Chapter 1: The Way of the White Clouds
The first question:
Why is your way called The Way of the White Clouds?
Just before Buddha died somebody asked him: “When a buddha dies where does he go? Does he survive or simply disappear into nothingness?” This is not a new question, it is one of the oldest, many times repeated and asked. Buddha is reported to have said: “Just like a white cloud disappearing..”
Just this very morning there were white clouds in the sky. Now they are there no longer there. Where have they gone? From where do they come? How do they evolve, and how do they dissolve again? A white cloud is a mystery, the coming, the going, the very being of it. That’s the first reason why I call my way The Way of the White Clouds.
But there are many reasons, and it is good to ponder, to meditate upon them. A white cloud exists without any roots. It is an unrooted phenomenon, grounded nowhere or grounded in the “now-here”. But still it exists. The whole of existence is like a white cloud; it exists without any roots, without any causality, without any ultimate cause. It exists as a mystery.
A white cloud really has no way of its own. It drifts. It has nowhere to reach, no destination, no destiny to be fulfilled, no end. You cannot frustrate a white cloud because wherever it reaches is the goal. If you have a goal you are bound to get frustrated. The more goal-oriented a mind is, the more anguish, anxiety and frustration there will be, because once you have a goal you are moving with a fixed destination. And the whole exists without any destiny. The whole is not moving anywhere; there is no goal to it, no purpose.
Once you have a purpose you are against the whole - remember this - then you will get frustrated. You cannot win against the whole. Your existence is so tiny - you cannot fight, you cannot conquer. It is impossible to conceive how an individual unit can conquer the whole. And if the whole is purposeless and you are with purpose, you are going to be defeated.
A white cloud drifts wherever the wind leads - it doesn’t resist, it doesn’t fight. A white cloud is not a conqueror, and still it hovers over everything. You cannot conquer it, you cannot defeat it. It has no mind to conquer - that’s why you cannot defeat it. Once you are fixed on a goal, purpose, destiny, meaning, once you have got that madness of reaching somewhere, then problems will arise. And you will be defeated, that is certain. Your defeat is in the very nature of existence itself.
A white cloud has nowhere to go. It moves, it moves everywhere. All dimensions belong to it, all directions belong to it. Nothing is rejected. Everything is, exists, in a total acceptance. Hence I call my way The Way of the White Clouds.