Chapter 7: Awareness: The Master Key
Buddha is reported to have said when he became enlightened, the first moment of it he smiled and he said: “This is unbelievable, so I have been enlightened from the very beginning! And all those chains and all those imprisonments were just dreams?”
When people asked him, “What should we do not to be angry, or what should we do not to be greedy, or what should we do not to be so much obsessed with sex or food?” his answer was always the same: “Be aware! Bring awareness to your life.”
His disciple, Ananda, listening again and again to every kind of person - different problems, but the prescription of the physician remains the same - became puzzled. He said, “What is the matter with you? They bring different kinds of illness: somebody brings greed and somebody sex and somebody food and somebody something else, but your prescription remains the same.”
And Buddha said, “Their illnesses are different just as people can dream different dreams.”
Here you are. If all of you, all two thousand sannyasins, fall asleep, you will have two thousand dreams. Remember, you cannot invite anybody to share your dream, it is very private, not even your wife or your husband, nobody can share it - so two thousand people will have two thousand dreams. But if you come to me and ask how to get rid of this dream, the medicine will remain the same: wake up! It is not going to be different; the prescription is going to be the same. You can call it awareness, you can call it witnessing, you can call it remembering, you can call it meditation - these are different names for the same medicine.
Act with more awareness.
There was a man traveling home from work on a train. Shortly after its departure he had fallen asleep, lulled off by the motion of the train. Somewhere in between stations, the train suddenly stopped at an emergency red signal.
The man, waking up suddenly, thought the train had arrived at his destination and proceeded promptly to step out of the door and fell flat onto the track. Quite shaken and bruised, he was helped by the other passengers back into the carriage.
Dusting himself off and rearranging his tie and dabbing his bloody nose dry, he then exclaimed, “How stupid of me to get out at the wrong side!” and then proceeded to leave by the door opposite and stepped in front of the oncoming express!
The only problem with man is that he is fast asleep - with open eyes! That’s why you are not even aware that you are not aware. Your eyes are open and you are dreaming: a thousand and one dreams, a thousand and one desires. You are not here-now - that is the meaning of not being aware. You are in the past, in the memories; that is a dream. Or you are in the future, in imagination; that is a dream.
Be now, here.