Chapter 5: The Buddha Is Your Birthright
I inquired, “Who is this man?” and they said, “He is one of the richest men of the town. His bicycle has no brakes, but one thing is good about his bicycle: if you tell him to purchase a new one he says no, he can leave it anywhere - nobody ever steals it! Who will steal it? Anybody stealing it.it will be known all over the city who has stolen it, it makes so much noise!”
I told a common friend that I would like to meet the man, and I asked him, “Why are you living in such misery when you can live beautifully, in a beautiful house? You have enough money, more than you need, and once you are dead there is nobody else for whom you are collecting all this.”
He said, “I know it, but somehow I cannot spend. That is impossible. Once I get some money, the hardest thing for me is to spend it.” Tears came into his eyes and he said, “I also feel, What am I doing to myself? But I lived in poverty - my parents died when I was very young. I have been a beggar; slowly, slowly I have earned money. I gambled, I did all kinds of things, and that poverty is still within me - I am still an orphan. I am not a rich man - I am the poorest in this town.”
And I could see it in his eyes. This is what happens to people.
You just watch your mind and you will see a queue of past events going back, far back, to the age when you were three or four. And all that has become collected; it is heavy on you.
Buddha says: If you want to quieten the mind, the first thing is to learn the art of reflecting. Just reflect and move on. Yes, live in the moment, live totally. Reflect whatsoever is and then let it move. Don’t cling to it, so that you are again pure, again innocent, again available, again empty, ready to experience again.
It is because of your past that you cannot experience the present; your past distorts everything. It is because of your past that you go on desiring the future, because you don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the past and you would like to have all the pleasures that you enjoyed in the past again and again in the future. So your future is nothing but a modified past: all the pains have been deleted and all the pleasures have been multiplied. And between your past and future is the small present - which is real. Between two unrealities you are destroying that which is real. If you learn to reflect, then the past is irrelevant, the future is irrelevant; the only relevance is that of the present.
Be present to the present - that is the meaning of reflecting.
And the second thing: to quieten the mind, Buddha says:
What will you do when you reflect? You are not a dead thing, you are not like a dead mirror. Be like a mirror, but you can’t be dead - you are alive. So what will you do? Watch.