Chapter 18: Dropping out of the Olympics
Power politics is as much in a communist country - in fact more than it is in a capitalist country - because we never change the foundation, we only go on whitewashing the walls. You can whitewash them, you can change the color; that is not going to make any real difference. And that’s what we go on doing in our individual lives too.
One politician came to me and he wanted to learn how to meditate. I asked why. He said “Why? Meditation gives peace, silence, and I want to be silent, I want to be peaceful.”
I asked him, “Do you really want to be silent and peaceful?”
He said, “Yes, that’s why I have come from so long a distance.”
“Then,” I said, “the first thing you will have to understand is that the political mind can never be silent and can never be peaceful. You will have to choose. If you really want to enter into the world of meditation, you will have to get out of the world of politics. You cannot ride on two horses, and two horses which are going in diametrically opposite directions.”
He said, “That is too much! In fact I had come to you because of my political work. There is so much tension in the mind, I cannot sleep in the night, I cannot rest, I toss and turn, and the whole day and the night too, the same political anxiety continues. I had come to you so that you can teach me a technique of meditation that can help me to relax and compete more efficiently in the world. I am not ready to pay that much for meditation. I want meditation to serve me in my political competition. Twenty years I have been in politics, and yet I have not become the chief minister of my state.”
Now, this man cannot meditate. Meditation is not something that can grow in any soil. It needs a basic understanding; the change has to be very fundamental. It needs a new soil to grow in; it needs a new gestalt.
A meditator naturally slows down with no effort. He does not practice it. A practiced thing is never true; it is artificial, arbitrary. Avoid practiced things - at the most they can be actings, they are not true. And only truth liberates.
A meditator is naturally slow - not because he is trying to be slow but just because there is nowhere to go. There is nothing to achieve, there is nothing to become, the becoming has ceased. When becoming ceases, being is. And being is slow, non-aggressive, unhurried.
Then you can savor the taste of each moment with total presence, you can be present to the present; otherwise you are in such a hurry that it is impossible to have any look at that which is. Your eyes are focused on a faraway distant goal, a faraway distant star; you are looking there.
I have heard an ancient story, it happened in Greece.
A great astrologer, the most famous of those days, fell into a well. In the night he was studying the stars, walking on the road he forgot that there was a well by the side and fell into it.