In the past I have heard you say that for a disciple to move from master to master is like continuously drilling holes that never go deep enough to reach the water. Yet, that seems to be just what Zen monks did – moving from one master to another, often with the same question.
Trust and intimacy with the master were apparently less significant than finding the master who could create the right situation.
Would you please comment?
Maneesha, They were not going from one master to another master. They were moving from one teacher to another teacher in search of the master. They were moving from one monastery to another monastery to find a place from where they did not have to go anywhere else. It was a search for the master amongst thousands of teachers. One has to move to feel with whom your heart starts dancing.
Today the situation is different. There are not thousands of teachers proclaiming that they are enlightened, you don’t have much choice. Still, the fact remains: Don’t stop unless you have found the one who goes straight into your being – just like an arrow without missing the target.
It is said of Baso that he never left his master. Although the master said, “You can move, you can go into other monasteries, there are other masters, other ways of teaching, other ways of reaching. Why don’t you move?”
Baso’s answer is worth remembering. He said, “Others are moving because they have not found… I cannot move because I am already there where I want to be. I have found you, and in finding you I have found my heart’s longing. Now there is nowhere to go.”
Once a disciple finds the master, the master is his whole world, his love affair.
But before that, Maneesha, it is perfectly right: one should move, one should not remain with someone with whom he cannot feel the intimacy, with whom he cannot have the same wavelength of life. He may be right or wrong. That does not matter. What matters is whether you feel yourself enriched by the presence of your master, whether you feel aflame. Then there is no need to go anywhere.
Her second question is:
As a species we regard ourselves as the most conscious and evolved form of life, and thus able to help all other forms of life. But Zen seems to indicate another equally important truth – that all life forms, and the most mundane of activities involved in life, are all potential triggers to help us realize the ultimate consciousness.
Through these evenings with you, this has become too obvious to comment on; and yet too marvelous, not to.