Chapter 10: Compassion Can Only Be Unlimited
If you can understand the approach of no conditioning, no judgment. There was every possibility that Nan-Sen would have judged that “That fellow proved to be absolutely unworthy of my trust.” Your trust is very small; Nan-Sen’s trust is as big as the whole sky. What harm can he do? Of course he missed a meal, he has broken his utensils, but these are small things. Only mediocre minds care about these things; people who have an inner richness, who know their Kingdom of God, will not be bothered by such things. “That fellow must have his own reasons; who am I to judge? At least he did not kill me. He did not burn down the hut. He was such a good fellow,” Nan-Sen says, “I miss him even now” - his generosity, his peace, his silently moving away without bothering me.
Compassion can be only unlimited. If you put a limit on your compassion, you are deceiving yourself, because beyond the limit the doubt is waiting. Beyond the limit begins the distrust. What harm has he done that you should lose a precious experience of trust? In fact, he has given an opportunity to Nan-Sen to see himself that he is not angry, that he is not suspicious, that his compassion is not limited. He is thankful to the stranger and later on he says, “He was such a good monk. I miss him even now.”
If you can experience the point, your whole life will be transformed. Then this whole existence is no longer strange, it becomes very familiar. You are at home everywhere. Nobody, not even animals, birds, this cuckoo, these silently standing bamboos.they all become friends. You start living in poetry, you start living in a dance which knows no doubt.
Religion has been giving a false coin to people called belief. If you look in the dictionaries, belief and trust and faith seem to be synonymous. They are not: belief is always in some hypothesis; faith is always out of fear; trust has a totally different quality - it is out of understanding, out of love. Once you start living out of love, only then you know what religion is. Zen is the purest form of religion.
Maneesha has asked:
Is this a story about a master’s compassion and equanimity in the face of his trust being abused? Or is it a beautiful illustration of benefiting from being with a master without being needy and dependent? Certainly, it is your voice I hear when I read Nan-Sen’s saying: “He was such a good monk. I miss him even now.”
Maneesha, Nan-Sen has missed only one good monk. I have missed thousands whom I have loved, whom I have trusted, who have not only thrown away one of my meals, broken my utensils, but who have broken everything they could, they have burned my heart. Still, I miss them.
Just today I heard that one of my sannyasins has written a book, condemning the whole experiment here. The book has been published for two and a half years, and it came to my notice today because the sannyasin - a woman, a beautiful woman with a very nice heart - has informed me that she is coming in September.
In the book she has written: “I was naive, childish. That’s why I had become a disciple. Now I am mature and I am absolutely free from sannyas.” I wonder why she is coming back.