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Chapter 2: The Thread of Meditation

Nan In laughed. He said, “At that time I was a chopper of wood. Now I am going to chop your head; now I am a master. We live each moment, moment to moment, but we are indivisible. The chopper was also Master Nan In. If you had eyes you could have seen my involvement with the movement, my totality of action, my intensity of being.

“If you had eyes you could have seen him there; you would not have asked about Master Nan In. You had already met him, but you didn’t know. Now I am a chopper of heads. That’s the function of a master: to make you so egoless, to make you so thoughtless that you are almost without a head, just the heart pulsating with love, with compassion. Have you come only to ask some questions? Are you really a seeker? Are you ready to lose something?”

The king was just confused, shocked, even afraid of the man. He had never been afraid of anybody, but this man was simply crazy - he was talking of chopping his head!

The king said, “You have confused me too much and I am almost falling apart. Please forgive me this time. I will come another time, because I have forgotten for what I came.”

Nan In said, “You need not come again. I am going to come to you, and I will follow you wherever you go. Now you cannot escape, because I can see something really authentic in you. Yes, it is unconscious; you are not aware of it, much garbage is hiding it. You think you are a king. Even sitting before me you are still thinking you are a king. This is garbage - you are just a beggar. And the beggar that I am is really a king.”

The king said, “I don’t understand all these puzzles. Please talk to me without puzzling me.”

Nan In said, “There is no puzzle in it, it is simple. I am a king because I don’t need anything in the world. You are a beggar; although you have a big empire, your desires are unending. You are desiring more and more and more. The mind that goes on desiring more is the mind of a beggar. And the consciousness that is content with itself as it is, utterly content, is the consciousness of an emperor.

“Strange,” he said. “You think you are a king, and you look on me as a beggar. The reality is just the opposite. Go back - and I will be coming to visit you.” And Nan In followed the king continuously till he made him aware of his innermost treasure.

It is dangerous to go to a master, because then escape is almost impossible. Wherever you go - even if you go to Santa Fe - I am there. Nothing can save you. Once a master has seen within you a heart that can grow, that can expand, that can become universal, he is not going to leave you.

I don’t need to go to Santa Fe. I have my own ways, far more subtle than Nan In’s. I am continually there; they are talking only about me, they cannot talk about anything else. Whom are they befooling? Whether you talk for me or against me does not matter, just go on continuously talking about me. That’s enough; that is going to change you.

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