Chapter 7: The World of the Gurus Has Ended
The new man, the new humanity means individual religious people, not organized according to any dogma, doctrine, cult, but simply in tune with existence. And the only way to be in tune with existence is what we have called in the East, meditation, in which no priest is needed. You alone are enough unto yourself.
Maneesha has brought a few beautiful, small Zen anecdotes, dialogues. Just don’t get caught into the words, because Zen speaks a totally different language. Alongside the words there is running a constant stream of wordless meanings. Unless you become capable to pass through the word to the wordless you will never be able to understand Zen.
Zen is the purest religion.
It is not an organized church. It respects the individual. It does not have any priests, it does not have any discipline to be forced on you; neither has it any morality that you have to surrender to. It gives you insight and awareness. And through your awareness you have to decide your morality, your responsibility, your discipline, your very lifestyle. It is a totally different way of bringing you in tune with the universe.
It teaches you relaxation. It teaches you not to swim against the current - you will never win. Just go with the river, floating, enjoying all that comes on the way: the trees and the stars in the night, and a sunrise and a sunset, and thousands of flowers. And the river.even the smallest river reaches to the ocean. So don’t be worried. Big or small, it does not matter. Every dewdrop reaches finally to the ocean, and the ocean is our ultimate rest.
A little biographical note about Daiji, a famous Zen master.
Daiji (780-862) was a famous disciple of Hyakujo. At the age of twenty-nine, he became a monk, and studied both the sutras and the ordinances. He spent some time with Hyakujo, became enlightened, and then made a hermitage on the top of a hill.
Later, he went to Mount Daiji, where he expounded Zen, saying, “Six feet of talking is not as good as one foot of doing; one foot of talking is not as good as an inch of doing.” He returned to secular life for some time, then shaved his head again, and died as a monk.
He was saying that all this scholarship, all these scriptures, won’t help. You will have to do something, you will have to dig into your own being. You cannot just like a parrot go on repeating long sutras. They are not going to be your liberation, they are your slavery. Only action with awareness - it does not matter what is the action; the most ordinary action with awareness becomes religious, because it starts having a grace of its own, and a beauty that is transcendental.