Chapter 66: A Buddha Is a Nobody
The second thing.what do I mean by mystery? Whatsoever you understand, I don’t mean, because you think that a mystery will be something very amazing, staggering, shocking, that you will be thrown off the ground. That is not the point. Mystery is the simple pure existence with nothing amazing about it, nothing staggering. You will not be pushed aside, not thrown, not shocked, not puzzled. Mystery is nothing mysterious really. This very ordinary existence - accept it as it is without creating any problem. When you don’t create a problem this existence is the mystery; when you create the problem you are destroying the mystery. Now you are in search of a solution, some answer. The same mind goes on. If you hear me talking about the mystery then you think about something very special. There is nothing special in existence. Only for the ego does the word special exist.
It is reported that when Lin Chi achieved enlightenment he laughed. His disciples asked, “Why are you laughing?” He said, “I am laughing for this. I was endeavoring for thousands and thousands of lives for this - it is so ordinary.”
This is the mystery - nothing special.
It is said of Dozen, another Zen master, that when he achieved enlightenment disciples asked him, “What was the first thing that you wanted to do after it?” Dozen is reported to have said, “I wanted a cup of tea.”
It was so ordinary. But for the ego these things are not appealing. If I say that enlightenment is so ordinary that you would like to have a cup of tea after it, then you will feel that the whole thing is nonsense - why endeavor? Then the ego comes in. The ego wants something special, something rare, something that does not usually happen, that has happened only to you, which has not happened to just anyone. The ego wants something special, extraordinary.
Reality is not extraordinary; it is happening everywhere. And if it has not happened to you than that is special! Because it is there, always present. Not for a single moment is it absent. Enlightenment is happening every moment, it is the very core of existence - but you are deaf and blind. It is nothing special.
To be a buddha, to be enlightened, is the most ordinary phenomenon. When I say “ordinary” I mean: it must be so. If it looks very extraordinary it is because of you, because you create so many hurdles - and you love them. First you create the obstacle, and then you try to cross it. And then you feel very elated. In the first place, there is no obstacle. But your ego will not feel good - you must create a long route to come to the point that was the nearest, the most intimate one. And you had never missed it!
So don’t seek something mysterious. Just be simple and innocent. And then the whole existence opens to you. You will not go mad, you can simply smile at the absurdity of the whole thing that was so near but you could not attain it. And there was no barrier. It was, in a sense, always within you. It was a miracle how you went on missing it.
If the emptiness is real, all that is there, the whole of it, the reality, will be opened to you. Not that it is closed right now, it is open. You are closed. Your mind is occupied. When your mind is empty, unoccupied, you will be open to it, and there will be a meeting. And then everything is beautiful in its total ordinariness. Hence it is said that one who has known becomes absolutely ordinary. He is one with the reality. To be hankering for the special is the way of the ego, and all the ways of the ego create gaps and distances between you and the real. Be empty and everything will have happened to you.