The boy attendant was always there – he had also become accustomed to the finger. He used to stand behind the master in case he needed him, and sometimes he would play a joke on the master. When people were listening to the master very seriously, from behind, the boy would just point his finger up – and everybody would start laughing.
The master was puzzled, “I have not said anything that makes you laugh – what is the matter?” Finally, looking at their eyes, he found that it was the boy who was doing all the tricks; at any time he could do it.
The next day the master appeared with a knife, and as the boy pointed his finger, he called him, “Come before me and do it!” Because the master was ordering, the boy raised his finger – and the master cut it off with the knife and then said, “Now do it again!”
The people were shocked, the disciples were shocked: this was too much! The boy had lost a finger – blood was coming out – and the master was asking him, “Do it again!” And in that moment of intense pain the boy’s mind had already stopped working; he had never expected that this will happen.
Whenever something absolutely unexpected happens, the mind simply has no way to function; it is not prepared for it. But in his silence, the boy could see that he had been foolish, and he could understand for the first time that it is not the finger that matters – it can be cut off – what matters is the moon.
The boy, it is said, became enlightened in that very moment, fell to the feet of the master and thanked him.
Many disciples could not understand it at all. First, cutting off the finger looked too violent, too inhuman. Secondly, the boy falling at his feet and saying, “I am grateful. I was not expecting…I was not here for enlightenment either, I was just a servant, but you have done a miracle. My whole being is silent. The pain is there, but I am only a witness.”
Start with very small habits; just don’t do them habitually. Don’t take complicated habits. And when you are working on small habits, change to something about which the mind is not programmed; then the mind cannot continue the habit. Do it in some other way for which the mind is not prepared. You will have to be conscious to do it.
Everything can be done in many different ways. For example, you have always been writing with the right hand; try to write with the left hand. You will be immensely conscious because you have never done it, and the mind has no idea of how to do it. And the left hand is joined with a different side of the mind, which is not aware. It is not in communication with the side of the mind with which the right hand is connected, so there is no question of communication. You just write with the left hand.
You will have to be conscious – there is no other way to do it. And you will be surprised: the handwriting is different, writing is difficult; you make spelling mistakes…. Strange, because you have never made spelling mistakes before. The writing is not beautiful – you are writing like a child who starts from scratch. This will give you a chance to be conscious about writing.