Chapter 5: Beyond the Prism of the Mind
Spirituality has no shoulds, no should-nots. Spirituality has a deep acceptance of whatsoever is - that which is. Buddhists call it tathata, suchness - such is the case. Whatsoever is the case is the case: one has to accept and relax into it. In that relaxation is the dimension of the spiritual. If you can do ordinary actions in a relaxed way, with no tension in the mind, with no hankering in the mind to be successful or to be winners, then you are doing a spiritual thing. Then it can be anything.
Zen people sip tea, and they call it a tea ceremony. Sipping tea can become spiritual. How does it become spiritual? To those people who have not looked into reality in any way it looks simply absurd. Sipping tea? How can it become religious? Yes, if you are chanting God’s name, maybe it is religious. If you are praying, fasting, maybe it is spiritual, but sipping tea? How can it be religious or spiritual? The Zen people say if you can sip tea with an absolutely undivided mind, so that the tea and the sipper of the tea are no more divided, it becomes one energy, there is so much silence, one is relaxed - and if you cannot be relaxed while sipping tea, where else can you be relaxed? - a cup of tea can become a cup of prayer.
Then anything can become spiritual. Digging in the garden, looking after the trees can become spiritual. Anything whatsoever can have the spiritual quality because the whole existence is God. You just have to become aware of it. A relaxed awareness makes everything spiritual.
So this dictum that samsara is nirvana, is one of the greatest dictums ever uttered by any man on this earth. The founder of Zen, Bodhidharma, uttered it. It is a thunderbolt. It is one of the most revolutionary sayings. It destroys all distinction, and it brings to light that all other so-called religions are just philosophies, not really religions, because they go on dividing - the devil and God, hell and heaven, and they go on dividing. Division is their work, and division is of the mind.
Mind functions like a prism. A ray of light enters into a prism and is divided into seven colors. Entering, it was of one color, it was pure white, it was undivided. Getting out of the prism, it is no more one; it is seven, seven colors, the whole rainbow. The world is divided because of the prism of the mind. That which enters in the mind is one; that which comes out of the mind is seven.
If you want to know the first principle you will have to get beyond the prism. You will have to come to that point where the ray is one.
Now, there are two ways to seek the truth. One is the goal-oriented way, and the second is the source-oriented way. The first is wrong and the second is right. When I say the first is wrong, I am not condemning it. I am not saying it is bad. What I am saying by “wrong” is not a condemnation; it is just an indication that it leads nowhere, that it leads into a cul-de-sac, that you can go into it, but you will never arrive. You can go on going and going, but you will never arrive. It is a false way. It appears like a way, but it is not a way. It has the appearance, but only the appearance.