Chapter 10: Philosophical Bastards
You please come to one meditation. It will be difficult, I know, after three years. You should have asked before. It will be difficult to go back to the world and to work and you will find it a little hard, but it has to be done. I am not teaching you any escapism here - this is escapism because now you are not doing anything else.
You are dropping all your responsibilities and I am not for that. Those responsibilities have to be fulfilled - fulfilled with great joy. Your wife, your children, your parents, your old father, your old mother, need you. That is where God has put you - into a certain responsibility. Fulfill it.
I am against all those escapists who escape from the world and become twenty-four-hour-a-day meditators. I am against them, I am utterly against them. One hour of meditation is enough. Meditation is such a powerful thing that one hour out of twenty four hours is enough. It will illuminate your whole life.
And the test of whether your meditation is succeeding or not is in life. When you meditate and you go to the shop you will know whether you are succeeding in your meditation or not. Are you still as greedy in the shop as you used to be before? Do you still get angry when somebody says something against you? Can people still manage to push your buttons as easily as before? In the market-place is the test of all your meditations.
If you just do meditations and nothing else that is like preparing and preparing and never going to the examination. That is not right. The test has to be there every day - one hour meditation, twenty-three hours test. And you will grow strong.
And the last question:
What is Zen?
Go on, beat it. That is exactly what Prajnaparmita sutra says too. Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate bodhi svaha - go, go with all sentient beings, go from delusion to enlightenment.
Go on, beat it. That’s what Zen is.
It is not a philosophy to be understood, it is a transformation to be gone through. It is not something like information, it is not even reformation; it is total change, it is absolute radical change. It is a death and a resurrection. Die into Zen and be born into Zen.
The word Zen means dhyana, it comes from the root dhyana. In China it became ch’an, and in Japan it became Zen - but it comes from Buddha’s word dhyana. Zen means dhyana. Zen means meditation.
Enough for today.