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Chapter 28: To Be a Stranger

I have gone as deep into Zen efforts as possible. They have been working for almost fourteen centuries, since Bodhidharma. They are one of the greatest groups in the world, totally devoted to a single thing and that is meditation. There is no other experiment anywhere that has been done for so long a time continuously. But still there are not many Zen masters.

Yes, there are more masters in the stream of Zen than in any other stream in the world, but still they are very few compared to the people who have been working. I have been searching out what was the basic mistake. This is the basic mistake, Vimal: those Zen masters told them the right thing but not in the right way. I am making you aware of silences without any effort on your part. My speaking is being used for the first time as a strategy to create silence in you.

This is not a teaching, a doctrine, a creed. That’s why I can say anything. I am the most free person who has ever existed as far as saying anything is concerned. I can contradict myself in the same evening a hundred times. Because it is not a speech, it has not to be consistent. It is a totally different thing, and it will take time for the world to recognize that a tremendously different experiment was going on.

Just a moment.when I became silent, you become silent. What remains is just a pure awaiting. You are not making any effort; neither am I making any effort. I enjoy talking; it is not an effort.

I love to see you silent. I love to see you laugh, I love to see you dance. But in all these activities, the fundamental remains meditation.

This is for you all, absolutely unrelated with anything.

Hymie and Becky Goldberg are with their teenage son, Herschel, on holiday in California. Herschel is jogging down the beach when he happens to see someone drowning, not far from the shore. Rushing into the surf, he pulls the man out. Much to his surprise it is Ronald Reagan.

The president sits up in the sand, and when he finally manages to catch his breath, he says, “Young man, that was a heroic deed you just did. In such uncertain times as today, with the stock market crash and the Middle East crisis, the world can’t do without me. Tell me son, if there is anything I can do for you, just let me know.”

Herschel thinks for a minute, “You know there is one thing.”

“Name it,” Ronald Reagan urges.

“I would like to be buried with my surfboard in Surfers’ Paradise Beach, here in California.”

The request takes Ronald Reagan by surprise. “I don’t understand,” he says. “From the looks of you, you’re in perfect health.”

“Oh, I am,” answers Herschel. “But when my father Hymie Goldberg finds out whose life I just saved, he’s gonna kill me!”