Chapter 6: All You Can Do Is Drop Your Mind
But man remains always concerned with his own stupid ideas. When the whole existence is rejoicing, it is only man who is worried. Have you ever seen a tree worried? No animal is ever worried. Even in dying, it dies peacefully. Such is the way of existence, that anything that is born is going to die.
But man’s mind intrudes, always creates problems, because it expects things to be different than they are. He is not ready to accept the suchness of existence; he wants it according to him. This, according to him, is the whole misery. Everybody is trying that everything should be according to him. One may say it, one may not say it, but even without saying it, your mind is weaving thoughts about how things should be brought according to your idea - and this is impossible.
You cannot change existence.
All that you can do is drop your mind.
Horin said: “Though you may spread your three inches of tongue, and illuminate the celestial quietness, just try and say a single word to fit the occasion!”
Rinzai responded - and his response is of fundamental importance: “when you meet a master swordsman, show him your sword. When you meet a man who is not a poet, do not show him your poem.”
Each according to his worth, each according to his receptivity. You are not yet able to receive one word and understand it. I cannot recite a poem to you, because you will not understand it; you will certainly misunderstand.
I have heard, a thief was brought into the court, and the judge said, “Why have you entered this man’s house?”
The poor thief said, “I have entered to steal something. But the man was so strange: he caught hold of me, and when I tried hard to escape he said, ‘Don’t be worried, just sit down and listen. I have written a new poem.’ I thought it was better to listen silently, but the poem went on and on and on. And he was holding me by the hand, so this way the whole night he tortured me. I didn’t understand a single word of what he was saying, and I could not escape either.
“By the morning the police came, and now I am standing here before you with only one hope: that you will not give me the punishment to listen to this poet again. I am ready even to go to the gallows. I had no idea that this house belongs to a poet, otherwise I would not have entered.”
Poets are like that. It is very difficult for them to find audiences. They go on searching around to see if they can find somebody, and everybody goes on running away saying, “I have to do some special work. Right now I am not available.” Who wants to waste time?