Chapter 28: A Thirst, a Prayer without Words
As meditation is deepening, I feel tension and frustration at not being okay with myself, melting more and more. Now as you push us on, another kind of tension will not allow me to be satisfied, except momentarily. I have heard you call this divine discontent. I remember once a friend said, “If you think this is it, you can be sure it isn’t.” This pushes me on to inquire more deeply.
Beloved, laughter helps to move beyond tension, and with divine discontent I just need to remember to laugh at myself. Do you have a little something to remind me?
It is one of the traps every meditator is prone to fall into. The name of the trap is seriousness. You are taking things too seriously. The moment you become serious about anything, it creates tension. And tension is a great disturbance as far as meditation is concerned, peace is concerned, silence is concerned.
Anything that is known as spiritual becomes more impossible, the more tense you become. And remember the vicious circle: the more tense you are, the less you will be experiencing the joys and the depths and the heights of meditation. The less joyous, the more tense you will be; the more tense, joys will disappear completely.
Millions of people have tried meditation and dropped out of it because they took it very seriously. Religion has been thought to be a very serious affair - it is not. One has to understand - at least those who are with me - that religion is a playfulness, a laughter. Take it easy; then things blossom without any tension. You are not taking it easy, you are making it difficult.
You say, “As meditation is deepening, I feel tension and frustration at not being okay with myself, melting more and more.”
It is not you who is feeling frustrated and who is feeling tense. Your innermost being knows nothing of tension and nothing of frustration. It is your mind who is coming in.
The absolute criterion to know whether it is mind or not is the desire for more and more. That is the way mind functions in every field of life. If you are earning money, the mind goes on saying more and more. If you are after power, mind goes on saying more and more. If you are doing meditation, mind goes on saying more and more.
That “more and more” is the very basic quality of the mind. And mind is always serious. It disturbs everything that comes from the beyond.
If meditation is deepening, you should feel more joyous. But we think we deserve more, we are worthy of more; we are doing a great obligation to nature because for a few minutes we are sitting in meditation.
Don’t make it serious.
One emperor of Japan went to see Rinzai, a Zen master who lived in the mountains with the wild animals, with the trees. The emperor had taken a great risk in going there. And he had taken with him a very beautiful robe studded with diamonds and precious stones. He had made it specially as a present for the master.