Whatsoever we can do will be useless; that is the greatest problem. For a religious seeker this is the greatest problem, because whatsoever he can do will lead nowhere – because doing is not relevant. You can sit in a particular posture: that is your doing. You must have seen Buddha’s posture. You can sit in Buddha’s posture; that will be a doing. For Buddha himself this posture has happened. It is not a cause for his silence but, rather, a byproduct.
When the mind is not, when the being is totally silent, the body follows like a shadow. The body takes a particular posture, the most relaxed possible, the most passive possible. But you cannot do it the other way round. You cannot take a posture first and then make silence follow. Because we see Buddha sitting in a particular posture, we think that if this posture is followed then the inner silence will follow. This is a wrong sequence. For Buddha the inner one has happened first, and then this posture has followed.
Look at it through your own experience. When you get angry, the body takes a particular posture: your eyes become blood-red, your face takes a particular expression. Anger is inside and then the body follows. Not only outwardly: inwardly also the whole chemistry of the body changes. Your blood runs fast, you breathe in a different way, you are ready to fight or take flight. But anger happens first, then the body follows. Start from the other pole: make your eyes red, take fast breaths, do whatsoever you feel is done by the body when anger is there. You can act, but you cannot create anger inside.
An actor is doing the same thing every moment. When he is acting a role of love, he is doing whatsoever is done by the body when love happens inside, but there is no love. And an actor may be doing better than you, but love will not follow. He may be more angry, apparently, than you are in real anger, but it is just false. Nothing is happening inside.
Whenever you start from without, you will create a false state. The real always happens first in the center, and then the waves reach to the periphery. That’s why this sutra says prayer is silence. This is the innermost center in prayer. Start from here. But that’s very difficult. The difficulty arises for so many reasons.
The first: we have never known silence, so the word is meaningless really. We have heard the word, we know what it means, but we don’t know really what the experience of silence is, so it connotes nothing. The word falls on our ears, we believe that we understand, nothing is understood. The very word is unknown to us as far as experience is concerned. Only the sound of the word is known.
Mulla Nasruddin was practicing silence in a mosque with three other friends. It was a religious day and they had taken a vow to be silent for twenty-four hours. This was to be their prayer. Silence is prayer: they had heard it.
Just five or ten minutes after they started, the first man said, “I wonder whether I have locked my house or not!”
The second one said, “What are you doing? You have broken the silence and now you will have to start again!”
The third one said, “You fool! You have also broken it.”