He touched the feet of the man, although he had no intention of doing so; but just as he came into his energy field, spontaneously he touched his feet. He wondered why he was touching his feet, because he had not come there to be a disciple. But the very area, the very atmosphere, the very milieu – and something in his heart started ringing a bell, that perhaps he had come close to his home, without any conscious intention.
Just spontaneously he touched the feet of the man. It was a miracle to him, because he had never touched anybody’s feet. He was not a man of faith or belief; he was a young man, and very argumentative. This was a strange act that he had done, but stranger than this was that when he stood up, the master touched his feet.
He said, “What are you doing? In the first place, I had no idea, no desire, no intention of touching your feet – but it happened. I was just watching it happening in spite of me. And now you are touching my feet! – I am nobody, I don’t know even the abc of enlightenment. I have just come here out of curiosity.”
The master said, “You may not know what is contained in your seed, but I know. I can see that one day you are going to become the buddha. Yesterday I was not a buddha, today I am a buddha; today you are not a buddha, tomorrow you will be a buddha. This small time difference does not make any difference.”
Nangaku said to Ma Tzu, who was meditating in his cell, “In practicing sitting meditation, what does your reverence aspire to attain?”
“To attain buddhahood” was Ma Tzu’s reply.
It has to be understood that buddhahood cannot be attained, it is already your nature. If you try to attain it, you will miss it. You have just to relax and see within yourself, and the buddha is already there in its absolute splendor.
The use of the word attain means that something has to be done, you have to go somewhere. There is a possibility of failure – you may succeed, you may not succeed. And attainment is always of the outside world, of the objective world – riches, or fame, or power….
But buddhahood is not an attainment. It is simply a remembrance, as if you had forgotten something, and suddenly in a silent relaxed state you remember it.
I think every one of you must have come at one time or other to the experience when you know that you know something, and you say that it is just on the tip of your tongue, but still you cannot remember. A very strange and weird feeling arises at that time. You know somebody’s name – you are absolutely sure that you know, you can even close your eyes and see the person – you feel that the name is just on your tongue, but you are stuck there, it is not becoming expressed.
It is a very weird feeling – that you know it, and you know that you know, and yet you cannot express it. It is just on the tip of your tongue, but the more you try, the more it becomes difficult.