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Chapter 7: Swimming with the River

Her husband charged mental cruelty, infidelity and incompatibility, while her attorney was charging that he had deserted her - or to phrase it in legal terms: “Left her bed and board.”

The judge looked down at the young man, then turned his appreciative glance over the well-proportioned blonde. “Young man,” he asked, “is it true you left this beautiful young lady’s bed and board?

“Yes, Your Honor.”

“That’s a darn lie!” exclaimed the voluptuous blonde. “No man ever left my bed bored!”

When the words reach you they start taking a shape, a form, a color that was not there originally. They change. The moment they enter you, the moment they enter your climate, they become soaked with it. Hakuin’s song is not a song, not an ordinary statement - one of the most extraordinary statements ever. Such a small song of a few lines, but so penetrating that if all the scriptures of the world are burnt and only Hakuin’s song is saved, nothing will be burned. That will do: a very condensed statement of buddhahood.

To know Hakuin’s song of samadhi, of meditation, you will have to enter into meditation. The more you know what meditation is - not intellectually but existentially - the more you feel what meditation is, the better you will enter into Hakuin’s song. Then one day the meaning of it will explode in your being. The meaning is not given in dictionaries, the meaning is not that of words. That is one of the most basic difficulties in understanding people like Hakuin. What they are saying comes from the beyond. What they are putting into language does not belong to language, what they are trying is almost impossible. They are bringing the whole sky into a small box, or the whole ocean into a small cup. Even maybe that is possible, but to bring your meditativeness into words is more impossible. They are doing a miracle.

But you will catch hold of the words and you will go astray. Listen to the silence in the words. Words are not important but the silence that they contain. Listen to the gaps between the words and read between the lines - but to read between the lines you will have to become thoughtless, you will have to become empty. Only an empty heart can read between the lines because otherwise there is nothing, there is only emptiness. Only emptiness can have a rapport with emptiness.

Hakuin is an empty man, whose ego exists no more, who has no self, who is just silence. To have any communion with Hakuin you will have to become that silence. Then only, the meaning will start arising. And it will not arise just like a meaning - it will burst. As if spring has come to you and everywhere there is greenery and flowers blooming and fragrance and birds. It will be a spring; you will have a totally different feel to your being, you will be transformed through it.

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