Chapter 5: The White Flame of Life
Listening to me, you can start having experiences of satori. Listening to me continuously, you can create a belief-system - a strong projector. Every day listening, meditating, listening, meditating, one thing again and again becomes a constant repetition in the mind - creates a groove, a rut, becomes deeper every day. One day suddenly you experience satori has happened. But if it is an experience it is not the real satori. If you can experience it, if you can see it happening, then it is not satori - because you are there separate. Wherever you are separate from your experience, the thing that separates you is the mind.
So God cannot be an experience and samadhi cannot be an experience and truth cannot be an experience. Mind disappears, all experience disappears. Suddenly reality is there - but you are no more separate from it to know it. You are it.
This is a beautiful parable. Before we enter into it, a few things have to be understood.
Master Takan was dying - a great Zen master, very much loved by his disciples. His disciples asked that he should write a death poem. In Zen it is traditional, whenever a master dies, as his last utterance he writes a death poem. It is beautiful, very indicative. Death should be a poetry, death should be a celebration, a song. And when a master is departing, when he is saying good-bye to all those who have been with him and who have been working with him and who have been growing through him - to all his children - he leaves his last legacy in a song. Maybe two lines, four lines - a small haiku. But that is his gift.
So they write death poems. And disciples ask - when they see that the master is on the verge to leave them, they say, “The last thing is, give us a song.” Death should happen with a song - that is the meaning. Death should not be a sad affair, it should be a joy. And masters have sung beautiful songs. They have to be spontaneous because the master may not be a poet at all, he may not have composed a poem ever. But when such a great phenomenon as death is there everybody becomes a poet, if you are alert.
It is such a beautiful experience. To pass through death is to pass through utter relaxation, to enter into death is to enter into a non-tense rest. Everything starts becoming lax, everything starts dropping. And one is ready for the journey, and the boat has come to the shore.and the unknown surrounds.and the mysterious is all around. Even one who has never been a poet and has never written a poem, will utter something.
So they asked Master Takan to write a death poem. He refused. But when they insisted, he wrote the character yume - it means “dream” - and died.
Many death poems have been written, but nothing to compare with Master Takan: yume - dream. Life and death both are dreams: that is his last verdict. It is very definitive. That’s what Hindu mystics have always said - maya. It is not there; it is there because you want it there. The mind is tremendously creative, the mind is the real creator. It goes on creating - it goes on creating anything that you want to create, it makes everything available to you. You have just to be dreaming, and reality starts changing around you.