He turned to the second disciple who said, “There is no one to go beyond the mind. All is silent. There is no division between the one that has to be transcended and one that has to transcend. This is the essence of your teaching.”
Bodhidharma said, “You have my bones.”
And he turned to the third disciple, who said, “The essence of your teaching is inexpressible.”
Bodhidharma laughed and he said, “But you have expressed it! You have said something about it. You have my marrow.”
And he turned to the fourth disciple who had only tears and utter silence, no answer. He fell at the feet of Bodhidharma…and he was accepted as the successor, although he had not answered anything.
But he has answered – without answering, without using words, without using language. His tears have shown much more than any language can contain…and his gratitude and his prayerfulness and his thankfulness to the master…what more can you say?
The great gathering of disciples was very much disappointed, because this was a man nobody had ever bothered about. The great scholars have been rejected; the great knowers have not been accepted, and an ordinary man…
But that ordinariness is the only extraordinary thing in the world…that childlike wonder, that childlike experience of the mysterious all around.
Remember one thing: the moment you start knowing something you are not a child. You have started becoming part of the adult world. The society has initiated you into civilization; it has distracted you from your essential nature.
When the child is surrounded by the mysterious all around, everything just a mystery with no answer, with no question, he is exactly at the point the sage ultimately reaches. That’s why childlikeness is compared again and again to meditation. Meditation would not have been needed if people had remained in their essential childlikeness.
Do you know the root of the word meditation? – it comes from the same root as medicine. It is a medicine. But the medicine is needed only if you are sick. Meditation is needed if you are spiritually sick. Childlikeness is your spiritual health, your spiritual wholeness; you don’t need any meditation.
Little Ernie wants a bicycle, but when he asks his mother, she tells him he can only have one if he behaves himself, which he promises to do. But after a week of trying to be good, Ernie finds it impossible. So his mother suggests, “If you write a note to Jesus, maybe you will find it easier to be good.”
Ernie rushes upstairs, sits on his bed, and writes: “Dear Jesus, if you let me have a bike, I promise to be good for the rest of my life.” Realizing that he could never manage that, he starts again: “Dear Jesus, if you let me have a bike, I promise to be good for a month.” Knowing that he can’t do that, he suddenly has an idea.