Chapter 10: Begin with Simple Things
The first said something which was philosophical, logical, very systematic, but Bodhidharma was not happy. He looked very sad. He said, “You have only my skin.”
He asked the other; he said something. His answer was a little better than the first one: more intuitive, less intellectual, more poetic, more musical. Bodhidharma said, “You have my flesh”; but still he was not very happy.
He asked the third the same question: What is truth? The third was still better; he said something which was more existential, had a glimpse of realization in it, just a ray of light. Bodhidharma was not unhappy, but not yet happy. He said, “You have my bones.”
And then he asked the fourth, and the fourth said nothing. The fourth answered with silence. Bodhidharma looked into his eyes: they were like an infinite abyss, a bottomless abyss. And the disciple fell unto his feet without uttering a word. Bodhidharma must have danced in his innermost being. He was tremendously happy; at least one had understood him totally. He said, “You have my marrow, my very soul.”
These four were all cannibals; they were eating the master. But one produced only the skin; the other produced flesh; the third produced bones; the fourth exactly reflected the master, gave birth to the master again in his being.
So while you are here with me, let it be your deepest meditation. I speak to you - not that there is something to be told to you. It is just a device. It is just a device so you can be close to me; it is just a device so you can be engaged in listening and your being can be in deeper contact with me. You have learned the ways of language; it is very difficult for you to sit silently with me. If you sit silently you will be faraway, you will be lost in your thoughts. There will be a great distance between me and you. I have tried that.
I used to sit silently with people, but I found they were faraway, thousands of miles away, in their thoughts. They look physically just close; spiritually they are not there at all: somebody is moving into his past, somebody has already moved into some imagination in the future. I used to look into them and I found they were not there, they were somewhere else. Only their bodies were there - empty shells, hollow. Their minds were not there. And if your mind is not there it is very difficult for your soul to be there.