Chapter 1: Listening with the Heart
For “right hearing” it is necessary for the mind to be in a completely silent state of watchfulness. When you are only listening and not doing anything else, only then are you able to hear and understand, and that understanding becomes a light and a transformation within you. If it does not happen in this way, you are not listening to anyone but yourself - you remain surrounded by the tumult raging within you. And when you are engaged in such a way nothing can be communicated to you. Then you appear to be seeing but you are not; you appear to be listening but you are not.
Christ has said, “Those who have eyes to see, see. Those who have ears to hear, hear.” Did those he was talking to not have eyes and ears? Of course they had eyes and ears, but the mere presence of eyes and ears is not enough for seeing and for hearing. Something more is needed and without it the existence or non-existence of eyes and ears is the same. That something more is inner silence and watchful awareness. It is only when these qualities are there that the doors of the mind are open and something can be said and heard.
I expect this kind of hearing from you during the period of this meditation camp. Once you have learned it, it becomes your lifelong companion. It alone can rid you of trivial preoccupations. You can awaken to the great mysterious universe outside and you can experience the eternal, infinite light of consciousness hidden behind the tumult of the mind.
Right seeing and right hearing are not merely a necessity for this meditation camp but are the foundation of all right living. Just as everything is clearly reflected in a lake that is totally calm, without ripples, that which is the truth, that which is the divine will be reflected in you when you become calm and still like the lake.
I am seeing such silence arising in you. Your eyes - the thirst that I see coming to life in you - are inviting me to say what it is I wish to say. They are urging me to reveal the truths I have seen which have moved my soul because your hearts are eager and impatient to understand them. Seeing that you are so willing and ready, my heart is also getting ready to pour out to you. In these peaceful surroundings and with your peaceful state of mind, I will certainly be able to say what I wish to say to all of you. If I were to find deaf hearts in front of me, I would refrain. Doesn’t the light remain outside when it finds the doors of your house closed? In the same way I often stand outside many houses. But it is a good sign that your doors are open. It is a good beginning.
From tomorrow morning we will begin our five-day sojourn of the meditation experiment. As a background to this, I would now like to say a few things to you. For meditation, for the realization of truth, the soil of our minds has to be prepared in the same way as one prepares the soil for the cultivation of flowers. So, I would like you to understand a few sutras, a few key points.
The first sutra is: Live in the present. During the camp days don’t be carried away by your mechanical current of thinking about the past and the future. Because of that, the living moment, the moment that really exists, is wasted and it passes away uselessly. Neither the past nor the future exists. One is only in the memory, the other only in imagination. Only the present is the real and the living moment. And if the truth is to be known it can only be known through being in the present.