritti, the coming back of your energy to the source - suddenly clarity is attained. Then you can see clouds a thousand miles away, and then you can hear ancient music in the pines. Then everything is available to you.
Before we enter this beautiful Zen story a few things about the mind have to be understood, because the more you understand the mechanism of the mind, the more is the possibility that you will not interfere. The more you understand how the mind functions, the more is the possibility that you will be able to sit in zazen, that you will be able just to sit - sitting and doing nothing - that you will be able to allow meditation to happen. It is a happening.
But the understanding of the mind will be helpful. Otherwise you may go on doing something which helps the mind to function, which goes on giving cooperation to the mind.
The first thing about the mind is that it is a constant chattering. Whether you are talking or not, it goes on doing some inner talk; whether you are awake or asleep the inner talk continues as an undercurrent. You may be doing some work but the inner talk continues. You are driving, or you are digging a hole in the garden, but the inner talk continues.
The mind is constantly talking. If the inner talk can drop even for a single moment you will be able to have a glimpse of no-mind. That’s what meditation is all about. The state of no-mind is the right state; it is your state.