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Chapter 17: Wake up the Slave

You are sad. Go into your sadness rather than escaping into some activity, into some occupation, rather than going to see a friend or to the movie or turning on the radio or the TV. Rather than escaping from it, turning your back towards it, drop all activity. Close your eyes, go into it, see what it is, why it is - and see without condemning it, because if you condemn you will not be able to see the totality of it. See without judging. If you judge, you will not be able to see the whole of it. Without judgment, without condemnation, without evaluation, just watch it, what it is. Look as if it is a flower, sad; a cloud, dark; but look at it with no judgment so that you can see all the facets of it.

And you will be surprised: the deeper you go into it, the more it starts dispersing. If a person can go into his sorrow deeply he will find all sorrow has evaporated. And in that evaporation of sorrow is joy, is bliss.

Bliss has not to be found outside, against sorrow. Bliss has to be found deep, hidden behind the sorrow itself. You have to dig into your sorrowful states and you will find a wellspring of joy.

The second sutra:

All absorptions are effected in one.

So Atisha says: There is no need to have many goals, one goal is enough. Inquire into the truth of your life. Only one search is enough to deliver you from all your miseries, sufferings, hells. Inquire into the truth of your being, see all the facets of it - the anger, the greed, the lust. Go into each. And by going into each, you will find always and always the same source of joy, the same spring of joy. Slowly, slowly you will become a festival. Nothing has been added from the outside, but you have discovered yourself. You have come into the kingdom of God.

The third sutra:

One method will correct all wrong.

One goal - truth - and one method. What is that method? I call it meditation, Atisha used to call it awareness, Buddha used to call it mindfulness. These are different words for the same quality - the quality of being attentive, alert, awake.

Atisha is very mathematical; no great mathematician can be so mathematical as he is. He is moving step by step. First he says: Don’t seek spurious comforts; that is going astray. Don’t escape from your sorrowful state; go into it. Let this become your one goal: the search for the truth of your being. He is not talking about any truth that lives somewhere in the sky, he is not talking about any philosophical truth. He is talking about the truth that you are; he is talking about you. He is utterly psychological, he is not talking about metaphysics.

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