Chapter 6: Just to Be Able to Dance
The spontaneous man is the way to the real man, to the essential man, to the God within. You cannot decide direction, you can only live this moment that is available to you. By living it, direction arises. If you dance, the next moment is going to be of a deeper dance. Not that you decide, but you simply dance this moment. You have created a direction: you are not manipulating it. The next moment will be more full of dancing, and still more will be following.
Destination is fixed by the mind; direction is earned by living. Destination is logical: one wants to be a doctor, one wants to be an engineer, one wants to be a scientist or one wants to be a politician, one wants to be a rich man, a famous man - these are destinations. Direction? - one simply lives the moment in deep trust that life will decide. One lives this moment so totally that out of this totality a freshness is born. Out of this totality the past dissolves and the future starts taking shape. But this shape is not given by you, this shape is earned by you.
One Zen master, Rinzai, was dying; he was on his deathbed. Somebody asked, “Master, people will ask after you are gone, what was your essential teaching? You have said many things, you have talked about many things - it will be difficult for us to condense it. Before you leave, please, you yourself condense it into a single sentence, so we can treasure it. And whenever people who have not known you desire, we can give them your essential teaching.”
Dying, Rinzai opened his eyes, gave a great Zen shout, a lion’s roar! They were all shocked! They couldn’t believe that this dying man could have so much energy, and they were not expecting it. The man was unpredictable; he had always been so. But even with this unpredictable man they were not in any way expecting that dying, at the last moment, he would give such a lion’s roar. And when they were shocked - and of course their minds stopped, they were surprised, taken aback - Rinzai said, “This is it!” closed his eyes, and died.
This is it..
This moment, this silent moment, this moment uncorrupted by thought, this silence that was all around, this surprise, this last lion’s roar over death; this is it.
Yes, direction comes out of living this moment. It is not something that you manage and plan. It happens, it is very subtle - and you will never be certain about it, you can only feel it. That’s why I say it is more like poetry not like prose; more like love not like logic; more like art than like science. Vague.and that’s its beauty - hesitant, as hesitant as a dewdrop on a grass leaf - slipping, not knowing where, not knowing why; in the morning sun, just slipping on a leaf of grass.