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Chapter 2: Dissolved, Just like Ice

And what is the difference between the disciple and the devotee? The disciple seeks connection, the devotee seeks dissolvement; the disciple seeks individuality, the devotee seeks the ocean. Personality is borrowed, it has to be dropped; individuality is your own, but if you can manage to drop it also then the whole ocean is yours. Otherwise, a dewdrop is beautiful in the sunlight or in the moonlight, but the roaring reality of the ocean and the eternity of the ocean are missing. The dewdrop has no song to sing; the ocean has millions of songs to sing and millions remain unsung.

Although the dewdrop can reflect the moon as much as the ocean, the depth of the reflection cannot be more than the circular dimension of the dewdrop. In the ocean the same moon penetrates to the very depths, miles deep.

Being a devotee means dropping even individuality, dropping even the feeling that, “I am”.just merging with the universe. It is the ultimate quantum leap. From personality to individuality is a very small jump, available to many, but from individuality to no-individuality is a very rare occurrence. And that’s what makes a disciple a devotee.

Because Zen tradition knows nothing about the devotee, there is something missing in it. It brings the individual to realize the truth, it brings the individual back home; but the separation of the individual from the master and the separation of the individual from existence still remain in a very subtle form. The disciple still is. He has not forgotten himself completely, he has not dropped even his being.

A devotee is a miracle. He simply disappears into the whole, leaving behind not even a trace.

Gautam Buddha is reported to have said that the authentic seeker is just like a bird flying in the sky, leaving no footmarks behind. When the bird becomes one with the sky.not only in tune, because in tune you still remain separate. The disciple is in tune with the master but they are two different instruments, meeting deeply with each other, but the separation line is still there. The devotee simply disappears, only the master remains. The master himself becomes just a window for him to jump into the beyond.

Because the devotee is not at all a part of the Zen tradition.and there are reasons why the word has not appeared. The reasons are that devotees - the very word devotee has become contaminated with the idea of God, with worship. To devote yourself, to dedicate yourself, to surrender yourself.but all these words are not the essence of the word devotee. Because of these misconceptions about the devotee, Zen has not used the word at all - because there is no God to be devoted to and there is no worship to be done; you have to be just yourself.

My own experience is that just to be yourself is great, but not great enough. There is one step more - not to be. Let the pine trees stand in their beauty under the full moon, let the birds sing, let the sun rise and set, but you will not be found anywhere. You are no more, existence is. This ultimate step makes the disciple a devotee.no worship, no question of any God. And according to me, unless one is a devotee, not in tune with the universe but one with the universe, he cannot be a master.

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