Chapter 24: The Inescapable
Whenever you run into something inescapable amidst the hubbub, you’ve been examining yourself constantly, but without applying the effort to meditate. This very inescapability itself is meditation: if you go further and apply effort to examine yourself, you’re even further away.
Right when you’re in something inescapable, do not bestir your mind and think of examining yourself. The Patriarch said, “When discrimination doesn’t arise, the light of emptiness shines by itself.”
Again, layman P’ang said:
In daily activities without discrimination,
I alone naturally harmonize.
Not grasping or rejecting anywhere,
Not going with or going against.
Who considers crimson and purple honorable?
There’s not a speck of dust in the mountains.
Spiritual powers and wondrous functioning:
Hauling water and carrying firewood.
Just when you can’t escape, suddenly you get rid of the cloth bag (of illusion) and without being aware of it you will be clapping your hands and laughing loudly.
The inescapable.it is one of the most significant problems for every meditator.
There are things which will disappear as your meditation deepens. All that is false will be gone, all that is illusory will no longer exist; all that you have projected, expected, or dreamt will have no reality. But still there will be something left which is not your dream, which is not your projection, which is not the creation of your mind: this is called the inescapable. In other words, the real will remain - only the false will be gone.
The meditator has to learn two things: first, to be capable, powerful enough, to allow the false to disappear. But this is not a great problem. Every morning when you wake up you allow the dreams to disappear. You don’t hanker for them, howsoever sweet they may have been, you don’t even think about them. Just within two or three seconds you start forgetting, and after a few minutes it as if they had never existed at all. You don’t cry because in your dream somebody died, and you don’t feel very sad because in your dream you became bankrupt. Whatever has happened in the dream, the moment you wake up it becomes meaningless.
So the false known as false is immediately no longer a problem. Now another problem arises which is far bigger, far more profound: the real remains. Up to now, because you were lost in the illusory you were not aware of the real. Suddenly you become aware of the real; now you have to come to terms with the real.