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Chapter 1: Flight of the Alone to the Alone

The monk laughed and said, “Moment to moment - as I have always lived! There has never been more than this moment for me, so what does it matter whether I have twenty-four hours or twenty-four years? It is irrelevant. I have always lived moment to moment so one moment is more than enough for me. Twenty-four hours is too much - one moment is quite enough.”

The king could not understand it. The monk said, “Let me ask you, sir: can you live two moments simultaneously?”

No one ever has. The only possible way to live is one moment at a time. Two moments are not given to you simultaneously; only one moment is ever in your hand. And that one moment is so flickering that if you are engrossed in the past or enchanted by the future you will not be able to catch it. It will pass you by and you will miss it. Only the mind which is receptive, here and now, can create the situation in which meditation happens.

The fourth thing is seriousness. People who think and talk about meditation take it seriously. They regard it as work, not play. But if you take meditation seriously, you cannot create the situation for it to happen. Seriousness is tension, and a tense mind can never be in meditation.

You must take meditation as a game, a child’s game. People who meditate should be playful - playing with existence, playing with life - weightless, non-tense; not in a doing mood but in a relaxed mood. It is only in a relaxed moment, only in a playful moment, that the happening is possible.

A serious person cannot be religious. And all religious people are so serious! It seems as if only diseased people with long faces become religious. But meditation is not something that is a “must,” it is something absolutely purposeless; it is something whose end is intrinsic to it. There is nothing to be achieved by it or through it - it cannot be made a means.

But as I see it, people who become interested in meditation are not really interested in meditation, they are interested in something else and meditation is used as a means to attain it. They may be interested in silence, in achieving a non-tense state of mind - they may be interested in anything - but they are not simply interested in meditation as such, so they cannot be open to it.

Meditation comes only to those who are interested in meditation as an end in itself. Silence comes: that is another thing. Peace comes: that is another thing. The divine comes: that is another thing. These are consequences, byproducts; they cannot be longed for because that very longing creates tension.

The divine comes, or it would be better to say that everything becomes divine, everything becomes blissful. It comes indirectly, unlonged for, as a shadow of meditation. And this is one of the mysteries of life: everything which is beautiful, everything which is true, everything which is lovely always comes indirectly. You cannot go after meditation, you cannot reach for it directly, because if it is approached in that way - as a longing for happiness, for the divine, or for anything else - you will lose it; it will not come and overwhelm you. It must not be made a means, it cannot be made a means. And seriousness is the barrier.

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