Chapter 9: Provisions for the Journey
Mulla Nasruddin was standing the court of the City Magistrate. And he was saying, “Now it is too much, and I cannot tolerate anymore. We have a small room to live in, only one room. I live there, my wife lives there, my twelve children live there, and my wife is obsessive. She has a few goats in the room and a dog also sleeps there. And it is becoming so ugly and so dirty. It stinks! And I cannot live anymore. So I have come to ask for a separation.”
The magistrate said, “But don’t you have any windows? Can’t you open your windows?”
He said, “What! And let my pigeons out?”
When you are holding something you cannot open the windows, you cannot open the door; you will be afraid. And if you don’t open the windows of the mind you will be in trouble, because when you are alone in the ocean, fighting with the waves, a closed mind will be a blind mind. You will need all openness there, because only out of openness can the response be right.
So Buddha says: dana, generosity, sharing, has to be learned. While you are on this shore, learn as much sharing as possible. Share whatsoever you have to share, because nothing really belongs to you. Your possession is a crime. Whatsoever you possess or claim that you possess is a crime against the whole. You can, at the most, use, but you cannot claim possession. Things have existed when you were not here, things will be here when you are gone and completely forgotten. Who is the possessor? We come empty-handed, and we go empty-handed. So while you are in the world don’t become like fists; remain open-handed. An open-handed person is an open-minded person too. In fact, the hand is nothing but an extension of the mind.
The right side of your mind is joined with your left hand, the left side of your mind is joined with your right hand. When you move your right hand your mind moves, when you move your left hand the other side of your mind moves. When your hand is like a closed fist, then your mind is also closed like a fist. Yes, this expression “open-handed” is beautiful: an open-handed man is also open-minded.
So Buddha says: The first parmita, the quality that can take you beyond, is sharing. He does not mention what to share, because it is not important what you share. Whether you share a song, or a dance, or you share your love, or you share your experience, your meditation, your money, your house, your clothes, your body; that is not the point. But sharing should become essential.
Ordinarily hoarding is essential. A hoarder will remain clinging to this shore; he cannot go to the other shore because a hoarder, in the first place, cannot leave this shore. All his hoarding belongs to this shore. See the point of it. Somebody says, “Come, there is a bigger house,” but you will say, “First I will have to carry the treasures which I have hidden in this house. I cannot go right now. I have much involvement with this house. My whole life’s savings are here. I will have to take it with me, then only can I come.” But the other shore is such that you cannot take anything from this shore.