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Chapter 5: Gutei’s Finger

Masters never do anything unnecessarily, not even raising a finger. The unnecessary has disappeared. Only the essential exists with a master. He will not do a single movement, a single gesture, if it is not essential. The nonessential exists with ignorance; then, whatsoever you do is trivial, nonessential - if you leave it, nothing is lost.

Look at your life, whatsoever you are doing - if you leave it, what is lost? Nothing is gained through it - trivial things from the morning to the evening. And then you are tired of it, then you go to sleep, and in the morning you are again ready to do the same non-essentials. It is a vicious circle, one nonessential runs into another nonessential, they are linked with each other.

But you are so afraid to look at this triviality of life that you are always keeping your back towards it, because looking at the triviality of life makes you feel so depressed, “What am I doing?” And if you see that everything you are doing is absolutely useless, your ego is lost; because the ego can feel significant only when you are doing something significant. So you create significance in trivial things, and you feel you are doing great duties to the nation, to the family, to humanity - as if without you the existence will simply drop. Nothing is important, whatsoever you are doing - but you have to give significance to it, because through significance the ego is fed, strengthened.

In ignorance, everything is nonessential. Whatsoever you do, even your meditation, your prayer, your going to the temple - all is trivial. Even when you pray, it cannot be deeper than when you read your newspaper. Because it is not a question of prayer, it is a question of you. If you have depth, then whenever you move, whatsoever you do, the act will have depth. If you don’t have depth, even if you go to the temple it makes no difference; you enter the temple the same way as you enter a hotel. You are the same, temple and hotel can’t make much difference.

Give a child a very costly toy made of diamonds, and he will do the same with that costly toy as he was doing with ordinary toys, because he is a child. He will play with it for a few moments, then throw it in the corner and go away.

Your depth brings depth to your actions. Even when an enlightened master raises his finger, it is meaningful, it is very significant. Why did this Gutei used to raise his finger.whenever he explained a question about Zen? Not always - whenever he explained a question about Zen he would raise a finger. Why? - because he was explaining and he was also showing, because whatsoever you ask about religion, one raised finger is the answer.

All your problems arise because you are not one. All your problems arise because you are fragmented. All your problems arise because you are a disunity, a chaos - not a harmony. And what is Zen, and what is yoga, and what is meditation? Nothing but coming to a unity. The very word yoga means unity, to be one, total, whole.

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