Chapter 5: How Sweet to Be Free
Meditation means making your consciousness a mirror. Thoughts are like dust, they have to be removed. And thoughts contain everything belonging to the mind: desires, ambitions, memories, fantasies, dreams.all mindstuff is different forms of thoughts, different kinds, different layers of dust. And the dust is so thick that the mirror is not functioning at all - hence you have to ask others. Once the dust is removed you need not ask anyone, you yourself can see. Existence has given you the magic mirror - it is within you.
I have heard a beautiful parable; it must be a parable, it cannot be an historical phenomenon:
When Alexander the Great came to India he collected many valuable treasures. And when he was leaving he came across a fakir, a naked fakir. He asked him, “Do you see my treasures? Have you ever seen anybody with so many treasures?”
The fakir said, “All your treasures are nothing, but I can give you one thing that will really make you rich!”
Alexander could not imagine what this naked fakir could give him. In his begging bowl he had a small mirror. He gave the mirror to Alexander.
Alexander said, “This mirror will make me the richest man in the world? You must be mad!”
The fakir said, “First look in the mirror.”
And Alexander looked into the mirror: it did not show his face - it showed his inner being, it showed his interiority, it showed his subjectivity. His being was reflected in the mirror.
He touched the feet of the fakir and said, “You are right - all my treasures are nothing before this mirror.”
And it is said he kept that mirror continuously with him.
The parable is beautiful. That mirror represents meditation. The fakir must have given him some meditation because only meditation can make you aware of who you are.
But Buddha says meditation has to become something constant. Buddha brings a totally new vision of meditation to the world. Before Buddha, meditation was something that you had to do once or twice a day, one hour in the morning, one hour in the evening, and that was all. Buddha gave a totally new interpretation to the whole process of meditation. He said: This kind of meditation that you do one hour in the morning, one hour in the evening, you may do five times or four times a day, is not of much value. Meditation cannot be something that you can do apart from life just for one hour or fifteen minutes. Meditation has to become something synonymous with your life; it has to be like breathing. You cannot breathe one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening, otherwise the evening will never come. It has to be something like breathing: even while you are asleep the breathing continues. You may fall into a coma, but the breathing continues.
Buddha says meditation should become such a constant phenomenon; only then can it transform you. And he evolved a new technique of meditation.