Chapter 4: Let Go of the Branch
There is one of the most ancient meditations still used in some monasteries of Tibet. The meditation is based on the truth that I am saying to you. They teach that sometimes you can simply disappear. Sitting in the garden, you just start feeling that you are disappearing. Just see how the world looks when you have gone from the world, when you are no longer here, when you have become absolutely transparent. Just try for a single second not to be.
In your own home, be as if you are not.
Just think, one day you will not be. One day you will be gone, you will be dead; the radio will still continue, the wife will still prepare the breakfast, the children will still be getting ready for school. Think: today you are gone, you just are not. Become a ghost. Just sitting in your chair, you simply disappear, you simply think, “I have no more reality; I am not.” And just see how the house continues. There will be tremendous peace and silence. Everything will continue as it is. Without you. everything will continue as it is. Nothing will be missed. Then what is the point of always remaining occupied, doing something, doing something, obsessed with action? What is the point? You will be gone, and whatsoever you have done will disappear - as if you had signed your name on the sands, and the wind comes, and the signature disappears.and everything is finished. Be as if you had never existed.
It is really a beautiful meditation. You can try it many times in twenty-four hours. Just half a second will do; for half a second, simply stop.you are not.and the world continues. When you become more and more alert to the fact that without you the world continues perfectly well, then you will be able to learn another part of your being which has been neglected for long, for lives - and that is the receptive mode. You simply allow, you become a door. Things go on happening without you.
This is what Buddha means when he says: Become a driftwood. Float in the stream like timber, and wherever the stream goes let it take you; you don’t make any effort. The whole Buddhist approach belongs to the receptive mode. That’s why you see Buddha sitting under a tree. All his images are of sitting, sitting and doing nothing. He’s simply sitting there, he’s not doing anything.
You don’t have that type of image of Jesus. He still goes on following the action mode. That’s where Christianity has missed the deepest possibility: Christianity became active. The Christian missionary goes on serving the poor, goes to the hospital, does this and that, and his whole effort is to do something good. Yes, very good - but he remains in the action mode, and God can only be known in the receptive mode. So a Christian missionary will be a good man, a very good man, but not, in the Eastern sense, a saint.
Now even in the East a person who goes on doing things is worshipped as a mahatma - because the East is poor, ill. There are thousands of lepers, blind people, uneducated people; they need education, they need medicine, they need service, they need a thousand and one things. Suddenly the active person has become important - so Gandhi is a mahatma, Vinoba is a saint, and Mother Theresa of Calcutta has become very important. But nobody looks at whether they have attained to the receptive mode or not.