Chapter 3: The Halo of Yakushi-Buddha
Concentration has its uses, but it is not meditation. In scientific work, in scientific research, in the science lab, you need concentration. You have to concentrate on one problem and exclude everything else - so much so that you almost become unmindful of the remaining world. The only problem that you are concentrating upon is your world. That’s why scientists become absentminded. People who concentrate too much always become absentminded because they don’t know how to remain open to the whole world.
I was reading an anecdote:
“I have brought a frog,” said a scientist, a professor of zoology, beaming at his class, “fresh from the pond, in order that we might study its outer appearance and later dissect it.”
He carefully unwrapped the package he carried and inside was a neatly prepared ham sandwich. The good professor looked at it with astonishment.
“Odd!” he said, “I distinctly remember having eaten my lunch.”
That goes on happening to scientists: they become one-pointed and their whole mind becomes narrow. Of course, a narrow mind has its use: it becomes more penetrating, it becomes like a sharp needle, it hits exactly the right point - but it misses the great life that surrounds you.
A buddha is not a man of concentration, he is a man of awareness. He has not been trying to narrow down his consciousness, on the contrary, he has been trying to drop all barriers so that he becomes totally available to existence. Watch: existence is simultaneous. I am speaking here and the traffic noise is simultaneous, the train, the birds the wind blowing through the trees; in this moment, the whole of existence converges. You listening to me, I speaking to you, and millions of things going on - it is tremendously rich.
Concentration makes you one-pointed at a very great cost: ninety-nine percent of life is discarded. If you are solving a mathematical problem, you cannot listen to the birds, they will be a distraction. Children playing around, dogs barking in the street, they will be a distraction. The wife working in the kitchen washing the plates will be a distraction. Because of concentration people have tried to escape from life, to go to the Himalayas, to go to a cave, to remain isolated, so that you can concentrate on God. But God is not an object. God is this wholeness of existence, this moment; God is the totality. That’s why science will never be able to know godliness.
The very method of science is concentration and because of that method, science can never know godliness. It can know more and more minute details. First the molecule was thought to be the last particle, then it was divided. Then an even tinier part, the atom, was known, then concentration divided that also. Now there are electrons, protons, neutrons; sooner or later they are also going to be divided.